Gallery 7 Theatre’s “Refined By Fire” Theatre Season

By July 22, 2014Arts/Culture

Submitted. Gallery 7 Theatre of Abbotsford, BC is thrilled to announce their 24th annual, “Refined by Fire” season of theatre commencing this October in their new performance venue, the Abbotsford Arts Centre.

Photo of Ken Hildebrandt is by Dianna Lewis, Creative Memory Studio.

“With the new season, we’re embarking on an exciting new chapter as a theatre,” explains Ken Hildebrandt, executive/artistic director. “We’re making the big move to the Abbotsford Arts Centre for four of our presentations, offering audiences a more electric theatre experience.”

To celebrate this transition, an ambitious, provocative and inspiring playbill has been selected that will explore human nature under fire. The plays are as follows:

· Lord of the Flies, adapted by Nigel Williams from the novel by William Golding: In the midst of nuclear war, an airplane carrying English school boys crashes on a deserted island. Forced to fend for themselves, the survivors attempt to scrape together a civilized society governed by simple rules and regulations. Afflicted by fear of an evil beast lurking on the island, and as the lust for power and control takes over, the cadre’s fragile paradise quickly disintegrates into savage and violent anarchy. Marking the 60th anniversary of William Golding’s celebrated dystopian novel, this provocative production explores humanity’s dark capacity for evil when fear, power and control are left unchecked. Audience Advisory: Recommended for ages 12 and above. Runs November 7 – 15, 2014.

· Shadowlands by William Nicholson: The serene world of C.S. Lewis, Oxford professor, famous author and determined bachelor, is turned inside out when he is visited by the spirited American poet, Joy Gresham. What starts as a cordial friendship transforms into an ardent romance. When Joy develops terminal cancer, C.S. Lewis is forced to re-think his stoic philosophy on pain and suffering and experiences love and compassion on an entirely new level. This heart-warming West-End and Broadway hit explores the power of love, and how suffering and loss can both challenge and transform a person’s character and resolve. Runs January 23 – 31, 2015.

· Fiddler on the Roof, Based on Sholem Aleichem’s stories by special permission of Arnold Perl, book by Joseph Stein, music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick: Living in a tiny village in pre-revolutionary Russia, Tevye etches out a meagre life as a dairy farmer while raising his five daughters in the traditions and values of his Jewish faith. Facing eviction by the anti-sematic Czarist regime, Tevye’s world is further challenged when each of his three eldest daughters select husbands that could threaten the very fabric of his long-held, much-beloved customs. This endearing and highly adored Tony-Award winning musical probes the tension that exists between tradition and the values of a restless, ever-changing world. Runs March 13 – 21, 2015.

· 110 Stories by Sarah Tuft: Images of 9/11 are forever etched in our collective memory. These are the stories of people who risked their lives to save those trapped in the burning inferno of the Twin Towers and who desperately tried to rescue the ones buried under the smoldering debris following their collapse. Through their unimaginable testimonies and first-person accounts, a story of hope, compassion and even humour surges from the ashes of New York City’s darkest day, culminating in a powerful and cathartic experience that celebrates the human capacity to rise above adversity and tragedy in a unifying effort to save lives. Audience Advisory: Some strong language. Runs May 1 – 9, 2015.

Panic Squad & Friends, those masters of super-funny, super-clean comedy improv the whole family will enjoy, return to kick off the season on October 3 and Gallery 7 will again partner with Pacific Theatre of Vancouver to present Christmas Presence, an eclectic mix of seasonal music and story-telling, on December 20 at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium.

“While Panic Squad and the first three plays in our 2014/2015 series will be performed at the Abbotsford Arts Centre, we’ll be experimenting with a site-specific experience for 110 Stories,” continues Hildebrandt. “The plan is to perform the piece in an empty space, free of the trappings of a fancy theatre so the focus remains on the compelling stories of the 9/11 rescue workers. This should make for a truly powerful and unique experience.”

Season passes, including a brand new Mix N’ Match pass that allows audiences to select their shows more specifically, are now available at savings of up to 25% off regular ticket prices. Those interested in performing on-stage, working back-stage or volunteering elsewhere at Gallery 7 Theatre are encouraged to contact the organization for details on auditions, back-stage opportunities and other volunteer positions available.

For more information about this year’s playbill, to order season passes, to become a sponsor or to get involved, please visit the Gallery 7 Theatre website or call 604-504-5940. The 2014/2015 “Refined by Fire” Theatre season is presented in part by Investors Group.

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