Wells’s Sunset Theatre has a jam-packed summer season ahead.
The recently-released lineup features award-winning touring productions, play readings, concerts, films and world premieres. The theatre will also be continuing its work with artists through the Exploration Series.
The series allows the theatre to work with artists to develop, produce and present their works.
“I’m really excited about the continued growth of our Exploration Series,” says Karen Jeffery, the executive artistic director of the theatre. “We’ve gone from seven [projects] last year to 13 this year. And it’s just really exciting to be able to offer that support to emerging artists and professional artists as well.”
The theatre is kicking off the season with its signature Sunset Cabaret on June 18, followed by a performance by the legendary monologist TJ Dawe on June 19 and 20. Dawe is performing his show Operatic Panic Attack, which connects his love of Giuseppe Verdi, an Italian opera composer, theatre school and sexual anxiety.
Rounding out opening week is Paul Tedeschini of CBC’s This is That with a reading of his new work, The Grace of Strange Weather, on June 21. This show is part of the theatre’s Exploration Series.
Thirteen shows in the Exploration Series are also in varying stages of development this season, including: Her Blood Runs Through My Braids by Kym Gouchie (Lheidli T’enneh, Prince George); Breastless by Emma Jarrett (Quesnel); Queen Bee by Lana Skauge (Calgary); THEATRE — a eulogy by Tim Vant (Mission); Suddenly You’re 50! by Nicolle Nattrass (Nanaimo); Stories from the Dip Stand by Marcel Gagnon (Lheidli T’enneh, Prince George); Winston’s Women by Gordon Roberts (Vancouver); Fraser & Me: An Inter-Being love story between a Woman and a Canadian River by Danielea Castell (Quesnel); The Douglas Project by Danette Boucher (Wells); A Song For My Mother by Shawna Berry (Wells); Gold Pan Poetry by Brendan Bailey (Wells); and a new untitled work by Amanda Preston (Wells).
The theatre’s Presentation Series, which brings in shows that have already been performed elsewhere across Canada to good reviews, includes some Fringe Festival circuit hits, such as Molly’s Comedy Cabaret by Molly Wilson, the return of Charles Ross with his new play, One Man Avengers, and an appearance of The Fred Wells Show by Danette Boucher, starring Wells’s very own James Douglas.
Legally blind visual artist, actor and singer Bruce Horak is also bringing his award-winning play Assassinating Thompson to the theatre. Assassinating Thompson is a murder-mystery ghost story laced with political intrigue. Based on the mysterious death of Canadian artist Tom Thompson, Horak tells the story while painting a portrait of the entire audience.
Coupled with his show, Horak will be joined by singer and award-winning actress Onalea Gilbertson as The Railbirds for a night of music. Gilbertson is coming to Wells after a two-year stint in the Off-Broadway sensation, Sleep No More.
AWKWARD HUG by Cory Thibert runs Aug. 9 and 10, and promises to transport the audience through the discomfort of navigating adulthood for the first time. Thibert uses the show to explore what constitutes normal in our world, and how having two parents with disabilities has forced his family outside those margins.
The theatre’s Concert and Film Series will feature pianist Patrick Courtin as he plays along to Charlie Chaplin’s silent movie, The Gold Rush.
Every Wednesday night, the theatre will also be screening The Bonepicker films, a series of mini-documentaries telling the back-stories of the men and women who made the British Columbia Cariboo Gold Rush and Barkerville. The theatre will also be showing the Best of the Moonrise Film Festival’s shorts and documentaries, as well as a few surprises.
The full schedule of shows is available online at sunset-theatre.com/2019season.
All shows start at 8 p.m. unless otherwise stated, and tickets are available at the door.