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Vancouver Island University presents Departures and Arrivals at Malaspina Theatre

VIU's theatre department presents play Departures and Arrivals in Nanaimo starting Thursday (Nov. 3).
Miranda Lum

A series of vignettes allows audience members to experience brief moments in people’s lives as they pass through an airport in the play Departures and Arrivals.

There are couples saying goodbye, families being reunited and past friends bumping into each other by accident inside the terminal.

The play, written by Carol Shields, is being presented by Vancouver Island University’ theatre department.

“It’s a pretty unique show,” said Miranda Lum, stage manager. “We have some odd out of the box moment because this play gets a bit surreal at times.”

It runs audience members through a gambit of emotions – from funny moments to subtle conversations to deep emotional issues.

“It’s a bunch of tiny little scenes that are suppose to connect at the end in a metaphorical way,” said Janelle Reid, who plays two characters in the production.

She plays a daughter speaking to her father about her upcoming marriage in the airport terminal before boarding a flight. The conversation turns uncomfortable when he tells her she doesn’t have to get married.

To become the character, Reid said she drew on experiences with her own father.

“I just thought about talking to my own dad about subjects that made me uncomfortable,” said Reid.

She also plays a hippie.

“Her character is kind of funny and a little odd,” said Reid.

Departures and Arrivals shows Nov. 3-5 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 8 at 4 p.m., Nov. 9 at noon and Nov. 9-12 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $12 or $10 for students and are available at the door or by e-mailing Malaspina Theatre at