Kamloops Players returning to the stage in October

Six shows of The Big Guns: Or Whose Little Lily is She? will be performed at the Stage House Theatre over two weekends in October, with pandemic-related protocols in place.

The Kamloops Players are set to stage the first live theatre performance in the city in months.

Six shows of The Big Guns: Or Whose Little Lily is She? will be performed at the Stage House Theatre over two weekends in October.

The community theatre group started work on the play in August and is now rehearsing with a full cast of 15.

The Big Guns is set in a 1940s radio station and its cast will perform a radio play within the play, set much earlier in the Old West, telling the twisting tale of two cattle barons and a beautiful young woman.

Producer Val Laughlin said The Big Guns is not a typical play, with actors mostly standing at microphones and playing multiple roles.

WIth Big Guns being the first live audience staged production in the city in months due to the pandemic, extra precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of cast, crew and audience.

Those measures include masks being required for both cast and audience alike, a set seating plan and an audience capacity of 30 people, which will allow the Stage House Theatre to keep its occupancy below 50 people for the event.

But COVID-19 factored into the choice of the Players’ performance, as well. Big Guns was chosen due to its radio play format.

“Because we’re not acting face-to-face, it’s not too bad. We’re able to share the mics and step away when we need to. It seems to be working OK,” Laughlin said.

The play, which will be performed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays on the weekends of Oct. 16 and Oct. 23, is somewhat of a trial run for the Players, who hope to stage another pandemic-era production if The Big Guns brings success.

“We’re hoping to get some people in. But we’re also concerned some people will just be too scared to come to a show. But we’re hoping,” she said.

A larger theatre company, Western Canada Theatre, has tentative plans for a return to the stage this fall, but may be hindered by its typically larger crews, casts and audiences.

But the Kamloops Players, which perform at the smaller Stage House Theatre at 422 Tranquille Rd. in North Kamloops, may have an advantage with smaller audiences and limited production teams.

“We’re small enough that we might be able to pull it off,” Laughlin said.

A live radio broadcast of the play is also planned, with a date to be determined, with campus/community radio station CFBX as its broadcaster.

Tickets for The Big Guns: Or Whose Little Lily is She? are $20, available by reservation only by calling 250-305-6438.

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