Oliver’s Venables hosting week-long live theatre festival

Jim Holt's Sleeping Indoors, performed by the South Okanagan Players, is the May 23 offering at the Okanagan Theatre Festival.

If you’re a live theatre buff, offerings over the next week in Oliver are going to give you your fill.

And then some.

The South Okanagan Amateur Players Society is hosting Theatre British Columbia’s 2016 Okanagan Zone Festival.

The host society’s Frank Venables Theatre will be the venue for seven nights of performances, beginning Saturday evening and closing the following Saturday with a public awards banquet.

Among the offerings:

  • Rabbit Hole, by David Lindsay-Abaire and presented by Crimson Tine Players (Princeton) — Becca and Howie Corbett have everything a family could want, until a life-shattering accident turns their world upside down and leaves the couple drifting perilously apart. RABBIT HOLE charts their bittersweet search for comfort in the darkest of places and for a path that will lead them back into the light of day.
  • The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh and presented by Fred Skeleton Theatre Company (Kelowna) — With echoes of Stoppard, Kafka, and the Brothers Grimm, THE PILLOWMAN centers on a writer in an unnamed totalitarian state who is being interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a series of child murders. The result is an urgent work of theatrical bravura and an unflinching examination of the very nature and purpose of art.
  • Sleeping Indoors by Jim Holt and presented by South Okanagan Amateur Players (Oliver/Osoyoos) — When literary reviewer Paul and his wife Nora invite a homeless man, Dwain, into their home for Christmas dinner, they don’t expect to be so charmed by him — or that his journal will be the incredible literary masterpiece that it is. But can Dwain, whose art thrives in anonymity, be convinced to give up the only life he’s known for such comforts as sleeping indoors?
  • Posing for Mr. Wiser by Michael L. Poirier and presented by Back Stage Theatre (Vernon) — Mr. Wiser is a retired police officer who has been soured over the years by a broken marriage, a son that never met his standards and dealing with the criminal element of society.  Most of his depressive nature is self deserving.  As a young man, he drew charcoal portraits to pay his way through college, in his retirement he decides that he will paint the new age “Mona Lisa”.  The only trouble is, the women he hires to pose take an hour or less of his attitude and never come back.
  • Unnecessary Farce by Paul Slade Smith and presented by Powerhouse Theatre (Vernon) — Two cops. Three crooks. Eight doors. Go. In a cheap motel room, an embezzling mayor is supposed to meet with his female accountant, while in the room next door, two undercover cops wait to catch the meeting on videotape. But there’s some confusion as to who’s in which room, who’s being videotaped, who’s taken the money, who’s hired a hit man, and why the accountant keeps taking off her clothes.
  • The Maids by Jean Genet and presented by Asparagus Community Theatre (Armstrong) — Solange and Claire are two housemaids who construct elaborate sadomasochistic rituals when their mistress (Madame) is away. The focus of their role-playing is the murder of Madame and they take turns portraying both sides of the power divide. Their deliberate pace and devotion to detail guarantees that they always fail to actualize their fantasies by ceremoniously “killing” Madame at the ritual’s dénouement.
  • I Had a Job I Liked. Once. by Guy Vanderhaeghe and presented by ​Shuswap Theatre (Salmon Arm) — Is justice black and white? In a world of quick condemnations and mandatory minimums, a by-the-book RCMP sergeant must uncover the truth. The local Crown Attorney’s daughter has accused Les Grant, a teenager from the the wrong side of the tracks, of an egregious crime. Now it falls on the jaded officer to decide. Is he guilty? What is he hiding? Why won’t he tell the truth?

Regular single show admission is $22.50 for an individual performance. Mini subscriptions (three or more shows) are available for $20.00 a show. A full subscription (all seven shows) is available online for $17.70 a show.

Student single show admission is $8.

Banquet tickets are also available on-line for $32.00. All festival participants and members of the public are welcome to attend. Due to catering requirements,  ticket sales will end 24 hours prior to the banquet.

For more information about the festival, visit soplayers.ca/festival.

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