Local actors to vie for top prize at theatre festival

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By Christine Rumleskie


Local performers will use the stage as a battle field, as they compete for the ultimate prize next week.

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The 2010 Peace River Zone Theatre Festival kicks off on Tuesday, May 4rd in Fort St. John.

The festival has been dazzling crowds since 1953 in the Peace. Festival committee member Sue Popesku says theatrical performances in the Energetic City date back as far as the 1930’s.

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Fort St. John’s Stage North will be entering two plays in the festival. Local 15 year-old Karleigh Smith will perform I, Claudia on Tuesday evening, and actor Tom Kirschner will perform a play called "Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll" on Wednesday, May 5th.

A play called ‘The Melancholy Minstrel’ will hit the stage on Thursday, May 6th. The Fort St. John Players of the Association for Community Living will be performing the play. The group is comprised of a variety of local actors that have developmental disabilities.

Theatre groups from Tumbler Ridge and Dawson Creek will also be competing in the festival.

Popesku says Vancouver Adjudicator Andrew McIlroy will be critiquing each play, and he will grant 12 awards for things like best actress and best director.

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The Mainstage festival will be held in Kamloops this year.

Peace Region residents are encouraged to come out and watch the performances. The plays run Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 p.m. each day. There will also be a Saturday matinee at 1:00 p.m., with an 8:00 p.m. play and awards ceremony to follow.

Tickets are $10 each per play for adults and $8 for students or seniors. Or, residents can get a pass for all six shows for $48 for adults or $36 for students or seniors. Tickets, as well as a full schedule, are available at the North Peace Cultural Centre on 100th Street.

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