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Lots of laughs when The Fallen Saved hits Summerland

A classic audience participation melodrama hits the stage in Summerland as a fundraiser for the Community Support Centre.
Audience participation is welcomed in the upcoming live theatre event

A classic audience participation melodrama hits the stage in Summerland as a fundraiser for the Community Support Centre.

The Fallen Saved is a comedic version of the story of The Drunkard and will be performed at the Summerland United Church in association with the Summerland Singers and Players, April 18 to 20.

“This is an old-fashioned melodrama. The type of play where you have the hero, the heroine and the villain,” said director Bob Read, who recently directed 100 Lunches with the Summerland Singers and Players.

Love battles liquor for the life and soul of Edward Middleton (Michael Zaitlin). On the side of love are sweet, innocent Mary (Emily Whitehead) and her ever-loving, ever-whining mother, Mrs. Wilson (Angie Johnson). Pushing the liquor with dastardly intent are cruel, scheming Lawyer Cribbs (Al Toots) and his cringing crony, Stickler (Dirk Ordze).

“The audience will get quite involved as they are prompted to boo, hiss and cheer when the various characters come on,” said Read.

A musical tone will also be set since a sing-along aspect has been added.  A 25-member chorus, under the direction of Chris Barron, will lead the sing-along at the beginning and halfway through the show. Read said don’t expect your typical type of live theatre at The Fallen Saved.

“It is a very exaggerated style of acting. Most of the characters will do asides, speaking to the audience while the other characters are not aware, and this hopefully will get a reaction from the audience,” said Read. “This will be a fun event and it is for a good cause, the Community Support Centre. All ages will be entertained by this show. There will be lots of laughs.”

A 2010 community survey identified a desire for a one-stop centre to support people in need in Summerland. The Community Support Centre is the culmination of over two years of work that so far has seen the food bank area completely rebuilt, addition of an information centre, two offices to be shared among support agencies, a kitchen and roughed-in plumbing for later phases. If funding is available, the later phases will include a community meeting space and a small transitional housing unit.

“The funds raised at the play will go towards the operation of the one-stop support centre in Summerland. The centre budget is divided up between funding from the District of Summerland, Summerland United Church and the Food Bank itself,” said volunteer John Bubb. “We are currently hiring an administrator to manage the facilities and start building the information that needs to reside in the centre and start establishing relationships with people in service agencies that will use the shared offices.”

The food bank in the centre is up and running and Penticton and Area Women’s Centre is already using the facility to service their clients.

Tickets for the play are $10 with exception for the Friday, April 19 performance ($15) which is preceded by a dinner and starts at 5:45 p.m. to give time before the curtain drops at 7:30 p.m. The shows run April 18 to 20 at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday a matinee time of 2 p.m. was added. Tickets can be purchased at the Summerland United Church office, or James on Kelly Hair Studio and Indulgences. Anyone looking to donate or volunteer at the Food Bank or at the centre can visit or phone 250-488-2099.