The New Waves Festival is over now, but . . .

The 2022 New Waves Festival

Feb. 13, 15, 16:

Trying to Keep Up & Mourning in Rm. 243

The premiere of two new one-acts in a double bill!

Trying to Keep Up by Nisga’a playwright Castor Angus is a funny and knowing play about learning to live without regret. When we first meet Archie, he’s stuck in a small BC town where, as he tells his boyfriend Walsh, “there’s no gay anything besides us and a rainbow crosswalk.” Ten years later, he’s still there and married to Claire, when Walsh comes back to town with his current boyfriend, Ashton. Despite everyone’s best efforts, sparks fly.

But while love may not last forever, friendship sometimes does. Directed by Tsatassaya White, Trying to Keep Up features Maryann Dick, Miles Kehoe, Charlie Lincoln and Gabriel Villasmil. Tamara McCarthy is the directing mentor.

And in Mourning in Rm. 243 by Daniel Puglas, three family members gather in a motel room after a funeral. They’ve lost Chloe, a beloved daughter, sister, and cousin, and their grief both draws them together and threatens to tear them apart. As the mourning turns to partying, and the spectre of alcohol in their lives looms large in the room -- along with the past -- one of them finally makes a startling decision.

Biting but ultimately hopeful, Mourning in Rm. 243 is directed by Ward Norcutt and features Talela Manson, Damon Mitchell, and Susan Warner

Feb. 13, 2 pm & Feb. 15, 16, 7:30 pm

Tickets: $12-$20, available at or by phone at 250-816-6459.

Audience advisory: Adult language and content.

Feb. 14th:

Scenes from Nanaimo Indian Hospital

Scenes from Nanaimo Indian Hospital by ‘Namgis playwright and scholar Laura Cranmer is a powerful and moving play based on the playwright’s three-year stay in the hospital as a young girl. With delicacy and even humour, it traces the relationship between little Dorothy, ostensibly in the hospital for treatment of an unknown illness, and Nurse Faith, her devoted caregiver.

Incorporating four languages – English, Kwak’wala, Nuuchahnulth, and Hul’q’uminu’m’ – this important new play raises questions about the work that was carried out at the hospital.

Scenes from Nanaimo Indian Hospital will be presented in a script-in-hand, workshop staging, with audience discussion afterwards. For this developmental performance, the script will be primarily in English.

Featuring Michael Armstrong, Brittany Coté, Beth DeVolder, Abe Elliott, Sabrina Elliott, Adrian Hough, Christine James, and Sharon Agnes Seymour. Directed by CJ Rice.

Feb. 14th, 7:30 pm

Tickets: $15, available at or by phone at 250-816-6459.

For those who share similar historical experiences in the Nanaimo Indian Hospital (or other institutions), the content may have a triggering effect. For counseling support please call the Indian Residential School Survivors (IRSS) 24/7 Crisis Support Line at 1-800-721-0066 or Kuu-us Crisis Line at 1-800 588-8717, also available 24/7.

Resumes Feb. 17 - 4 more perfs. only!

In a World Created for a Drunken God

While preparing to move back to the reserve where he was born, Jason Pierce, a half-Native, half-white man, is visited by a stranger.

Harry Dieter claims to be his brother, the acknowledged son of the white man who fathered and then abandoned Jason. Dieter has a reason for finding Jason: their father is dying from kidney failure and they want to know if Jason is a possible match. “Smart, riveting, and yet complex.” (Quill & Quire).

Featuring Randy Humchitt and Tom Rokeby
Directed by Daniel Puglas

Feb. 11, 12, 17, 18, 19 ~ 7:30 pm / Feb. 20 ~ 2 pm

Audience advisory: Adult language and content.

Tickets: $12-$25, available at or by phone at 250-816-6459.

Performances are at the OV Arts Centre (25 Victoria Rd., Nanaimo, see map here).

In keeping with BC Public Health orders, seating will be limited to 50% of capacity, and audience members will be required to present a vaccination card and wear a mask at the venue.

As a pandemic precaution, we are using an electronic program for the New Waves Festival. View it by clicking here, or use the QR Code below to access it using your phone or other device:

program QR code

The 2022 New Waves Festival of Indigenous plays and artists is made possible by grants from the Province of BC and the British Columbia Arts Council.

The 2021-22 Western Edge Theatre season is also generously supported by Romper Room Indoor Rock Climbing Centre, InPrint Graphic Design and Printing, Literacy Central, and the Nanaimo News-Bulletin, as well as ongoing support from the British Columbia Arts Council, the Province of British Columbia, and the City of Nanaimo.