Cydney Pedersen

Nanaimo Theatre Group wins awards at north Island drama festival

NANAIMO - The Nanaimo Theatre Group garnered five awards during the B.C. North Island Zone Drama Festival held in May.

Nanaimo Theatre Group won numerous awards during the B.C. North Island Zone Drama Festival held in late May for its play Love Song.

The group won Best Production Award. Individual awards went to Sherri McLean for Best Director, James Dean won Best Actor, Cydney Pedersen won Best Supporting Actress and Matt and Dustin McLean won Best Sound/Original Music.

“It was very exciting,” said Sherri McLean, having previously won best actress and supporting actress awards at zone festivals. “I was thrilled because I think the play itself handled a difficult topic.

Love Song tells the story of a reclusive young man named Beane, played by Dean, who struggles with depression and social anxiety. His life changes when a thief called Molly, played by Pedersen, breaks into his home. Beane’s only contact is usually his career-driven sister Joan and her husband Harry.

McLean said Dean is a “kind and sensitive” actor and he did a good job handling a difficult topic.

McLean said the music was an integral component of the play. It was used during scene changes to keep audience members immersed in the experience and helped build the energy for the show.

“It actually helped to tell the main character’s story for what he was going through,” said McLean. “There was a lot of it … it definitely helps tell the story.”

To celebrate the win, the Nanaimo Theatre Group is hosting an encore presentation of Love Song June 24-26 at the Bailey Studio, located at 2373 Rosstown Rd. It shows June 24-25 at 8 p.m. and June 26 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 and are available in advance from www.nanaimotheatregroup.ca or by calling 250-758-7224.

The showings are a fundraiser for the group to help pay for the theatre company to perform in Chilliwack July 2-9 during the annual Provincial Theatre Festival. McLean said the group is grateful for the support it has received from the community.

She said the province has 10 zones and the north Island zone has a lot of talent.

“The talent from the whole north Island is just amazing, so we are proud just to be representing our zone,” she said.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com

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