An unusual year has prompted Shuswap Theatre to come up with different ways of reaching audiences with its 2020-221 season.
In August, local actors had an opportunity to return to not one, but several stages in Shuswap Theatre’s Walk-About Theatre. The successful series of live, physically distanced outdoor weekend performances were well received by appreciative audiences.
As the weather becomes less amenable to outdoor stages, Shuswap Theatre is looking to technology to deliver its upcoming offerings, beginning with the Friday, Oct. 16 show, Outside Mullingar. A delightful and quirky Irish love story by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley, the play, set in the Midlands of Ireland, features farm neighbours Rosemary and Anthony. Rosemary has been romantically interested in the shy Anthony all of her life. Anthony is unaware of her feelings and does not like farming. His father plans to leave the farm to a nephew.
Directed by Shuswap Theatre’s Kim MacMillan (Mary Poppins and Trying), the cast consists of veteran actors Hilary Brown, Chris Iverson, Frank Manning and Elizabeth Ann Skelhorne.
“The language and the subtlety of this play is marvelous. The concealed longings and the tragedy of things said and those left unsaid are funny but oh, so poignant,” said MacMillan. “The concealed longings and the tragedy of things said and those left unsaid are funny but oh, so poignant.”
A rehearsed reading of Shuswap Theatre’s Outside Mullingar was recently performed before a small invited audience, and recorded using three cameras and the theatre’s sound system. The edited video will be broadcast as a YouTube Premiere at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16, and will be available to view by ticket holders for 24 hours.
Tickets are $10 and are available online only at shuswaptheatre.com.
Next up for Shuswap Theatre is Halloween Readers’ Theatre. Directed by Ali Balloun, this radio play will be recorded in front of a live audience and then broadcast online and/or on Voice of the Shuswap Radio on Oct. 30 and 31. This will be followed on Nov 13 and 14 by another radio play titled, Dead Men Don’t Do Radio Plays. This too will be will be recorded in front of a life audience and broadcast online and/or on Voice of the Shuswap Radio.
For the holiday season, Shuswap Theatre plans to be mobile with Christmas Drive-By Theatre. Scheduled to take place between Dec. 18 and 20, this 20 to 30-minute show with carolling will be performed on a moving stage. Individuals, neighbourhoods or organizations can book the show to come to them. Admission will be by donation.
Shuswap Theatre opens the new year with Love Letters by A.R. Gurney. The play will be filmed before a live audience and broadcast online Feb. 12 to 14, 2021. A yet-to-be-determined radio play is being considered for the end of April, and a five-minute play theatre festival is in the works for June.
For more information about Shuswap Theatre and its 2020-21 season, visit shuswaptheatre.com.