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This year’s adjudicator is Josue Laboucane, who will select one of the plays to represent the Peace River Zone at Theatre B.C.’s Mainstage competition in Kamloops this July.
The festival kicks off with Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad, directed by Dallas Ashdown, a Stage North club entry. Two single parents, Donna and Teddy engage in the courtship game while cheering their 8 year old children on at the hockey rink. Teddy is a voluble extrovert who encourages his son’s losing team to hit first and think later, and he coaches Troy from the stands to be the “Enforcer”. Donna, shell-shocked from a violent marriage, is appalled by the physical violence on the ice. This romantic comedy takes a serious look at violence in the hockey rink.
Thursday is Dog Sees God, directed by Chalene Scott, entered by a new theatre club dubbed the Spectacular Chair Factory. When Charlie Brown’s dog dies from rabies, Charlie Brown begins to question the existence of an afterlife. His best friend is too burnt out to provide any coherent speculation; his sister has gone “goth”; his ex-girlfriend has recently been institutionalized; and his other friends are too inebriated to give him any sort of solace. But a chance meeting with an artistic kid, the target of this group’s bullying, offers Charlie Brown peace of mind and sets in motion a friendship that will push teen angst to the very limits with drug use, suicide, eating disorders and teen violence.
Stage North’s second entry, Death and the Maiden, plays Friday. Paulina, a political activist, is convinced that her unexpected guest, and agent for the government, Dr. Miranda, is the sadistic man who once brutally tortured her. She takes him captive to determine the truth. She is torn between her psychological repressions and vivid memories of the event. Pauline’s husband is torn between his wife and the law, ad Dr Miranda is forced to endure captivity while the husband and wife seek out the uncertain truth about the clouded past. This dramatic play is extremely intense and emotional with the characters unrepentant and believing the perceived verdict of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The truth, however, lies in the balance.
Lastly, the Festival will wrap up with two showcase plays by North Peace Secondary on Saturday. The first is Hank Cinque by Gary Pererson. Budget cuts have caused the director of Shakespeare’s Henry the Fifth, to chop the play down to a ten minute version. The limited funds cause comical adaptations to the production. Ultimately through all the struggles to perform the play in ten minutes, the audience is left with a moving message.
Second is Hopeless Hamlet by Wade Bradford. A school’s performance of Hamlet is riddled with comical mishaps on opening night ranging from an inexperienced director, cheerleaders in the cast, and the ghost having
stage fright! See how our young Hamlet and the rest of his cast members find a way to perform and survive all that is unexpected and unrehearsed!
Plays will all begin at 7:30 p.m. at the North Peace Cultural Centre. Following the showcase plays will be the awards ceremony at 8:45 p.m. Saturday.
Individual tickets and festival passes are available online at tickets.npcc.bc.ca or at the NPCC box office.
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