Production shares tales of loss

Humour can be found in 17 Stories, which runs Saturday and Sunday at Congregation Emanu-El Synagogue

Zelda Dean directs 17 Stories

The latest production company in Victoria is borne of the 150th anniversary arts committee at Congregation Emanu-El Synagogue.

“I was on that committee and Zelda Dean was on that committee. … We got to know each other pretty well and she has quite a background in theatre,” said Oak Bay resident Annie Weeks. “She wanted to start a theatre company in Victoria, and she has always wanted to deal with the issue of loss in people’s lives.”

They teamed up with Lesley Wicks, and this month Dean directs the company’s first presentation – 17 Stories by playwright Caroline Russell-King, a fictional tale based on personal interviews.

“The playwright came out here and we set up a roster of 17 people who all sat and talked about the losses they’ve had in their lives,” said Weeks, who is also the production manager. “It was a very intimate situation.”

Each interview was about an hour long. Losses ranged from pets to personal identity to the more traditional loss of a loved one.

“It’s a fictional piece created out of the ideas that came out of that. There’s 17 scenes and she’s woven together these various ideas,” Weeks said.

Each actor in the ensemble of Michael Armstrong, Michael Bell, Melissa Taylor, Christine Upright and Jessica Van der Veen (also of Oak Bay) portrays multiple characters.

“Sometimes it’s funny, it’s kind of serious but it’s not that you won’t ever laugh, there’s moments of humour,” Weeks said. “The whole point was not people who’d suffered recent losses, but losses over time… And really how they had learned to just keep living their lives. How we all carry on.”

17 Stories is not “verbatim” theatre, but rather a weaving together of personal experiences into a dramatic piece.

Bema Productions presents 17 Stories at the synagogue sanctuary, 1461 Blanshard St. on Nov. 29 and 30. Tickets are $10, and are available at Russell Books in Victoria, at Ivy’s Bookshop in Oak Bay and at the door.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

Suman, mom of Reena Virk, has died

Mother of Reena Virk was an activist against bullying

Local scholarships increase support

Rotary and Sno’uyutth Legacy Scholarships bump up payments by 50 per cent

Meet your community news team during the third annual Oak Bay News community tea

The Oak Bay News hosts the free tea June 21 at Carlton House

Third elephant seal moults on Gonzales Beach

Victoria City staff were out this morning shifting pylons to protect an… Continue reading

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Search for capsized fishers near Tofino enters fourth day

“There’s a lot of shock in the community in terms of how we could end up at this place.”

B.C. announces $75M to help friends, family care for seniors at home

Funding will go towards respite care and adult day programs

Timely tide attracts another pod of orcas to Victoria

The pod left the harbour about 30 minutes later

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Capitals coach resigns after Stanley Cup win

Barry Trotz announced his resignation on Monday

Baseball HarbourCats sit at .500 heading into Bend road trip

Port Angeles wins two of three in weekend WCL series in Victoria

Most Read