Kamloops or bust.
Between Shifts Theatre needs to raise $16,000 so the drama club’s award-winning production of The Cemetery Club can take on the best theatre shows in the province.
Last month, the Squamish company won 10 out of 11 awards at the Theatre B.C. North Shore Zone Festival of Plays, securing a spot in the Mainstage Festival in Kamloops. From June 30 to July 7, the company’s play about three widows is slated to go head-to-head with some stiff competition.
“If we win the provincials you go up almost automatically to [an] international [stage],” said actress Liz Gruber, noting that previous winners attended festivals in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Monte Carlo, Monaco.
But firsts things first. The company — which includes actors Carla Fuhre, Skai Stevenson, Kathy Daniels and Janice Hayde, with Judi Price in the director’s chair — must transport its crew and set to Kamloops to set up in the 750-seat Sagebrush Theatre. There’s also registration fees, costumes and accommodation expenses, Daniels added.
Tomorrow and Saturday (June 22 and 23), Between Shifts Theatre presents two special performances of The Cemetery Club as part of the troupe’s fundraising effort. The ’80s-themed event kicks off both nights at 7:30 p.m. There will be draw prizes, food and drinks and a Q&A following the play.
This is the first time Between Shifts Theatre has won best play in the North Shore zone, Gruber said, noting the region is full of professional actors.
“Squamish is a little backwater town to them,” she said.
The Cemetery Club focuses on the relationships between three women who have known each other forever. Gruber has been on stage with Between Shifts Theatre for 20 years, as have many of her fellow actors. Their friendship helps make the on-stage characters’ ties believable, Gruber said.
The play has brought the group closer, she added. After the company finished its Squamish run, Gruber said she felt like she went through withdrawal.
“We missed each other,” she said.
Tickets for the shows cost $20 and can be bought at the door or at Billie’s Bouquet at 38082 Cleveland Ave. For more information visit www.betweenshiftstheatre.com.