Longevity aside, a 71st birthday might not seem much of a milepost. But with North Vancouver Community Players’ historic 70th Anniversary Season sidelined by the global pandemic, why not make the most of here and now? That’s the spirit guiding this venerable North Shore institution as it bounces back from the trials of the last couple of years, and the frustration of having the iconic Theatre at Hendry Hall dark for longer than at almost any time in its history.
“We’re looking ahead for an exciting and challenging season”, says newly-elected President Rosemary Hundal. “We have a solid membership base eager to return to their seats for live theatre, which still matters in the digital age.” She’s also proud of NVCP’s actors, producers, directors, stage crew, front-of-house, and technical specialists. “They’re at the heart of the company”, she says, “they give their time and energies to keep stage performance thriving in our community”.
The 2022-2023 season opens with a production of paired monologues from the “Talking Heads” series by celebrated British author Alan Bennett. It’s an unusual choice, with no bustling cast of the comedies and dramas that are staple fare for community theatre. “It’s quite the challenge to make these quiet pieces work in live theatre”, says Director Jennifer Morabito. Her secret sauce is having two top-notch players (Nancy Ebert and Chris McBeath) with crucial acting chops. “We didn’t even have auditions” says Morabito, “I knew who I wanted!” She’s long loved Bennett’s writing and seized the chance to direct his work. She’s also dedicating the performances to her father who inspired her love of Bennett’s writing, and who died suddenly last year. “Bennett gets to the heart of everyday characters”, she says, “he shows their strengths and foibles with unique wit and insight.” And she insists “Talking Heads” themes are relevant today. “They’re funny, poignant, timely and timeless.”
The monologues “A Lady of Letters” and “Miss Fozzard Finds Her Feet” (from the “Talking Heads” series) open North Vancouver Community Players’ 2022-2023 season on September 9th with performances running until September 24th.
A full slate of comedies and dramas follows. Murder mystery “Twist” runs from October 21st until November 5th. This year’s pantomime, “Snow White” offers fun for all the family, and runs from December 2nd until December 18th. In the new year, “Terms of Endearment”, a comedy drama adapted from the film, will run from February 10th until February 25th. The light drama “Annapurna” will run from April 7th until April 22nd; and the 2022-2023 season ends with the romantic comedy “Real Estate” in a run from May 26th until June 10th.
All performances take place in The Theatre at Hendry Hall, 815 East 11th Street, North Vancouver. Tickets are $22 (concessions $20), season ticket package available. Order online at northvanplayers.ca, or by phone at 604-983-2633.
North Vancouver Community Players is North Vancouver’s community theatre company, founded in 1951. The Theatre at Hendry Hall has been its permanent home since 1972, under a long-term tenancy granted by the District of North Vancouver.