Familiar faces in local theatre have returned to mount an award-winning comedy for Powell River audiences. Far Off Broadway Theatre Company has been on hiatus since 2013 and returns to the stage thanks to Kyle Auclair, a recent graduate of Victoria’s Canadian College of Performing Arts, who found himself back in his hometown of Powell River for a few months in search of a project.
After talking to Far Off’s Broadway founder member and president CaroleAnn Leishman, Auclair chose to bring Christopher Durang’s sibling rivalry comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, which is a whopping two and half hours long, to Powell River audiences.
“It’s quite a long play, yes, but it’s non-stop laughs the entire time,” says Auclair. “There’s such absurdity in it; there’s everything from smashing teacups, to sibling rivalries, to Maggie Smith, to reverse stripteases.”
Featuring a cast of theatre newbies and veterans comprised of Wes Brown, Carma Sacree, Mel Edgar, Kris Montgomery, Karin Glassford and Kelsey Goudreau, the play marks the first time Auclair has been in the director’s chair for a full-length show. His most recent production was Mary Poppins in Victoria, in which he had an assistant director role.
Leishman says she first directed Auclair in a 2006 Far Off Broadway production of The Sound of Music and considers him a Powell River theatre success story.
“The idea was that I would mentor him with directing this latest production, but he hasn’t needed it,” says Leishman. “He has great instincts and a good repertoire of experience behind him from the last couple years, and he has done an amazing job with this play and all the actors.”
As far as tackling Durang’s script, which won a Tony Award for Best Play in 2013 while featuring a star-studded cast including Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce, Auclair remains unfazed.
“It’s actually been a fairly easy process,” says Auclair. “Durang gives so much depth to his scripts, and information about the characters, so you really have a true understanding of who they are.”
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
When: 7:30 pm, January 12 to 14 (and 2 pm January 14)
Where: Evergreen Theatre