Drama group presents award-winning show

NANAIMO - The Yellow Point Drama Group presents an encore presentation of Looking Saturday (July 6) at the Cedar Community Hall.

By Lindsay Chung

Yellow Point Drama Group is getting ready to present its award-winning production Looking at the Mainstage Festival, but before that, local audiences will have two chances to see the show and help the group raise money.

At the recent South Island Zone Festival in Ladysmith, Yellow Point Drama Group won a number of awards, including best production and best backstage work, for its production of the Norm Foster comedy. Barbara Metcalf and Brian March also won best actor awards at the festival. As the best production from the South Island Zone Festival, the production of Looking advances to Theatre B.C.’s Mainstage Festival Friday (July 5) to July 13 in Kamloops.

To raise money for the trip to Kamloops – where the group will present Looking Thursday, July 11 – the organization is bringing Looking back for two nights – Friday, (July 5) at Ladysmith Little Theatre (4985 Christie Rd.) and Saturday (July 6) at Cedar Community Hall (2388 Cedar Rd.). Doors open at 7 p.m. for both shows, and the play starts at 8 p.m. All seats are $15, and tickets can be reserved by calling 250-722-3067. All proceeds from ticket sales will help the drama group get to Kamloops.

In Looking, a personal ad in the newspaper brings two middle-aged couples together on a blind date, setting off clever plot twists and an unexpected hookup. Directed by Armando Dosantos, Looking stars Gordon McInnis, March, Metcalf, and Moira Steele.

March said being honoured at the South Island Zone Festival was great, and the experience was a valuable learning tool.

“You really never know when you go to a festival how you are going to stack up against other plays,” said March. “It’s more of a learning experience anyways. You have to go in with the idea that this is a way of educating yourself about theatre and learning through adjudication and through the other performers in the festival.”

Participating in a festival also gives the actors a chance to learn how to prepare in a short period of time and simplify their set because they are going into a different venue and have a set amount of time to set up, he said.

Looking has gone through a number of changes since the Yellow Point Drama Group produced it at the Cedar Community Hall in February and March, particularly when it comes to staging.

March said when the drama group first produced the play the idea was to make it an intimate experience for the audience. Some scenes, such as the pub scene, were acted on the floor with the audience becoming part of the pub.

“Going to Kamloops, it will be much different … it’s a traditional theatre with set seating. We can’t pull it onto the floor with people, and with the stage being at least two times the size of what we work with, changes have to be made.”

March, McInnis, Metcalf and Steele spent last week working on those changes when in workshops with Barbara French, who was the adjudicator at the South Island Zone Festival.

“With these two fundraisers, we will be staging it closer to how we’ll stage it in Kamloops,” said March. “For people who may have seen it before, it will be a different look this time around. It will evolve. It’s becoming a more complete play.”

March has been to Mainstage Festival before, but this will be his first time at the festival away from the Island. For more information, visit www.yellowpointdramagroup.org.