The next highly anticipated WRAPS Community Theater production is only a couple of weeks away! In mid-November there will be no less than 6 showings over two weekends of Noel Coward’s famous “improbable farce” Blithe Spirit. The annual Winding Rivers Arts and Performance Society theatrical productions have become legendary throughout the Thompson River region and beyond, and this year will be no exception.
The production of this play will be smaller in scale than most previous WRAPS theatre events, but that does not mean it will be no less outstanding! The cast consists of 7 adults – 5 women and 2 men – and takes place in the home of successful British novelist Charles Condamine circa 1940s London.
These performers are all local amateur actors who each have had experience in several prior WRAPS theatrical productions and beyond. Let’s meet them now:
Jim Mertel as Charles Condomine, a successful novelist. Jim is an active member of the Ashcroft arts and music scene. He a member of the Sage Sound Singers Choir and a founder of the Twisted Desert Music Society. Jim has appeared in several WRAPS theatre productions – including last years highly successful “Anne of Green Gables – The Musical” in which he played the role of Matthew Cuthbert.
Theresa Takacs as Ruth Condomine, Charles’ second wife. Theresa is an actress, singer, music teacher and vocal coach and currently directs the Desert Bells Handbell Choir. She has been involved in several WRAPS’ theatre productions. She was an assistant vocal coach for WRAPS legendary “My Fair Lady” production of 2015 and the Musical Director for last years’ “Anne of Green Gables – The Musical”. Theresa also had a starring role in that production – portraying Marilla Cuthbert. This is Theresa’s first non musical production and she is enjoying immensely a different kind of theatre challenge.
Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan as Elvira, Charles’s first wife (now deceased). Mavourneen is no stranger to the Ashcroft and area arts and theatre scene. She has directed the past several WRAPS theater productions and is working as Co-Director (along with Barbara Roden) on “Blithe Spirit”. Ms. Varcoe-Ryan is also an accomplished actress in her own right, having appeared in several plays – including the WRAPS production of the one-woman play “Shirley Valentine” in the spring of 2016. She has most recently starred in the short indie film “When I’m Dead” filmed in the Kamloops area.
Marina Papais as Madame Arcatti, a “happy” medium. Marina is an internationally acclaimed visual artist who resides near Ashcroft with her partner Dan. She and Dan have made a significant impact on the beauty and uniqueness of downtown Ashcroft with their wonderful mosaic artworks and landscapes – including the recently erected “Harmony Bell” tower. Marina is also a fine actress as she so admirably demonstrated in the 2016 WRAPS production of “Arsenic and Old Lace” in which she brilliantly brought to life the character of spinster “Abby Brewster”.
Jan Schmitz as Dr. Bradman, a friend of Charles. Jan is a long time resident of Ashcroft where he has worked for over 30 years, until his recent retirement, as an ambulance paramedic. He is also a musician and has been involved with WRAPS for many years – primarily in the promotion of live music events. He has performed in several WRAPS theatre presentations over the years but may best be remembered for his role as “Alfred Doolittle” in My Fair Lady.
Andrea Bona as Mrs. Bradman, the good doctor’s wife. Andrea is also a long time resident of Ashcroft who has appeared in many past WRAPS theater productions. This year she steps her game up a level in the role of Violet Bradman, the doctors somewhat giddy and gullible wife. Andrea is a self-employed bookkeeper who moved to Ashcroft 10 yrs ago to assist in the operations of the Opera House. Andrea has to been involved in many societies and groups on a volunteer basis and is one of the founding fathers of WRAPS.
Skylar Dubois as Edith, the Condomines’ maid. Though the youngest member of the cast, Skylar is certainly no stranger to the “boards” – having appeared in many past WRAPS presentations. In fact, Skylar is the only cast member who can boast having performed as two separate characters in the same play! In last year’s “Anne of Green Gables – The Musical” she portrayed both “Mrs. Blewett” and “Prissie Andrews”.
WRAPS presentation of “Blithe Spirit” will show 6 times over the weekends of November 16, 17 & 18 and November 23, 24 & 25. Tickets are now available online or at the Ashcroft HUB front office. You may want to get yours sooner than later in order to not be disappointed. Last year’s tickets for “Anne of Green Gables – The Musical” sold out within a few days!