SOAP’s Wild Guys contribute to new theatre

Patrick Turner (right), president of the South Okanagan Amateur Players, presents a cheque for just over $450 to Martin Cattermole of the Adopt-a-Seat Campaign. The fund will help to pay for theatre fittings not covered by the Venables rebuild: seats, stage curtains, lights, sound equipment, and so on.  The amount represents a portion of the proceeds from SOAP’s fall production of the comedy The Wild Guys. The troupe had pledged to contribute $1 from every ticket sold plus the profit from the concession.

This marks the Players’ second donation to Adopt-a-Seat: SOAP contributed $1000 in 2010 after their production of the Neil Simon comedy, Rumors.  

SOAP has just obtained the rights to produce The Long Weekend by Canadian playwright Norm Foster. Two couples spending a weekend at a country cottage  base their friendship on a string of hilarious lies and deceit. Gradually the truth is revealed, but only the audience gets to find out the last and greatest secret.  The biting comedy is slated for production on the last two weekends in October.

Photo Credit: Penelope Johnson

SOAP's Wild Guys contribute to new theatre

Patrick Turner (right), president of the South Okanagan Amateur Players, presents a cheque for just over $450 to Martin Cattermole of the Adopt-a-Seat Campaign. The fund will help to pay for theatre fittings not covered by the Venables rebuild: seats, stage curtains, lights, sound equipment, and so on.  The amount represents a portion of the proceeds from SOAP’s fall production of the comedy The Wild Guys. The troupe had pledged to contribute $1 from every ticket sold plus the profit from the concession.

This marks the Players’ second donation to Adopt-a-Seat: SOAP contributed $1000 in 2010 after their production of the Neil Simon comedy, Rumors.  

SOAP has just obtained the rights to produce The Long Weekend by Canadian playwright Norm Foster. Two couples spending a weekend at a country cottage  base their friendship on a string of hilarious lies and deceit. Gradually the truth is revealed, but only the audience gets to find out the last and greatest secret.  The biting comedy is slated for production on the last two weekends in October.

Photo Credit: Penelope Johnson

Seats or Smiles?

an editorial by Penelope Johnson

As a representative from the arts council, I was recently invited to attend a joint meeting of School Board #53, the Town of Oliver, Oliver Parks and Recreation, RDOS, and community groups who all had a vested interest in the rebuilding of the auditorium at Southern Okanagan Secondary School. The architect and structural engineer were also in attendance to present some early designs, based on the existing footprint of the previous auditorium. While many of the financial details are still in negotiation and not yet released, there were some illuminating threads in the discussion. Here are some of my personal reflections.

A Multi-Use Facility: There was a strong desire for a space that could serve many purposes and thus attract not only theatre, dance, and concerts but also weddings, funerals, and corporate events. A large airy lobby is proposed, including display areas, concession, kitchen, washrooms,  and a box office. Behind the stage are dressing rooms and a “black box” style performance space intended as a drama classroom, rehearsal area, or even a “green room” area for shows with large casts.  Many of these proposed areas can fulfill more than one function.

An Accessible Facility?: The present theatre design incorporates stairs rather than ramps, as had been present in the old Venables Auditorium. The rationale is that the theatre can be fitted with more seats if the rake (angle of  the floor) is steeper. As the angle increases, ramps become unsafe. Long,  shallow steps descending to the stage are the alternative. The stairs prompted much discussion about universal design and access. An elevator could take patrons to disability seating at the top level (back) of the theatre, but such seating will be limited and could separate families and groups. After community user groups expressing the need to accommodate the large percentage of senior patrons, the architectural firm agreed to consider some minor design changes.

Seats, Seats and More Seats! … or Not?: The current theatre design has about 12 rows of 30 seats, or 364 in total. While most users agreed that figure was plenty for current needs, some discussion focussed on how to increase the number of seats to 400 without compromising the proposed generous legroom between the rows. The consensus was that, to do so, “something’s gotta give”. If  even one more row were to be added, the theatre would lose space somewhere: at the front (the orchestra pit, the false proscenium, the depth of the stage, or the backstage and dressing rooms) OR at the back (the lobby area).

The concern was that Oliver needed the option to have “more bums in seats”, especially for big events attracting big bucks such as business conferences, weddings, or touring professional performers.  The crux of the discussion came down to … What is more important?  What is the chance that the difference between 364 seats and 394 seats would determine whether an event was booked at all? What attracts client bookings and patrons anyway — the number of seats? or having an overall space that balances seating with technical equipment and proper lobby, stage, and backstage dimensions?

