New writers stir the waters at 2015 New Waves Festival

Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre opens its 2015 New Waves Festival on Sept. 25th with the world premiere of “Making Tracks” by Mary Fraughton. But that isn’t the only new script that will make its debut during the Festival.

Sean Enns

Sean Enns

While “Making Tracks” is the Festival’s fully-staged centrepiece, an additional three plays and one screenplay by area authors will be presented in staged readings. “The New Waves Festival is all about celebrating new writing for theatre and, this year, for film as well,” says Western Edge artistic producer Frank Moher. “And as in years past, the scripts have all grown out of our own community.”

First up, on Wednesday, Sept. 30, is a double bill of two one-acts, starting with “God in Psych Ward Pajamas.” Written by Gabriola poet and playwright Jill Talbot, this subtle, touching play follows the developing relationship between a troubled young man on a psychiatric ward and the more seasoned patient who befriends him. “Dispossessed (or Danni’s Inferno),” by Nanaimo’s Sean Enns, is an irreverent “horror comedy” about a teenaged girl who is unexpectedly visited by a fashion-conscious demon who has grown tired of his station in Hell.

CJ Rice

C.J. Rice

Another double bill follows on Thursday, Oct. 1. “Vancouver Island, 1914,” by VIU Creative Writing grad Michael Kloc, is a play without dialogue about a good-natured young man who heads off to fight in the First World War. It will be presented in an innovative staging and signed for Kloc and other members of the deaf community. Also scheduled is “Pockets of Eternity,” a screenplay by Snuneymuxw First Nation writer and filmmaker C.J. Rice about her family’s history on Vancouver Island.

Both evenings begin at 7:30 pm at Harbour City Theatre, 25 Victoria Rd., Nanaimo. Admission is by donation at the door.

Meanwhile, the Festival’s mainstage production, Mary Fraughton’s “Making Tracks,” plays Sept. 25, 26, and Oct. 2, 3 at 7:30 pm, with a matinee on Oct. 4 at 2:00 pm, also at Harbour City Theatre. Tickets for “Making Tracks” cost $22 for Adults, $18 for Seniors (65+) and $12 for Students, available online at westernedge.org, by phone at 250-816-6459, and at Catwalk Fashions (13 Commercial St., Nanaimo).

The New Waves Festival is sponsored by the Vancouver Island University Department of Creative Writing and Journalism. Western Edge Theatre’s 2015-16 season sponsor is Romper Room Indoor Rock Climbing Centre. The season is also made possible by support from The City of Nanaimo and The Province of British Columbia.