Zone festival kicking off May 15

When the curtain lifts on the final performance of A Visit From the President, it also marks the beginning of the South Island Zone Festival.

Wendy Wearne, chair of the Theatre BC South Island Zone Festival, said the pieces are falling into place.

As chair, Wearne was responsible for arranging of an adjudicator to provide feedback for performers.

The most important part of the festival, said Wearne, is the coffee critiques held the day after the play.

It is during this time the adjudicator, Stephen Drover, will provide thoughts on the performances.

“They fall into a two-hour workshop pattern,” said Wearne.

“I try and focus on getting someone who can educate and focus and be in touch with those in community theatre.”

The critiques are also open to the public.

The winner of the South Island Festival will go on to compete at the provincial level in Kamloops this July.

Wearne said he is aware of the plays and has read them, but holds off seeing any until the festival.

“I like to keep it fresh and see the performances as they are performed for the adjudicator,” said Wearne.

“I think there is great diversity in what is being brought forward,” Wearne added, noted she is encouraged with the showing of youth this year.

The whole festival will be wrapped up with an awards gala in Oscar-style.

The workshops scheduled for the festival will include:

Acting Shakespeare, which will look at the basic skills in performing Shakespeare. It will take place Tuesday, May 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Workshop two is ‘Action’ when people will explore essential acting methods.

Both workshops will be facilitated by Drover. Cost will be $20 for non-members and $10 for members. Call the Little Theatre, 250-924-0658, or visit to book space.

The play schedule includes:A Visit from the President which is written and directed by Brian March and put on by the Ladysmith Players. Lunch starts at 12:30 p.m. and the show starts at 2 p.m. The coffee critique will be held at the Diamond Hall on Monday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The Shawnigan Lake Players will be performing Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. The coffee critique will take place on Tuesday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The Parallel Players will be performing Look Me In the Eyes by Lindsey Price. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. The coffee critique will be 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, May 20.

The Vancouver Island Players will be performing Torch Song – Widows and Children First on Friday, May 20. The coffee critique will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 21.

The Going for Gold II awards show will begin at 6:30 p.m. on May 21.For more information, visit

Ladysmith Credit Union CEO John de Leeuw and director Brian March are among the names playing the president in A Visit from the President this week.