When Kymme Patrick, owner and director of Theatreworks, began writing the scripts for her summer drama camps, one local news story kept coming to mind — the controversy surrounding the Maple Pool campground residents.
“I was really affected by the predicament of these people,” said Patrick.
“You’re homeless. You’ve had a place that you have been welcomed to, and you are happy trying to make a home camping out there for years, and then suddenly, boom, there is a flood, and then, even more suddenly, boom, the powers that be want you out.”
Patrick realized that the topic of homelessness was an important issue for children to explore. She was successful in facilitating a Youth against Homelessness teen program a few years ago and the issues are still the same.
“So, I wrote Fairy Island, about a place where fairies and elves have lived in peace for years, only to see the elves displaced by a flood. The play is not an exact allegory for what is happening here, but it is about how all kinds of people deserve to be treated kindly, and provided a place where they are welcome to live, regardless of their differences or social standing.”
Fairy tales have an ancient tradition, across cultures, of teaching children important morals about how to live a good life. From Aesop to Grimm, children have taken away important lessons about being a better, kinder, wiser person.
In Patrick’s play, a couple of Bogie-beast characters explain: “I don’t know what all the fuss is about. Seems simple to me. Elves need homes. We have land!”
Miranda Hatch, one of the summer student actors, believes, “The play is about accepting people no matter who they are. Kymme talked to us about Maple Pool and I got it right away.
“Our play has pirates, fairies, elves and all sorts of other creatures but they are all mostly good at heart. They just do not always understand one another.”
Like all great fairy tales, Fairy Island, is also a lot of fun and features adventure, intrigue and humour. And, in the end, all the magical creatures live in harmony.
Budding actors from age five to 13 make up the ensemble cast of the one-hour play. The play is a family-friendly show that combines entertainment and education.
Fairy Island runs July 25 and 26 at 7 p.m. and July 27 at 1:30 p.m. at the former Comox Elementary (now Gateway Academy) off Rodello Road in Comox).
Tickets are available at the door and at Laughing Oyster Bookshop. Partial proceeds will go to Maple Pool and Dawn to Dawn.