Members and directors of the South Okanagan Amateur Players (SOAP) are anxiously awaiting information on what will be done to replace the Frank Venables Auditorium following the devastating fire at South Okanagan Secondary School earlier this month. SOAP has regularly used the Venables for productions such as their successful sell-out The Sound of Music (2008) , Neil Simon’s comedy Rumors (pictured at left) in 2010, and last season’s Twelve Angry Jurors and The Odd Couple. All told, Oliver has seen community theatrical productions in the Venables for more than 50 years. What follows is a press release from SOAP in response to the Venables Auditorium fire:
Patrons and the many area residents involved in SOAP productions realize the importance the venue has been to the performing arts in the South Okanagan and as an educational facility for drama students.
“We realize many factors will come into play regarding the future of a performing arts venue in Oliver,” says SOAP President Patrick Turner (pictured above onstage in Rumors) . “We urge all parties involved to work together in the hopes a satisfactory arrangement can be made that will replace the Venables theatre, both as a community-use facility and for drama classes.”
Earlier this year, with the knowledge that the auditorium would be undergoing major renovations, it was decided to seek out other venues in Oliver. The board is pleased to announce it is proceeding with the fall production of The Wild Guys, a Canadian play by Calgarians Andrew Wreggitt and Rebecca Shaw, which will be staged at the Osoyoos Mini-Theatre on Nov. 25 and 26 and at the Oliver Seniors Centre Dec. 2 and 3 with a special matinee performance proposed for Sunday, Dec. 4. Partial proceeds from the production will be earmarked towards a new auditorium in Oliver.
For further information contact Patrick Turner, President