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Hosted by Rivercity Players


Sunday May 15 Rivercity Players presented Big Maggie by John B. Keane.

Big Maggie follows the story of Maggie Polpin and her attempts to keep her family together after the death of her philandering husband. The dialogue crackles with hilarious caustic putdowns as the indomitable Maggie deals with her feckless family and unwanted suitors. Everyone wants a part of Big Maggie and her property, but she has other plans.

Monday May 16 Portal Players presented Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, by Frank McGuiness.

An American doctor and an Irish journalist are being held captive by terrorists in Beirut. They exercise and argue, supportive in their mutual determination to survive. They are joined by an English academic. The three display their national biases and prejudices, which are intensified in the cramped confines of their cell. They learn that humour is their surest weapon against their captors and the safest armor to protect themselves. They laugh with and at each other, and learn to lament what they lost in their lives before captivity. Each comes to know himself through listening to the stories, sorrows, and joys of the others. At the end of the play, they are capable of standing together and alone.

Tuesday May 17th Nanaimo Theatre Group presented Love Song by John Kolvenbach.

Beane is an exile from life – an oddball. His career driven sister, Joan, and brother-in-law, Harry, try to make time for him but struggle to understand his world. After Beane’s apartment is burgled, Joan is baffled to find her brother blissfully happy, and she tries to unravel the story behind Beane’s mysterious new love, Molly. Warning: strong language and adult themes.

Wednesday May 18th TheatreWorks Centre for Performing Art presented Speakeasy (working title) by Kymme Patrick.

A 1925 detective mystery set in New York City where prohibition is in full swing and speakeasies are popular. Flappers are rolling their stockings down as they vie for placement in the Ziegfeld Follies. Fast pace mishaps and mistaken identifies unfold as detectives work to solve a murder.

Thursday May 19th ECHO Players presented A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen.

A young wife makes a dangerous decision to save her husband’s life. Years later, her secret comes back to haunt her, with unexpected consequences. Written nearly 150 years ago, Ibsen’s spellbinding master work translates through time, raising questions still relevant to current society. This has made it a classic drama.

Friday May 20th Courtenay Little Theatre presented The Tempest by William Shakespeare.

A desert island in an unknown sea. Population four: one exiled sorcerer, his teenage daughter and their two servants (both magical spirits, one of air and water, the other of earth and fire). Twelve years after his banishment, the sorcerer Propsero finds his Milanese enemies ship-wrecked and at this mercy. “We are such stuff as dreams are made on.”


View/Download Official Program


The North Island Zone Festival plays were adjudicated by Kathryn Shaw.

Kathryn ShawFrom her Biography as of April 2016:

Kathryn Shaw is the Artistic Director of Studio 58, a position she has held since 1985. She received her B.A. in Dramatic Art from Whitman College and an M.F.A. in Acting from New York's Columbia University School of Arts. She did further physical theatre training with Monika Pagneux and Philippe Gaulier in France.

 For over 30 years, Ms. Shaw has directed for theatre companies across Canada.  Her most recent credits include Numbers by Bronwyn Carradine for Studio 58, Richard III  and Measure for Measure  for Bard on the Beach and The Goat by Edward Albee for Presentation House Theatre.  Recently she created the role of Madame Renard in the Studio 58/Electric Company co-production of FLEE.  She can also be seen in the films Eadweard and Hop the Twig (Motion 58) and The Same Boat (David C. Jones).

In February 2016 she was honored by Canadian Actors Equity Association with Life Membership in recognition of support, guidance and creative inspiration during her remarkable artistic career.  In 2010, Kathryn was listed by the Vancouver Sun as one of BC's 100 Most Influential Women. The same year she received the Career Achievement Award from the Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance and the ACCC Bronze Medal for Excellence in Teaching. In 2005, Kathryn was elected into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. She is a recipient of the 1996 SAM PAYNE AWARD given by UBCP/ACTRA in recognition of "humanity, integrity and the encouragement of new talent." She has served as the Festival Adjudicator for Theatre BC Mainstage 1991, 2004 and 2014 as well as adjudicating regional festivals. Ms. Shaw has been nominated for four Jessie Richardson Awards for her directing work and has received two Jessie Richardson Awards for Direction and Best Production.

Certificates of Merit

Outstanding Community Play – Speakeasy - Kymme Patrick - Theatre Works
Outstanding Set Decoration and Props - Michelle Hume and crew – Big Maggie
Outstanding Special Properties – Marianne Harris - The Tempest - Courtenay Little Theatre
Outstanding Puppets/Prosthesis Design – Joe Julian- The Tempest - Courtenay Little Theatre
Outstanding Youth Performance – Aidan Martin - Caliban - The Tempest - Courtenay Little Theatre


(click image for enlarged picture)

Backstage Co-ordination - The Tempest (Courtenay Little Theatre)

Donna Lamb

Donna Lamb Award

for Outstanding Contribution to the North Island Zone

presented to Rivercity Players

Best Ensemble

Best Ensemble Acting

Someone to Watch Over Me (Portal Players)

Honourable Mentions
- Big Maggie (Rivercity Players)
- Speakeasy (Courtenay Theatre Works)


Best Sound Design

Dustin McLean and Matt McLean - Love Song (Nanaimo Theatre Group)


Best Lighting Design

Robinson Wilson- The Tempest (Courtenay Little Theatre)


Best Set Design

Jay Crowder - The Tempest (Courtenay Little Theatre)

Honourable Mentions
- Margaret Keane and Construction Crew - Big Maggie (Rivercity Players)
- Roger Lappin - Love Song (Nanaimo Theatre Group)


Best Costume Design

Molly Hilliar - The Tempest (Courtenay Little Theatre)

Honourable Mentions
- Teresa Coates, Gail Limber and Sharon Pridham - Speakeasy (Courtenay Theatre Works)
- Celia Wesselmen - A Doll's House (Echo Players)

Female Supporting

Best Female Actor In a Supporting Role

Cydney Pederson - Molly - Love Song (Nanaimo Theatre Group)

Honourable Mention
Kerry Campbell - Kristine - A Doll's House (Echo Players)

Male Supporting

Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Steve Hill - Torvald - A Doll's House (Echo Players)

Best Actress

Best Female Actor

Jennifer Kelly - Nora - A Doll's House (Echo Players)

Honourable Mention
Denise Comeau-Darnell - Maggie - Big Maggie (Rivercity Players)

Best Actor

Best Actor

James Dean - Beane - Love Song (Nanaimo Theatre Group)

Best Director

Best Director

Sherri McLean - Love Song (Nanaimo Theatre Group)

Honourable Mention
- Robinson Wilson - The Tempest (Courtenay Little Theatre)
- Sue Murguly - A Doll's House (Echo Players)

Best Production

Best Production

Love Song (Nanaimo Theatre Group)

Honourable Mentions
- The Tempest (Courtenay Little Theatre)
- A Doll's House (Echo Players)

Congratulations to everyone from all the shows. As Kathryn noted, they were all high quality productions. Everyone did an awesome job!

Rivercity Players would like to thank all our volunteers that played such a large role in the North Island Zone Festival. It was because of you that our festival was a great success. Hospitality, back stage, front of house and administrative volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure our festival was such a success.

Rivercity Players Society is proud to announce that our theatre group won the Donna Lamb Award at the Festival Awards night of May 21'st. This award has come to represent much more than one individual, it has come to represent all of the hardworking and dedicated individuals that keep community theatre alive. This award carries a lot of meaning for Rivercity Players. Congratulations to all our membership.

Thanks again to our Festival Sponsors and Donors