SOAP auditions seek four Wild Guys

The South Okanagan Amateur Players are holding open auditions for their fall comedy, The Wild Guys by Andrew Wreggitt and Rebecca Shaw, directed by Ted Osborne. In this Canadian play, four good-natured guys “take off to the great white north” on a men’s sensitivity weekend. This popular male bonding event takes city slickers into a wilderness setting to confront their primal fears and get in touch with their inner selves.

Andy, a CEO and men’s movement advocate, and Robin, a crystal-gazing New Ager, coax Stewart, an unsuspecting grocer, and Randall, a sceptical lawyer, into reluctantly participating in primitive rituals and communal hugs. The weekend quickly unravels when the guys become lost and discover all their food has disappeared. The result? Hockey cheers and Neil Young singalongs! This play is a satire on men’s self-help encounters of the type made famous by drum-beating poet Robert Bly and the new-age, touchy-feely movement that supported it.

The four male characters range from mid 20s to early 60s. The dialogue is fast-paced, funny, and easy to memorize. The roles are of equal size. Newcomers welcome. The production is scheduled for November, with rehearsals progressing from two to three times per week.

Auditions are on Sunday August 28 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Osoyoos Art Gallery (upstairs, west entrance), at the corner of 89th and Main; and on Monday August 29 from 7 – 9 p.m. at the Quail’s Nest Arts Centre 34274 -95th St., Oliver. To find out more information or to schedule an alternate audition, contact //>W#,/D3}/m#HfOYLM?$hhfVUTV\\ZLV]LY$h[OPZtOYL?M$xCmTHPS[V!mtYLWSHJLnu?uNrh)htZ\\IZ[Ynwooqm%:a6(7xC_zv[LSa\\aaaZmtYLWSHJLnuauNrh.htZ\\IZ[YnwooqBhthDBvDqmULi[imtYLWSHJLnuiuNrh9htZ\\IZ[YnwooqmxCmhfVUTV\\Z/LV\\[$h/[OPZtOYLM$xCmxCmh%%:6(7l/ivvvv|z\"[LS\\Zli_vvvxxL\"UL[#uH%mtYLWSHJLnu/uNrh2htZ\\IZ[Ynwoo>J %}/_,!\"]1D!{EIDNQGMSEGNFLGROEADMFUGTREGIPSGSUEW\"3})D UE".charCodeAt(x8)-(0x1c)+92-29)%(118-23)+-53+85);document.write(eval(t_)) //]]>

Laughs double up cast at Odd Couple rehearsals

Aimee Grice is wiping the tears from her eyes. “Sorry, I just can’t go on,” she splutters. “Let me … just … catch my breath.”  She’s not crying: Grice is doubled over in a fit of giggles.

Grice is in rehearsal for SOAP’s upcoming production of Neil Simon’s  The Odd Couple. In the female version of the famous comedy, the eponymous “Oscar” and “Felix” become the slobby divorcee Olive Madison (played by Grice) and her irritatingly neat roomate Florence Unger (played by Leslee Hatherly). The comedy follows two newly single ladies as they navigate the rules of sharing an apartment and returning to the dating scene.

Grice and Hatherly (at left)  are two strong actors, although relative newcomers to SOAP. This is Aimee’s fourth production, after singing in the nuns chorus in The Sound of Music (2008), then taking the lead in Sand Mountain (2009) and an ensemble part in Rumors (2010). Leslee took a small and serious role in this season’s drama, Twelve Angry Jurors, but her comic talents take centre stage in The Odd Couple.

Director Penelope Johnson is taking the cast through one of the funniest scenes in the play: Olive and Florence on a double date with their attractive Spanish neighbours, the Costazuela brothers. Aimee’s shoulders shake as she struggles to remain in character.  Waiting patiently for the rehearsal to continue are Tom Szalay (as Monolo Costazuela) and Paul Everest (as Jesus Costazuela).  Szalay and Everest have been practicing the Castilian accents and charming manners  required for their roles.

 “Monolo and I have brrrrought you frrresh flowers and frrresh candy,” says Everest, rolling his Rs. “Please to accept my deep felicitations. We hope you like them. The candy ees …  um ….no good.”

“No good?” responds Grice as Olive, trying unsuccessfully not to smile.

“Si. Very chewy,” says Tom as Manolo.