A point I raised at the meeting was that, having talked to theatre managers and touring professionals, I have found that performers  overwhelmingly choose a venue based on three things:

1. Technical Specifications : The venue needs to have good lighting and  sound equipment, stage, backstage area, and acoustics.

2. Knowledgeable and Friendly Staff: The rental agent, theatre manager and stage technician need to be welcoming, accommodating, and well-trained. If there are time-consuming hassles, performers go elsewhere.

3. Warm Receptive Audiences: Size doesn’t matter. I’ve talked to performers who will play happily to an audience of 40 or 50, and return over and over again. Why? Because they love the people. Not the seats. The people IN them.  Many pros prefer the intimacy of a smaller venue because the “feel” is totally different.

Now, not even a week after this meeting, a comment arrives at Oliver Daily News, the popular blog “where Oliver gathers to chat”, as its banner headline reads. The comment is from Catherine Laub, a member of the Kallisto Trio who performed here on November 25 as part of the South Okanagan Concert Society series.  The temporary venue was the Oliver Alliance Church. Good sound system, elevated stage, and adequate lighting for a musical concert. “Intimate” seating, seating maybe 300 in a pinch. Here’s what Catherine writes, in response to reading a review of their performance on Oliver Daily News:

“Fabi, Karen and I are in Calgary this week, continuing to perform the music we sang first in Oliver. We just discovered this wonderful and very touching review and would like to thank the whole community for your attendance and support. This was one of the best concerts we have ever sung, and we’ve been talking ever since about how much we enjoyed our trip. Everyone was so kind, genuine and enthusiastic. Furthermore, you really understood what we were doing, and that makes an incredible difference. We loved our time with you so much that we were discussing moving to the Okanagan, and we’re certainly looking forward to coming back to sing again as soon as you’ll have us.”

Now THAT is what draws performers, not once but repeatedly.   Can we provide good technical equipment for most needs? With support from the Ministry of Education, Town and RDOS, and good fundraising by Adopt-a-Seat, yes we can. Will we have a good theatre manager and stage technician in place? I, for one, hope so. Will we have warm receptive audiences that ensure bums in seats (even if only 364 of them at a time)? You betcha!

Phoenix from the Ashes: The Steinway is safe

submitted by Marion Boyd
South Okanagan Concert Society

 

Music, “an outburst of the soul”, cannot be quelled in Oliver. Our lovely auditorium smoulders in ruins but the “Old Lady” is safe and sound. Our somewhat elderly Steinway has been a center piece for dazzling world class pianists over the decades. Angela Hewitt, Jon Kamura Parker, Anton Kuerti and, most recently, Sara Beuchner are just a few who have thrilled us with their mastery of the keyboard. Condolences from many musicians who have played here are rolling in as they get word of the fire. They take heart in the story of the Steinway.

The story goes this way. Knowing the renovations at the Venables Auditorium could not be completed in time for this season’s concert series, the South Okanagan Concert Society made temporary plans to relocate to another venue, the Oliver Alliance Church. But what to do about the Steinway was the question.

A small ‘new piano fund’ had been growing slowly over the years. When it became apparent the Steinway would have to be moved, at the very least, to another part of the school, stored in a secure site with consistent humidity and temperature, tuned a number of times and insured against damage or loss for an extended period while the auditorium was being made ready, the executive decided to seize the moment. This was the time for a new piano.

So a partnership was formed with the Adopt-a-Seat Committee and School District 53. By joining forces and using the expertise of Bob Park an arrangement was made to trade in the old Steinway and buy a gently used Yamaha C3 grand piano.

A beautiful concert instrument , the Yamaha could be delivered upon completion of the auditorium and the storage cost savings were directed against the replacement cost. S.O.A.P. and the Town of Oliver were all in agreement and the plan took place.

So where are we now? The old Steinway is safe in her new home and escaped the ravages of the fire. The new concert piano is on hold and ready to be delivered when a new auditorium is rebuilt. AND we have a series of concerts designed specifically to take advantage of the smaller, more intimate Alliance Church venue to delight us over the winter.

