Port Alberni’s Peter Wienold, Theatre BC President, (right) and Theatre BC Administrator Richard Kerton (left) welcome audiences to the Festival Awards Gala in Vernon last summer. This year, the festival comes to the Alberni Valley, with eight nights of live theatre July 5 to 13.

‘Best of the best’ of BC community theatre coming to Port Alberni

Community hosts provincial festival July 5 to 13

The ‘best of the best’ community theatre performances from across the province come to Port Alberni next month.

The eight-night Theatre BC extravaganza – “the provincials of community theatre” – comes to the Alberni Valley July 5 to 12, before the Gala Awards evening Saturday, July 13.

The first time the provincial festival has come to the Island since 2008, performances will be held at the Alberni District Secondary School Performing Arts Theatre.

“This is an outstanding opportunity for people who love live entertainment to come see a wide variety of quality productions,” says Peter Wienold, Theatre BC President and with the host theatre company, Port Alberni’s Portal Players.

Within the province are various regional zones; travelling adjudicators evaluate different plays, selecting the best to compete at the festival.

“This is the best of the best in theatre in British Columbia,” Wienold explains. These are the plays that have come through the regional zone process so you know what’s coming is going to be of a really high production quality.”

Audiences will enjoy a mix of genres in both one and two acts:

  • Friday, July 5 – North Island Zone The Diary of Anne Frank, by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, produced by Nanaimo Theatre Group.
  • Saturday, July 6 – North Shore Zone: Hidden In This Picture, by Aaron Sorkin, produced by Well Planned Theatre Co.
  • Sunday, July 7 – Peace River Zone: Between The Sheets, by Jordi Mand, produced by Stage North Theatre Society
  • Monday July 8 – Fraser Valley Zone: Dancing At Lughnasa, by Brian Friel, produced by Langley Players Drama Club.
  • Tuesday, July 9 – Central Interior Zone: Cherry Docs by David Gow, produced by Williams Lake Studio Theatre.
  • Wednesday, July 10 – Travelling Adjudicator’s Selection (South Island Zone): Stones In His Pockets, by Marie Jones, produced by Ladysmith Little Theatre.
  • Thursday, July 11 – Okanagan Zone: Late Company, by Jordan Tannahill, produced by Theatre Kelowna Society
  • Friday, July 12 – Wild card selection, from Fraser Valley Zone: Age Of Arousal, by Linda Griffiths, produced by Opening Nite Theatre Society

“It’s very exciting for Port Alberni – we haven’t seen this level of theatrical entertainment before by hosting a Mainstage Festival,” Wienold says.

With a focus on education, Theatre BC presents the annual travelling festival, with a community typically hosting for two years at a time; this is the first of a planned two-year term for Port Alberni. In addition to on-stage performances, the festival also includes workshops, post-performance discussions and a Green Room Party, all accessible to TheatreBC members.

Better yet, if it’s hot outside, the air-conditioned theatre is definitely where you’ll want to be, so settle in to the comfortable seats and enjoy the show. After all, Peter says, “there isn’t a bad seat in the house!”

To reserve yours, visit theatrebc.org or call the box office at 250-723-1195. Choose from a full festival pass, smaller multi-ticket packages or single tickets.

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