Craig Bjornson (pictured second from left) lets loose with a gutteral yell, beats his chest, and hoists a heavy stick into the air. He’s not having a bad day; he’s in rehearsal for the South Okanagan Amateur Players’ production of The Wild Guys by Andrew Wreggit and Rebecca Shaw. This Canadian comedy hits the stage November 25 – 26 in Osoyoos and December 2 – 3 in Oliver.
The “Wild Guys” in the plot are four middle-aged men dissatisfied with their work-a-day lives who embark on a men’s sensitivity weekend in the woods. The intention is to reconnect with their primal manly nature while also getting in touch with their feelings. Each character has different motivations for going on the camping retreat, and each has their own set of insecurities and fears to face. Of course, things go from bad to worse when the men become hopelessly lost in the bush and discover their food pack has been replaced with a backpack of beer.
Playing the four wild guys are (in order of photo) Patrick Turner, newcomer Craig Bjornson, David Badger, and Tom Szalay. There has been plenty of camaraderie and male bonding during the rehearsal period. The all-male cast is under the direction of Ted Osborne. In a case of life mimicking art, Osborne’s rehearsals incorporate the macho antics of hockey cheers and Neil Young singalongs and the more introspective discussions of character motivation and development. The guys are revelling in the opportunity to let testosterone rule.
Tickets go on sale starting October 31 at Sundance Video (Oliver) and Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos). $15 Adults and $12 seniors and students. Free concession.
While the Osoyoos venue remains the OSS Minitheatre, the Oliver run will be held on the Oliver Seniors Centre stage. A portion of ticket sales will be dedicated to a new theatre, after the Venables Auditorium fire.
For more information or to help behind the scenes, contact SOAP @ telus.net
Photo: Patrick Turner, Craig Bjornson, David Badger and Tom Szalay rehearse a tribal dance sequence in SOAP’s production of The Wild Guys.
Photo Credit: Penelope Johnson