Since its inception several years ago the Winding Rivers Arts and Performance Society (WRAPS) has been at the forefront in producing, presenting and supporting music and the arts in the Thompson-Nicola Region – be it live music (Music in the Park, WRAPS Concert Series, Desert Daze Music Festival); the visual arts (Ashcroft Plein Air Paint-Out); or engaging children’s programs (the annual WRAPS Drama & Fine Arts Camp) – and many other cultural, musical and artistic events.
Yet it is the production and presentation of Community Theater plays that WRAPS is perhaps best known. Over the years WRAPS has produced several extremely successful and professional quality theater plays using only local talent in all aspects of the production process. “Swamp Pirate Zombies”, “Midnight Summers Midterm”, “Switching Principles” and “Arsenic and Old Lace” and last years’ acclaimed “Anne of Green Gables – The Musical” and of course the now legendary 2015 presentation of “My Fair Lady”. WRAPS Community Theater has developed an astounding portfolio of theater productions that rival those presented in the larger centers by professional theater groups and troupes – and we as a community have a right to be proud!
So November has become “Theater Season” throughout our region and everyone looks forward to learning what the WRAPS Theater Committee has in store for us next. But wait no more! WRAPS is excited to announce that the next Community Theater production will be [insert drum roll here] BLITHE SPIRIT!
Blithe Spirit is a comic play by Noël Coward. The play concerns the socialite and novelist Charles Condomine, who invites the eccentric medium and clairvoyant, Madame Arcati, to his house to conduct a séance, hoping to gather material for his next book. The scheme backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his annoying and temperamental first wife, Elvira, after the séance. Elvira makes continual attempts to disrupt Charles’s marriage to his second wife, Ruth, who cannot see or hear the ghost.
The play was first seen in the West End in 1941, creating a new long-run record for non-musical British plays of 1,997 performances. It also did well on Broadway later that year, running for 657 performances. Coward adapted the play for film in 1945, starring Rex Harrison, and directed a musical adaptation, High Spirits, on Broadway in 1964. It was also adapted for television in the 1950s and 1960s and for radio. The play enjoyed several West End and Broadway revivals in the 1970s and 1980s and was revived again in London in 2004, 2011 and 2014. It returned to Broadway in February 2009.
As with the past several successful plays, this one will be again directed by the very capable Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan. However Mavourneen will be assisted in this role by Barbara Roden. Barbara is a local journalist and author and as an amatuer actress has appeared in many of WRAPS past plays. She also directed Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan in the wonderful one person play “Shirley Valentine” that was presented in the spring of 2016.
Auditions for this wonderful production will take place during the last two weekends of June, with rehearsals scheduled to begin in September. Performance dates are November 16, 17, 18 and November 23, 24, 25!Stay tuned to this website and to our Facebook page for more details!