After the devastating 2009 snow packed collapse of The Sunset Theatre’s roof, a new energy has emerged from inside the walls of the 1934 theatre, located in the heart of historic Wells, B.C.
The Sunset Theatre is back to its old glory thanks to tremendous local support from the residents of Wells and supporters of the theatre from across the province and country.
The structural damage and rebuilding of the roof forced a smaller season last summer, but this year the Sunset Theatre is back in full swing with a record breaking fourteen productions being presented between now and September.
This past spring, owners Karen and Dave Jeffery decided it was time to step back from the artistic programming demands of the theatre. They asked long time colleagues and friends Julia Mackey and Dirk Van Stralen (creators of the award winning play Jake’s Gift) to take over the artistic reins for a while.
Van Stralen and Mackey jumped to the challenge and have put together an eclectic array of shows that bring new energy to the community and to the Sunset Theatre stage.
“We feel very grateful to Karen and Dave for this opportunity, and the entire community has embraced us and welcomed us ‘home’ with open arms,” Dirk Van Stralen said, who along with Mackey worked in Barkerville as performers between 2004 and 2008. The Vancouver based artists are both very familiar with the community and are excited to be back in the Cariboo.
There have been five performances since the theatre opened its doors for the current season on June 21. The 2011 season opener and successful local perennial favourite, The Sunset Cabaret, features the talents of many Barkerville and Theatre Royal performers.
The second show featured the popular modern folk band The Fugitives, who played to a sold out house on June 30. Canada Day weekend saw Canadian theatre icon Antony Holland dazzling audiences to their feet with his award winning portrayal of Morrie Swartz in Tuesdays with Morrie.
“The attendance and response, so far, to the 2011 Season has far surpassed our expectations,” co-artistic manager Mackey said.
“We think it’s going to be a great summer and we hope folks will travel to Wells to be a part of the magic.”
For information and details of the Sunset Theatre’s complete 2011 Season, visit www.sunset-theatre.com and then call 1-250-994-3400 to book your advance tickets.