Monday, September 16, 2013


Western Edge Theatre enters its second decade with a rousing roster of comedy, passion, and a world premiere.

Opening Sept. 27th, the Nanaimo theatre company's 2013-14 season features the mischievous Canadian political comedy "Proud"; "Reasons to be Petty," an edgy Broadway hit; the always topical Greek classic "Antigone"; and the premiere of "Making Tracks," as part of the company's New Waves Festival.

"This eclectic line-up of productions serves well the Western Edge tradition of offering thought-provoking and entertaining plays to Nanaimo audiences," says artistic producer Eliza Gardiner.

"Proud," by Michael Healey, is the most talked about Canadian play in recent years. The year is 2011. The Prime Minister has just guided his party to a majority government, and will finally be able to realize his big dream of renovating Canada. That isn't going to be easy, but into his office stumbles Jisbella Lyth, the newly elected member for Cormier-Lac-Poule. She may not know a lot about politics, but she turns out to be very, very useful anyway, in this Pygmalion-esque poke at our political class.

NOW magazine says "Proud" is "deftly written and often laugh-out-loud funny." It plays Sept. 27, 28 and Oct. 4, 5, 6 at Nanaimo Centre Stage (25 Victoria Rd.). The play comes with an audience advisory for adult language and content.

Next up is the recent Broadway success "Reasons to be Pretty," Neil LaBute's searing and very smart look at our obsession with "looks." The lives of four working-class friends are turned upside down when Greg makes a slighting comment to a buddy about his girlfriend's appearance. Word gets back to Stephanie, and what follows is a tough-talking and affecting play about secrets, heartaches, and the always tenuous relationship between men and women. "Reasons to be Pretty" runs Nov. 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 at Kismet Theatre Academy (55 Victoria Rd., Nanaimo, right next door to Nanaimo Centre Stage). It also comes with an audience advisory for adult language and content.

In the new year, Western Edge presents the classic Greek tragedy "Antigone," about a young woman who defies her King in order to bury her brother's body. Gardiner calls her new adaptation of Sophocles' play an "Occupy Yourself" version of the story, which remains as powerful and topical as when it was written in 444 BC. "Antigone" plays Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 7, 8, 9 at Nanaimo Centre Stage.

Wrapping up the theatre's subscription season is the premiere of "Making Tracks" by Vancouver Island University Creative Writing graduate Mary Fraughton. In this mesmerizing mystery story, a young woman travels with her boyfriend to her childhood home, deep in the Yukon woods. It is mid-winter; an accident occurs; and Nina is left alone with the ghosts of her family – who are all too real. Part of the 2014 New Waves Festival, Western Edge's bi-annual celebration of new writing for the stage, "Making Tracks" runs March 14, 15, 21, 22, and 23 at Nanaimo Centre Stage.

Western Edge will also host a special Valentines' weekend event: The Random Acts Productions staging of the "Same Time, Next Year," Bernard Slade's wise and beloved comedy about a couple, both "married with children," whose one-night-stand at a California inn becomes, over the years, something quite a bit a more. A fundraiser for Western Edge, "Same Time, Next Year" plays Feb. 14, 15, and 16 at Nanaimo Centre Stage.

Subscriptions for the 2013-14 season cost $65.00 for adults, $55 for seniors and $33 for students, and are on sale now at or by phone at 250-668-0991 or 1-888-320-3343. Subscribers enjoy a 20% discount over the cost of individual tickets, and also receive a discount on tickets to the special event, "Same Time, Next Year."

Western Edge Theatre's 2013-14 season is made possible by assistance from the City of Nanaimo.


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