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Night Owl Theatre: What to expect

Charlotte Hardy, Thespian & Staff Writer

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There is a lot to come this year, from the Kelowna Secondary School Night Owl theatre. The theatre is bursting with life and colour, preparing for the upcoming shows. They have something for everyone this year. If you’re a comedy, romance or Shakespeare person, then the first show is geared towards you. You’re in for a treat as the Senior theatre company is working hard to get, ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ on the stage for you. Both shows are written by William Shakespeare and are comedies.

I had a sit down with the director of the Company, Doryan Elliott, and had her summarize the year for us. She explains the shows she is planning and how they are going to be put into gear. “The first one is ‘Twelfth Night’, about 50 minutes long, and it is a gender bending situation where two twins get separated at sea. Viola knowing that as a woman alone, she wouldn’t be able to survive, becomes her brother, because she thinks her brother is dead. The second act will be a shortened version about 45 minutes of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. The classic Beatrice and Benedick who are constantly nipping at each other with witty retorts but end up falling in love in the end.” Elliott also gives us an exciting little insight on how she is going to tie the two shows together, “I want to package them together in a Shakespeare ‘That’s Amore’ and the whole play would be 1950-1960’s Italian American.”

‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘Much ado about nothing’ are the Companies fall production, they do two productions a year. Their second show in the spring is going to be ‘Count of Monte Cristo’.

“‘Count of Monte Cristo’ is a revenge story from 1855, Alexandre Dumas is the writer,” Elliott tells us, “it has a lot of stage combat, and a lot of fencing and choreography, in that way.”  

Both of the shows are totally different from last years shows.

Doryan Elliott wears many hats within the theatre at Kelowna Secondary School, director for the company, teacher for her classes and an all around role model for anyone who sets foot into her theatre. Actress Paige Berrigan tells us, “I really like the community I found here, I’m not someone you’d typically think would be in theatre, just because I feel like im really academic based, but with theatre, it’s a whole different experience, It’s a different mental challenge and it’s always a positive environment, and the community of people around it is so good and it’s a place to express yourself, a place to yell onstage … It’s also great for public speaking and getting myself out there.” Paige is a grade twelve student in Night Owl Theatre Company. She sadly will not be in the first production of the year, but you will definitely catch her on stage in ‘Count of Monte Cristo’. “Hopefully, because this is my last show, and it’s probably one of the last ones I’ll ever do, I just want to try something different, I’m used to doing a lot of slapstick stuff and I want to portray something more serious. When I had one more like that for our last production (Failure: A Love Story) I enjoyed the challenge”.

The week before opening night is always stressful for the actors and everyone who is apart of the show. It is a well-known fact around the theatre not to get on anyones nerves that week, as the stress levels are very high. Every person in the theatre has their own way of coping with this stressful time, “When I do show week, I honestly just go over my lines a lot, the only way I can cope is if I know I’m really as prepared as I can be for the actual show. Otherwise I just get way to stressed out,” tells Charity Ingram. Charity has been involved with the Senior Theatre Company for the past three shows, and has this piece of advice for new actors, “just be prepared, because if you’re not prepared then you’ll be really stressed out.” As simple as that seems, being prepared is quite a challenge. The actors in the company are all full time students, with homework and tests during the week of shows. Having a balance is key for their success.

There are many different types of people and jobs within a production. A show would not be able to happen without the crew and everyone behind the scenes. Marina Smid is the stage manager for the year, with Marina the show would go on. Stage managers are the people who run the whole show, they are the big bosses. “Being someone who is actually there for everyone,” is an important thing for Marina. The show and everyone in it, are very important to her, and she just wants everything to run smoothly.

For a show to run as smoothly as possible, cast and crew have to work together and respect each other, “I think you need to remember that everyone in is this together and that your just all working towards the same goal and to just stay calm and everything will just work itself out hopefully,” says Tatjana Teixeria (Crew member). “We have retreats planned, that don’t affect the broader audiences but help the company,” Elliott explains. These retreats are a way for the cast and crew to get to know each other, and grow into a closer knit community. Having a relationship between the two classes (actors and crew) will help the shows run more smoothly and the energy will be much better.

Night Owl Theatre Company is not the only life in the KSS theatre, there are many classes and projects on the go. The fringe festivals are the main event for these classes. The acting 11/12 classes final projects are student directed and acted, one act plays. Although fringe is the final projects for those classes, “anyone can do a fringe… The idea has to be run by me… they have to basically pitch it and showcase some of the work they are doing, I have to be able to be a little bit involved,” Elliott discloses. Fringe shows can also be written by students, anyone is allowed to write a show and get a group together as long as it is approved.

There are tickets to go see a fringe show, but they are free. The theatre only holds so many people and the tickets are just to insure everyone can fit. Tickets are given out by the people involved in the shows, so contact them if you would like to go support them.

The Night Owl theatre company’s first production is coming up in a few short months, December 5th,6th,7th and 8th you are more than welcome to come and support the actors and crew of the company. Doors open each night at 6:30, costs are $8 for students and $12 for adults.

Hope to see you in the audience supporting all the people involved.   

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Night Owl Theatre: What to expect