This year’s Vancouver Island One-Act Play Festival is flush with performances.
The 13th-annual event will feature 10 plays, including one each by Kwalikum Secondary and Nanaimo District Secondary schools, two by the ECHO Players and three originals.
The festival takes place from Wednesday, Nov. 1 to Sunday, Nov. 5 at the Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach. The increased number of participating groups over past years took organizers by surprise, said Margaret Jenkins, who’s been directing the festival since 2006.
“They just kept coming, much to my surprise, because last year we only had Friday, Saturday and Sunday with five plays,” said Jenkins.
“It’s been a busy couple of weeks for me,” she said, though she added that it’s been welcome work.
The festival suffered a loss, as did Jenkins personally, with the recently death of her husband, Geoff Jenkins. He was a festival co-ordinator, doing the advertisement and sponsorship work.
Working on the festival has been a boon, said Margaret. “It’s kept me busy and out of mischief.”
The festival invites theatre groups from Victoria to Campbell River to participate, and this year includes groups from Courtenay, Port Alberni and Nanaimo.
The event, with its 60-minute time limit for plays, is a good opportunity for new directors to try their hand at the craft, and a chance to show some original writing, said Jenkins.
“I feel it’s a good opportunity for the schools to get involved and people in general,” she added.
This year, Nanaimo District Secondary School will be performing Emotional Baggage, while Kwalikum Secondary School Theatre will perform Oz.
Each night of the festival includes two performances, with tickets running from $12 for adults or $10 for seniors/students for one night, to $50 for a five-night adult pass.
For more info or to buy tickets, go to www.echoplayers.ca/oneact.php or call 250-752-3522.
This year’s jurors are Genie Award-winning actress Nicola Cavendish (a Qualicum Beach resident who often performs in Vancouver) and Robb Mowbray, past winner of the Best Director Award at the North Island Zone Theatre Festival. Both have juried the one-act festival before.
They will be awarding best director, best original script, best male and best female lead, best ensemble and more.
“It’s well worthwhile,” Jenkins said of the event as a whole. “I kind of class it as my baby. I just nourish it all the time and hope it continues for many more years.”
For more info, go to www.echoplayers.ca/oneact.php.