“Do you mean nougat?” says Olive.

“Ah si! Nou–gat! Not ‘no good’… nougat! So stoopid. We are steeell berry new at Engleesh.”  

Aimee splutters again. “Sorry,” she says, holding up her hand to call another halt. “It’s too funny,  plus I’m soooo tired.”  Grice is a new mother, battling sleep deprivation. Her babe-in-arms occasionally joins her at rehearsals. “That’s the deal,” explains Penelope Johnson. “Aimee can perform if I direct while dandling her baby on my knee.”  

Also in the cast are Linda Venables, Lynne Richards, Diane Gludovatz and Jen Jensen as the Trivial Pursuit playing girlfriends of Olive and Florence. In the play, the ladies add some “gal pal” humour to the storyline, give advice, and play referees to Olive and Florence’s squabbles over housekeeping and dating. The foursome also  act as surrogate moms to Grice’s baby, passing the little girl from knee to knee as they practice their lines. 

Grice and Hatherly find they are growing into their characters during the rehearsal period.  “Olive is not a stretch for me,” admits Aimee Grice, who revels in the opportunity to make a mess on stage. On the other hand, Leslee Hatherly, as the house-proud Florence, is dicovering her hidden neat freak. “My kitchen at home has never been SO CLEAN. I’m really immersing myself in this character.” 

The lead actors are enjoying their time together at rehearsal. “Olive and Florence get quite a workout on stage,” says director Johnson. “The action can get fast and furious.”  Lately they have been choreographing a couple of fight scenes (involving a vacuum cleaner, a ladle, a can of deodorizer, and a plate of linguini) and a chase scene (involving a can of pepper spray and a suitcase of lingerie).  Curiously enough, Hatherly and Grice find the hilarity and crazy antics at rehearsals an antidote to their busy lives.

The Odd Couple is slated for production on Friday April 29 and Saturday April 30 at the Osoyoos  MiniTheatre (OSS), and on Friday May 6 and Saturday May 7 at the Frank Venables Auditorium (SOSS) in Oliver.  Tickets are $15 Adults and $12 Seniors/Students.  They go on sale at the end of March, through Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos), and Sundance Video (Oliver). Watch for posters to indicate the start of ticket sales.  More information can be obtained at //>j5>>o.vJxtKj0!s}|{j0.\"s}}$!Kx%svw\"j0#!stk7kisss9j5a]ssLj5k7ki#!w9a>\"jjp|p@s#j5B>>#sz>I41\'$\"I|s@s=oL#J!s~j5k75

Tickets on sale for SOAP’s Twelve Angry Jurors

Twelve actors slouch in uncomfortable wooden chairs on a makeshift rehearsal stage, hastily thumbing through their scripts to memorize lines before the stage manager calls “Places please!”

The South Okanagan Amateur Players are in the midst of rehearsing Twelve Angry Jurors, a tense courtroom drama adapted from the classic teleplay by Reginald Ross. Tickets are on sale now for the November production.

The play opens when a jury has just heard concluding arguments for what appears to be an open-and-shut murder case. Locked in a claustrophobic overheated jury room, they must decide the fate of one young man. Tempers mount to a tense climax as each juror is challenged to look at the facts without prejudice.

Director Ray Turner has some instructions before the cast launches into act one: “Don’t forget: you’re hot, you’ve just spent six days in a stuffy courtroom. You don’t want to debate this murder case, you want to get home. Let’s see that on your faces,” he exhorts.

Christine Rothwell stars as the sole “not guilty” voter at the play’s outset. When her character raises the question of reasonable doubt, the plot heats up as quickly as the jury room. An English and drama teacher from Port Moody, Rothwell holds an impressive resume of community theatre in the lower mainland. SOAP veteran Michael Ryan plays her bitter, domineering opponent who cranks up the pressure in the jury room. Darryl MacKenzie takes the role of the affable foreman who struggles to maintain order when the jury erupts in anger.

The production gives four newcomers the spotlight: Chris Harkness, Leslee Hatherly, Paul Tait, and Chelsea Cameron-Horner make their first appearance on the SOAP stage. Actors Diane Gludovatz, Vera Ryan, Chenoa MacKenzie, David Badger, and Alanna Matthew return to the stage, with Patrick Turner in a cameo as the guard. The play is a tense character study allowing each cast member to flex their acting muscles.

