Theatre show takes audience members into a ‘fantastical realm’

Village Ax shows March 14 at Nanaimo's Port Theatre as part of its Offstage series in the lobby.

Sydney Hayduk performs in Village Ax March 14

Sydney Hayduk performs in Village Ax March 14

Charlie is a 20-year-old girl with anxiety who is having a hard time in life.

One day she has a panic attack and decides to go for a walk. During that walk, Charlie comes across a poster on a telephone pole which reads, ‘Would you like a chance to disappear?’ She takes one of the phone tabs and calls the number, a decision that leads her to a magical world with hive-shaped houses where she can heal and escape reality.

“It’s like a fantastical realm – a magical reality,” said Sydney Hayduk, who co-wrote Village Ax which tells Charlie’s story with Elsa Reesor-Taylor. “The happenings that occur are all sort of fantastical.”

The play also features a young girl named Annie who happens to have a beehive in her bedroom wall. Annie gets bullied at school, but has an innocent quality to her, said Hayduk.

The characters of Charlie and Annie are based on aspects of both Hayduk’s and Reesor-Taylor’s personalities. They have both struggled with anxiety-related issues. Hayduk said the characters came into being organically, after she conducted some research into the vulnerabilities associated with anxiety and read some self-help books.

Hayduk stars in Village Ax, which is filled with messages of empathy and love. The story is told through acting and also interpretive dance.

“The dance is one of my favourite parts. One of my favourite expressions. I love how it moulds into something and tells a story of my own movement,” said Hayduk.

Village Ax, part of the Port Theatre’s Offstage Lobby Theatre Series, shows Tuesday (March 14) at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25, $22 members, $15 for students or $86 for a four pack available by calling 250-754-8550 or visit

Hayduk said she is excited to have the chance to perform for Nanaimo audience members. The show is in the Port Theatre lobby, which Hayduk said creates a more intimate environment for the performance.

The Port Theatre’s next Offstage presentation is Kraft Singles for Everyone April 11 at 8 p.m.

The show was written and is performed by Ivan Coyote.

Coyote is an award-winning writer and performer. Kraft Singles for Everyone also features singer-songwriter Jon Wood.