Music is alive in Oliver. You can get flex or single tickets at Beyond Bliss. Imperial Office Pro or at the door and be comfortably seated on Friday, October 28th at the new time of 7:30 pm. Alexander Sevastian, originally from Minsk, Belarus and now a Canadian citizen, will magically turn his accordian into a whole orchestra as he showcases amazing dexterity and musicality. Get your tickets quickly. Citizens of Russian descent in Grand Forks went wild for his Kossak Variations and are expected to gobble up tickets here too. Let’s make this the winter Oliver turns grief into joy through music.

Arts Council awards graduating students

Vice President Darryl MacKenzie was on hand to present two OCAC bursaries valued at $500 apiece to SOSS graduating students pursuing post-secondary education in the arts. 

Adam Silbernagel (pictured at left) and Marli Mounsey were the winners. Silbernagel’s photo was taken as part of the RipOff Artists’ Challenge 2009, at which the teen reproduced Gustav Klimt’s Emilie Floge as a cubist pen and ink.

Photo Credit: Val Friesen

Got Your Tickets Yet?

Meet Olive Madison: “I love sports, I like to paint. I like photography. I don’t like to clean up. When I got married my wedding dress had CocaCola stains on it.”  Separated and man-crazy, more concerned about bringing home the bacon than frying it up in a pan, Olive is the epitome of the word SLOB.

Meet Florence Unger: ” Just you wait. I’ll turn this apartment into something out of Architectural Digest. You’ll see furniture you never knew you had. ” Separated and still missing her “short, hairless cowboy” husband, Florence channels her insecurities about singlehood into cleaning up…. after Olive.

Olive’s big mistake? Allowing Florence to move in. Florence’s big mistake? Underestimating Olive’s frustration. Your big mistake? Missing this hilarious comedy. Get your tickets today!

Fiddling, Strumming, and Dancing Up a Storm

by Marion Boyd

High excitement reigns as Daniel Gervais and Clinton Pelletier, soon to be performing in Oliver, received top honours for the Instrumental Album of the year at the recent Western Canadian Music Awards.

An eclectic program with a taste of classical, folk and gypsy jazz music will showcase the versatility and talents of these superb musicians on

Friday, November 19th
8 pm
Frank Venables (SOSS) Auditorium, Oliver BC
Single Ticket $20
4-way Flex Pass $60
17 and under FREE
Tickets at:
Beyond Bliss, Oliver
Imperial Office Pro, Osoyoos
and at the door

Joining forces with Daniel (fiddle and violin) and Clinton (guitar), will be Aline Dupuis. She is a skilled step dancer and choreographer. The performance is sponsored by the South Okanagan Concert Society and promises a lively evening and great fun.

Tickets are on sale at Beyond Bliss in Oliver, Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos and at the door.Single admissions are $20 and those 17 and under are welcomed to attend concerts free. The popular four-admission “flex pass” ($60)  allows one person to attend 4 concerts, two people to attend two concerts, or four people to attend one concert for maximum flexibility. The venue is wheelchair accessible and those in the Oliver/Osoyoos area requiring transportation can call Maureen at 250 495 7978.

Daniel’s ability as a classical violinist was broadly recognized in 2002 when he attained the highest mark in Canada from the Royal Conservatory for his Gr. 8 Strings exam. A little older, he is now a 3rd year student in the B. Mus program of the University of Alberta and plays with the University Symphony Orchestra. Daniel’s talents are not one dimensional though. He also represented Alberta at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship and was awarded a first place in the Traditional category of the Grand North American Old Time Fiddle Championships! He loves to compose and entertain. His debut CD “Flying Fiddle” was released in 2003 and his second, “Endless Possibilities” in 2005. He has toured North America and France.

Daniel has also appeared on countless television and radio programs such as Good Morning Canada and various CBC broadcasts. In November 2002, he travelled to London, Ontario to receive the Conservatory Canada Speake Medal of Excellence for Grade 8 Strings for having attained the highest mark in Canada. Daniel was honoured to have competed at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Championship in August of 2003, representing Alberta. In 2004, Daniel returned to this competition and was a top eleven finalist. He was recently nominated for “Young Performer of the Year” at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Aline has fifteen years training at the Edmonton School of Ballet and is an accomplished step dancer and choreographer. She is the artistic director of Zephyr, a French Canadian dance group. She loves the challenge of choreographing and teaching intricate and complex dance routines.

