Five accomplished Valley actresses going on roadtrip

Vivien Douglas, Darilyn Keene, Val Macdonald, Sharon Pridham and Sara Zubiak are all established theatre artists in the Comox Valley

Another road trip is in the works for five accomplished Comox Valley actresses.

Vivien Douglas, Darilyn Keene, Val Macdonald, Sharon Pridham and Sara Zubiak are all established theatre artists who make significant contributions to local live theatre. And, they’ve just been invited back to perform in Victoria.

Last August, they were invited to  Shakespeare by the Sea, at Clover Point, Victoria, to give the debut public reading of When I’m 64, a new play-in-progress by Comox playwright J.S. Hill.

The reading was directed with sensitivity by local actress, Lynn Hodge. Terry Penney made his customary superb contribution, supporting the actresses with his sound design.

At least one full carload of local fans braved the Malahat Highway after reading about the play in the Comox Valley Record just to see their local stars perform in the open air tent at Shakespeare by the Sea.

Despite a cold, rainy and blustery night — and two unscheduled on-stage appearances by friendly dogs from the nearby off-leash dog park, ably led off stage by Darilyn Keene — the audience sufficiently enjoyed the reading to want their friends to have an opportunity to hear the play.

“This was quality theatre,” said Sheila Blake, who encouraged the Theatre Inconnu board of directors to organize and present a return engagement.

Arrangements quickly fell into place with Tim Gosley, co-owner of Merlin’s Sun Home Theatre, for two play-readings Feb. 1 — the earliest date the Comox actresses could fit into their busy schedules!  In the meantime, Hill will write the next draft.

Merlin’s Sun Home Theatre is Victoria’s premier intimate alternative theatre, with 50 seats in a private home owned by Gosley and his wife, Petra Kixmoller. It is located at 1983 Fairfield Rd. (Fortunately, no dogs allowed!)

When I’m 64 delves into the stories of six Comox Valley women in transition.

Reservations for 2 p.m. matinee and 8 p.m. evening performances Feb. 1 are first come, first served. E-mail Tim Gosley at  timgosley@telus.net or call 1-250-598-7488.

Stay tuned for news about a local performance in the spring of 2014.

— J.S. Hill

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