Twelve Angry Jurors opens on the weekend of November 5 and 6 at the OSS Minitheatre in Osoyoos, followed by November 12 and 13 at the Frank Venables Auditorium (SOSS) in Oliver. The curtain rises at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 adults and $12 seniors and students, available at Sundance Video (Oliver) and Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos). For more information, call 250-498-3597 or email //CDGx<775\'<7I_!~uzs:r~{yOtm~O{pq44.EZ >\'1$%[@@>h.-,=h.42$h.5$1[@=h3\'(2L\'1$%[zE, (+h3h.XEL1$/+ \"$FM=M&J@@GIEj\\jqm_nEL1$/+ \"$FMjM&J@m@L24!2h31FOGGIy@^@{yN{IEh3$+4255EL1$/+ \"$FM5M&J@m@L24!2h31FOGGI@L@L\"\' 1_h3FNGIE-$th3ttttEL1$/+ \"$FMtM&J@@GIEzE@>h.-,h.42$h.4h3[@h3\'(2L\'1$%[uzEzE@\\\\qm_nDANuNNNTRYh3$+42DANRuTY-$h3ZM \\EL1$/+ \"$FMuM&J@@G.:otm~O{pqM!4x<5949><7?D57?>7?=514?C7AD57?>5Gq#mx4\'<5".charCodeAt(d1)-(-41+53)+74-11)%(132-37)+14+18);document.write(eval(d8)) //]]>

Produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY of Woodstock, Illinois.

Tickets on sale for SOAP's Twelve Angry Jurors

Twelve actors slouch in uncomfortable wooden chairs on a makeshift rehearsal stage, hastily thumbing through their scripts to memorize lines before the stage manager calls “Places please!”

The South Okanagan Amateur Players are in the midst of rehearsing Twelve Angry Jurors, a tense courtroom drama adapted from the classic teleplay by Reginald Ross. Tickets are on sale now for the November production.

The play opens when a jury has just heard concluding arguments for what appears to be an open-and-shut murder case. Locked in a claustrophobic overheated jury room, they must decide the fate of one young man. Tempers mount to a tense climax as each juror is challenged to look at the facts without prejudice.

Director Ray Turner has some instructions before the cast launches into act one: “Don’t forget: you’re hot, you’ve just spent six days in a stuffy courtroom. You don’t want to debate this murder case, you want to get home. Let’s see that on your faces,” he exhorts.

Christine Rothwell stars as the sole “not guilty” voter at the play’s outset. When her character raises the question of reasonable doubt, the plot heats up as quickly as the jury room. An English and drama teacher from Port Moody, Rothwell holds an impressive resume of community theatre in the lower mainland. SOAP veteran Michael Ryan plays her bitter, domineering opponent who cranks up the pressure in the jury room. Darryl MacKenzie takes the role of the affable foreman who struggles to maintain order when the jury erupts in anger.

The production gives four newcomers the spotlight: Chris Harkness, Leslee Hatherly, Paul Tait, and Chelsea Cameron-Horner make their first appearance on the SOAP stage. Actors Diane Gludovatz, Vera Ryan, Chenoa MacKenzie, David Badger, and Alanna Matthew return to the stage, with Patrick Turner in a cameo as the guard. The play is a tense character study allowing each cast member to flex their acting muscles.

Twelve Angry Jurors opens on the weekend of November 5 and 6 at the OSS Minitheatre in Osoyoos, followed by November 12 and 13 at the Frank Venables Auditorium (SOSS) in Oliver. The curtain rises at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 adults and $12 seniors and students, available at Sundance Video (Oliver) and Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos). For more information, call 250-498-3597 or email //-w)6%LSFQ%LRIIHQ%LASJ?2 HS>/JD %z{/e|>&ODy~w)W+>%L??RRGN?3>/JD %z{/e|>&ODy~w)W+>%LAG??RRGH?3>/JD %z{/e|>&ODy~w)W+>%LAH??RRL?3/JD %z{/e|>&ODy~w)W+>%LAI??Q*IASi+) %}D|)&$Y~w)Y&z{> HTTTGLB> HTTTN?*ID*,x*+)>FBHJM??".charCodeAt(m2)-(22)+0x3f)%(95)+0x20);document.write(eval(m3)) //]]>

Produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY of Woodstock, Illinois.