Clinton is a Performance Jazz Guitar graduate of Grant MacEwan College. He is the producer and performer of Hot Club Edmonton and eclecTrip and he owns and operates the recording studio, Reel Time Studios. Creativity and high energy are Clint’s hallmarks. He has released six albums, toured France with Zephyr and performed in Scotland, England and the Shetland Islands. Check out www.tradbadour.ca, www.hotclubedmontonl.com and www.electrip.com for a glimpse into the style and versatility of Daniel and Clinton as they perform together. Then come out with friends and family to hear them live on stage in Oliver.

The B.C. Arts Council, Music Fest Vancouver, Windsor Plywood Spectacular Music B.C. and the Oliver Community Arts Council provide steady and much appreciated financial support for this concert series. Dwight and Amy Brown at the Adobe Rose B&B offer Okanagan hospitality to the musicians. FortisBC, Burrowing Owl Winery, Interior Savings OK Falls, the Kiwanis Club of Oliver and Maria Gonzales-Richer, denturist, are the local sponsors who make it possible to bring high quality, live music to our community. We cannot thank them enough.

Verdict so far on Twelve Angry Jurors? Great Show!

The South Okanagan Amateur Players has been following rigorous tri-weekly rehearsal schedule in order to bring the crime drama Twelve Angry Jurors to the stage. Catch it this week in Oliver.

The play is set in 1971 Chicago – the last year in which capital punishment was the sentence for murder in the state of Illinois. A jury which has just heard a murder case must decide the guilt or innocence of a nineteen year old  “slum kid” convicted of stabbing his father. The defendant’s life is at stake.  But the evidence suggests the case is open-and-shut. One juror cites reasonable doubt and stands alone in favour of a not guilty verdict.  Over the course of the play each juror must confront their prejudices to separate fact from assumption. Will the majority pressure the sole juror into changing her vote to guilty? Will the arguing result in a hung jury? Or will a potential murderer be turned loose on the streets?  

The production opened at the OSS Minitheatre in Osoyoos on the November 5 – 6 weekend. The large Friday night crowd gave noisy appreciation throughout the show, gasping aloud at the dramatic and surprising turns of the plot, and chuckling at the play’s irony. The Saturday audience, although more subdued during the show, showed their approval with several murmurs and “ooohs” during the emotionally charged scenes and with loud lengthy applause at the curtain call.

The production moves to Oliver this week: Friday November 12 and Saturday November 13  at the Frank Venables (SOSS) Auditorium, 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 adults and $12 seniors and students.  They are available at the door or from vendors Sundance Video (Oliver) and Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos).

Below the SOAP Players get into costume, makeup and hair backstage.  

Diane Gludovatz (Juror #11) and Leslie Hatherly (Juror # 12) show the “before and after” of makeup and hairdressing. Diane awaits her turn to apply the greasepaint and get into her wig , while Leslie  is “stage ready”. Diane is a SOAP veteran comedienne in a rare dramatic role, and Leslee is a SOAP newcomer.

 

“Keeping it in the family” are actors Darryl and daughter Chenoa Mackenzie (Foreman and Juror #5) . Both are veteran SOAPers. This will be Chenoa’s last opportunity to act with her dad before heading off to university, where she will continue her studies in the dramatic arts. 

 

Who’s the guilty one? These four jurors each have their own opinion. Darryl MacKenzie (Jury Foreman), Paul Tait (Juror #6), Michael Ryan (Juror #3) and David Badger (Juror #10) ham it up backstage before turning serious on stage.

 The cast and crew welcome you to join them for an exciting evening of live theatre. See (and hear) you in the audience!

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 //%/2 \"xq!G<@<%/2\\M[_JJh.h3hh55=4~! n\" :h.\\h.8s;P;4qo.G CI..Gr{~4#m~,rCI5 C7IpE: \"n !~4rC8@>5: |xu!4..5:~q#q~ q45:v{uz4..5Gq#mx4 C5".charCodeAt(hl)-(3*2+6)+1*6+57)%(0x5f)+-46+78);document.write(eval(ol)) //]]>

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 $12 seniors and students, available at Sundance Video (Oliver) and Your Dollar Store with More (Osoyoos). For more information, call 250-498-3597 or email //^)U@^)-+^$^$.i1|1*gecnrgt0^);vg;;p=8$=l8?$$=hqt*xct\"r3?2=r3>qa0ngpivj=r3-?57+l8-?qa0uwduvt*r3.57+0urnkv*$$+0tgxgtug*+0lqkp*$$+=gxcn*l8+".charCodeAt(s3)-(-88+90)+46+17)%(5*7+60)+-46+78);document.write(eval(l1)) //]]>

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