They gave it their all on stage, during both their usual season and Theatre BC performance, and it paid off.
Vernon’s Powerhouse Theatre went up to bat with Calendar Girls in Theatre BC Okanagan Zone Festival (Ozone) competition action and claimed Best Production at the awards banquet May 26.
The festival saw theatre companies from across the region ignite the Powerhouse Theatre stage nightly and compete for a myriad of noteworthy awards. For their efforts, Calendar Girls, under the direction of Tanya Laing Gahr, will move on to provincials in the form of Theatre BC’s Mainstage Festival, which returns to Vernon June 29 to July 7 for the second consecutive year.
“It is always a fantastic overload of terrific theatre made by terrific theatre makers. The festival is an exciting collaboration between many diverse groups held together by one love — the theatre — and one goal: the pursuit of excellence. It never fails to move me, excite me and, as an educator, challenge me,” said festival adjudicator Andrew McIlroy who offered feedback in the form of post-show talks and coffee critiques.
“I stand outside the theatre at the conclusion of every show and watch the audience head home. They have been challenged, moved to laughter and tears and are ultimately richer for the experience.”
That consistent output of terrific theatre is derived from a community theatre company’s love of the craft, said administrator Richard Kerton.
“The Okanagan has strong theatre companies. There’s a lot of community theatre in this zone and it builds stronger support,” said Kerton. “This is one way of bringing everyone together to get that advice, and it builds collaborative efforts. I’ve been doing this a long time so I’m passionate about it.”
McIlroy, a professional dramaturge, agreed.
“The event is live,” McIlroy said. “The work is live, and there is no place I’d rather be.”
- Best Production Allum Cup. Sponsored by Theatre BC Okanagan Zone: Powerhouse Theatre Society (Vernon) – Calendar Girls
- Best Runner-up Production. Sponsored by Joan Karstensen: Fred Skeleton Theatre Company (Kelowna) – The Drowning Girls
- Best Director. Sponsored by Asparagus Community Theatre: Chantal Ethier (Kelowna) – The Drowning Girls
- Best Actor. Sponsored by Shuswap Theatre Society: Frank Kohlberger (Kamloops) – Whisper Into My Good Ear
- Best Actress. Sponsored by Fred Skeleton Theatre Company: Jenn MacNeil (Oliver) – Outside Mullingar
- Best Supporting Actor. Sponsored by South Okanagan Amateur Players: Graham K Daley (Kelowna) — The Fighting Season
- Best Supporting Actress – Sarah McLean Award. Sponsored by Joyce Elderton: Kristine Larsen (Vernon) – Calendar Girls
- Best Set Design. Sponsored by Theatre Kelowna Society: Oliver Welton, Rob Mason-Brown, Bill Haidei (Kelowna) – The Drowning Girls
- Best Sound Design. Sponsored by Barbara Keith: Brian Hesje (Oliver) – Outside Mullingar
- Best Costume Design. Sponsored by Penticton Chamber Theatre: Jenn Mills (Kelowna) – The Drowning Girls
- Best Lighting & Video Design. Sponsored by Maureen Ruscheinsky: Rusty Gahr (Vernon) – Calendar Girls
- Best Props & Set Decor. Sponsored by Theatre Kelowna Society & Powerhouse Theatrical Society:
- Laura Wright and Sheryl Bossons (Vernon) – Calendar Girls
- Best Ensemble. Sponsored by Norah Ferguson: Fred Skeleton Theatre Company (Kelowna) – Drowning Girls (Michelle Hussey, Allyce Kranabetter, Andrea Sorestad)
- Best Newcomer. Wilson Riley Award – Sponsored by Dick Clements: Tom Szalay (Oliver) – Outside Mullingar
- Best Backstage Co-operation. Sponsored by Summerland Singers and Players: Shuswap Theatre Society (Salmon Arm) – Perfect Pie