By Alana Gowdy
Special to The Record
“I’m slow,” Robert tells Holly. “I’m slow in my brain. I have trouble with numbers. Well, big numbers. You know, over 10.”
It is this blend of comedy and poignancy that makes Courtenay Little Theatre’s upcoming production so appealing. Kiss the Moon, Kiss the Sun, written by Norm Foster and directed by Kirstin Humpherys, tells the story of Holly and Robert who meet while waiting for the bus. Robert needs constant organization by his mother while Holly needs a job to support her during her pregnancy.
These key roles are played by two newcomers to the CLT stage, Connor Berkmann and Alyssa Bell. Connor has experience with high school and community theatre on Salt Spring Island, but Robert is the most important character he has played to date.
“Robert has so many layers to him”, Connor notes. “He is not someone to be pitied, but someone you would like to know and spend time with.”
Alyssa was part of the award-winning improv team at G. P. Vanier school and later graduated from the theatre arts program at the University of Victoria. She has performed locally with Rainbow Youth Theatre and Light Fantastic Productions. Coming from a blended background of Scots and Alaskan Klingit First Nation, Alyssa laughingly describes herself as “racially ambiguous”.
As Holly in Kiss the Moon, Kiss the Sun, Alyssa appreciates the focused, intense relationship with all members of the cast. She admires the way Holly develops her friendship with Robert, whose character Alyssa considers is portrayed, “Spot on!”
The main support for Robert is his mother Claire, played by Ronda Sproule. More familiar to CLT audiences for her work as a director, most recently A Nice Family Gathering and Bordertown Cafe, Ronda is pleased to be on stage again. She holds a degree in Drama and English from the University of Saskatchewan. Ronda comments that Claire considers Robert the centre of her life, yet hides her increasing concern about his future. She smiles at Claire’s other main relationship, the one with God, which she describes as “Very humorous!”
The father of Holly’s baby, Simon Garvey, a university professor on the way up, is played by Jim McQuillan. A familiar face to CLT audiences, Jim took time out from his work with the Comox Valley Business Gazette to play the laughing mailman in On Golden Pond and the farmer’s son in Home Child. Simon’s relationship with Holly is not straight forward and he always has plans that may or may not work out.
Jon Faris rounds out the cast with the role of Dr. Andrews. A DNA researcher by profession, this is Jon’s first role in community theatre. He is delighted to find himself in an “unbelievably active and enthusiastic community” performing in this touching and entertaining play.
Kiss the Moon, Kiss the Sun will be produced in the Sid Williams Theatre on October 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 at 7.30 p.m., with a matinee on Sunday Oct. 4 at 2 p.m.
Tickets, $22 and $20 for the matinee, can be purchased at Sid Williams Theatre box office 250-338-2430 or online at www.sidwilliamstheatre.com/
CLT now has available the season’s pass – all three plays for only $45, and the CLT Flexpass where six tickets are purchased for $110 and can be used in any combination for any production.