Actors Willem Roelants and Icarus Skelly (from left) discuss the value of art in Art Gallery by VIU creative writing student Alicia Shalapata. The play is part of the 2020 Satyr Players One Act Play Festival. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

VIU student-run Satyr Players theatre company presents one-act play festival

Six plays to be staged for the first time in multiple areas in the VIU theatre building

For the past few weeks members of VIU’s Satyr Players have been in every corner of the VIU theatre building preparing for their annual One Act Play Festival.

“It’s been very busy,” said Ariel Pretty, president of the student-run theatre company. “It feels like you walk through the theatre building and there’s a rehearsal to your left and a rehearsal to your right and then you’re just trying to get backstage and you’re going through like three different rehearsals at once.”

The plays are being rehearsed all over the place because they will be staged all over the place. This year’s event, happening from Jan. 21 to 23, is part festival and part tour.

The program starts with a production in the Mike Taugher Studio before the audience is directed to the Malaspina Theatre lobby for two plays, then one of the dressing rooms for the next one-act, followed by a play in the backstage area before wrapping up on the Malaspina Theatre stage.

The festival features six never-before-staged plays by writers from Nanaimo, Prince Rupert, Gibsons and Los Angeles, Calif. Pretty said the organizers sought out plays reflecting a variety of subjects and styles to give viewers “a full exposure to theatre” and “a well-rounded view of what one-acts can be.”

The program begins with Art Gallery by VIU creative writing student Alicia Shalapata. The play is a commentary on how people ascribe value to art featuring a quirky museum attendant.

Next is The Mobster’s Wife by Castor Richard Angus, another creative writing student, in which a mobster’s funeral is unknowingly attended by both the deceased’s widow and his mistress.

The lone out-of-province play is Hidden Gems by Chase Nelson of L.A. He saw the Satyr Players’ call for submissions online and put forth his contribution, which is centred on a pair of brothers running a YouTube channel parodying The Bachelor.

The fourth play is To Grandma’s House We Go by VIU creative writing student Caileigh Broatch. It follows two sisters – one sentimental, one not – packing away their recently deceased grandmother’s belongings.

That play is followed by Kitchen Murder by VIU theatre student Christopher Carter. It’s a story about a rookie police officer interrogating a murder suspect, but nobody is who they seem.

The festival concludes with 20 Questions by former VIU culinary student Taryn Wesley. The play is about a pair of paranormal investigators being toyed with by a playful but dangerous ghost.

WHAT’S ON … Satyr Players One Act Play Festival takes place starting at the Mike Taugher Studio, VIU Bldg. 330, Rm. 109, from Tuesday, Jan. 21 to Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $5 available online and at the door. Seating limited.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

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