Triple threat

Players dish up three short comedies with dessert

ONSTAGE

WHAT: Kamloops Players present 3!

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 25 to Saturday, Nov. 27, 8 p.m.

WHERE: Kamloops United Church, 421 St. Paul St.

TICKETS: $15/$12, available in advance from the church, Long and McQuade and Avalon Books

What's a community theatre group to do when they have three would-be directors, none of whom wants to take on a full-scale production?

Give them three small-scale productions, of course.

That's how Kamloops Players decided to tackle their latest presentation, 3!, which opens Thursday in the gym at Kamloops United Church. The show will feature three short comedic plays directed by Louise Millar, Frank Kohlberger and Marilyn Stevens.

"We're trying to encourage new directors," said Helen Birdsall, publicist with the amateur group. "New directors also tend to bring new people into the club. We've gained about 12 people, young players."

The plays lend themselves to casting across a wide age spectrum.

Aspartame and Blue Lace was written by Kaitlyn Purych when she was still in high school in Maple Ridge. The play was accepted for workshop development at the New Play Festival in Kamloops in 2008, when it won a best new play honour.

Bea is 89 going on 29 while Agnes is 90, proper and responsible. Conflict and hilarity ensue when Agnes' grandson Josh, a computer nerd, visits.

From Five to Five-Thirty, by contrast, is an old play written 65 years ago yet still relevant today, said Millar, who directs this play.

"They are plotting to put their 70-year-old mother into a home for elderly gentlemen," she said during rehearsal.

"It's a lovely home, miles away," added Lori Dewart, one of the cast members.

"What happens is, they plot to do this and discover a few ups and down, twists, and don't get their way."

The cast includes Joyce Riches, who has been a part of Kamloops Players since their founding back in the late '60s, and Callyn Dorval, a former TRU drama student.

"Joyce told me about the Kamloops Players and forced me to come and audition," although she didn't have to twist her arm.

"It had been a long time since I took courses at TRU and I really miss it."

Dewart, who won best supporting actor at Theatre B.C. Zone Festival last year for her role in Over the River and Through the Woods, plays elder sister Edith.

"As I did in my love life, I rule with an iron fist, and don't question me," she said in character.

Health, Wealthy and Wild has a Hollywood twist.

"It takes place at a health farm, a gym with very strict rules," Birdsall said. "A famous Hollywood producer shows up to go on a health kick and someone wants him to read a play. It's really very funny."

"Be careful what you wish for," Millar said without giving away the plot.

And, along with the rest, it takes place in the gym at Kamloops United Church, Thursday through Saturday.

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