Plays & Pie

Plays & Pie

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Western Edge Theatre’s popular Plays & Pie series of staged readings returns November 30th with a thinking-person’s romantic comedy, That Elusive Spark by Janet Munsil.

At Plays & Pie, smart contemporary scripts and some of the Nanaimo-area’s finest actors, thinking fast on their feet, make for a lively evening. Each staged reading is rehearsed once and then performed script-in-hand, for an audience that is also invited to enjoy a scrumptious spread of desserts during and after the show. It’s theatre hot out of the oven.

That Elusive Spark uses two storylines to investigate the mysteries of love. Dr. Helen Harlow is a neuropsychologist attempting to escape the mess of her life by diving headfirst into a new one: living in a frat-house basement, teaching Psych 101 to clueless freshmen, and confronting the puzzling attentions of her slacker housemate Finlay. Meantime, Phineas Gage is a construction foreman in 1848 who miraculously survives an explosion that shoots an iron rod through his head. He makes an extraordinary physical recovery, but his behaviour changes dramatically – particularly towards his sweetheart, Sophie.

Together, the two stories demonstrate that, for all our scientific advances, we’re still just beginners when it comes to understanding the human mind, and heart. The Calgary Herald calls That Elusive Spark “a colourfully instructive and insightful romantic comedy about change and new beginnings.”

The Plays & Pie staged reading of That Elusive Spark starts at 7:30 pm on Sat. Nov. 30th at Kismet Theatre Academy, 55 Victoria Rd., Nanaimo. Tickets cost $12, available online at, by phone at 250-816-6459, and at the door as available. Subscribers or flex-pass holders to Western Edge Theatre’s 2019-20 season are admitted free to all Plays & Pie readings, and are encouraged to reserve in advance by e-mailing or phoning 250-816-6459.

The series will continue in February with It is Solved by Walking by Catherine Banks. In this moving, wry play, news of the death of her ex-husband prompts a woman to memories of their sexual history together, aided by the great, and also late, poet Wallace Stevens.

Western Edge Theatre’s 2019-20 season is sponsored by Romper Room Indoor Rock Climbing Centre, InPrint Graphic Design and Printing, and the Nanaimo News-Bulletin. It is also made possible by financial support from the City of Nanaimo and the Province of British Columbia.