Gabriola Theatre Festival kicks off with toga party

NANAIMO - Gabriola Theatre Festival features eight main stage plays and various family activities.

The Gabriola Theatre Festival runs Thursday (Aug. 18) to Sunday (Aug. 21).

The Gabriola Theatre Festival runs Thursday (Aug. 18) to Sunday (Aug. 21).

Adults now have an excuse to strip the sheets off their bed, create a toga and party the night away.

The Gabriola Theatre Festival kicks off its annual festivities with a Toga Launch Cabaret and people are invited to dress up as the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece on Thursday (Aug. 18) at 8 p.m. at the Roxy, located at the Twin Beaches Mall on Gabriola.

“It’s exciting,” said Alina Cerminara, artistic producer of the Gabriola Theatre Festival.“There will be lots of dancing and lots of wine flowing at the kickoff.”

She said each year, the festival has a theme and the launch party reflects that. This year’s theme is ancient Greece.

The Gabriola Theatre Festival runs Aug. 18-21.

This year’s festival features eight main stage shows which includes: Cocktail Party at the End of Time, Never the Last, Marathon, Gruff, Grandpa ’n Me, Campground: A Murder Mystery in the Woods, The Handmade Tale and Pete Seeger’s the Incompleat Folk Singer.

Other activities include a fashion show, an agora street fair, pancake breakfast and  more.

There will also be a human library. The human library features 12 ‘books,’ which are people knowledgeable about certain subjects.

Visitors can check out these ‘books’ and discuss topics.

“It’s about creating a safe place to talk about labels and stereotypes,” said Cerminara.

Topics include gender identity, addiction, cancer and others.

Cocktail Party at the End of Time, which is Aug. 19 from 2:30-3:30 p.m., features actors Kayte Summers and Leah Hokanson. The play revolves around the idea of someone dying who is taken to a cocktail party with guests who have touched the person’s life.

Never The Last, which is Aug. 19 from 7-8:15 p.m., tells the story of violin prodigy and composer Sophie Carmen Friedman and her love affair with Walter Gramatté.

Marathon, which is Aug. 19 from 9:30-10:45 p.m., is the autobiographical monologues of T.J. Dawe.

Gruff is a retelling of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. It shows Saturday (Aug. 20) from 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Grandpa ’n Me, which shows Aug. 20 from 7-8:15 p.m., tells the story of a girl raised by her grandfather on the family farm.

The Handmade Tale, shows Aug. 21 from 2:30-3:30 p.m., is about a dystopian future where people struggle with gender, politics and identity. It was inspired by the works of Margaret Atwood.

Campground: A Murder Mystery in the Woods tells the tale of a young man who goes missing from a provincial campground and an overzealous detective pursuing four suspects. It shows Aug. 20 from 9:30-11:30 p.m.

The Incompleat Folksinger is the story of Pete Seeger, a folk singer and political activist. It shows Aug. 21 from 7-9:15 p.m.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for patrons under 16 years old or theatre passes $50 for three shows or $80 for five shows and are available at http://theatrefest.artsgabriola.ca/about/tickets or the festival ticket booth located in the Folklife Village parking lot everyday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information please go to http://theatrefest.artsgabriola.ca.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com