May 1 ushers in a family weekend of local theatre.
For 40 years, Kaleidoscope Theatre has been presenting family appropriate shows to Victoria audiences, as well as giving area youth a place to let their creativity shine.
Kaleidoscope’s third annual Family Theatre Festival includes four family-friendly shows by Victoria’s most dynamic theatre companies.
Pinkalicious: The Musical is presented by the Kaleidoscope Teen Ensemble. “Most of them have been together for five years – they’ve grown up here – as did I,” says Pat Rundell, Kaleidoscope’s artistic associate. “I grew up in the company. I started doing classes at 12 then went to theatre school and found my way back to Victoria.” Rundell attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Hollywood, CA.
Rundell says Kaleidoscope artistic director Roderick Glanville curated the festival himself, choosing the Teen Ensemble, Theatre SKAM, Puente Theatre and Intrepid Theatre to produce shows.
“They are all companies who do really neat work or who wanted to work with us this year,” says Rundell.
Kaleidoscope’s Teen Ensemble will perform Pinkalicious: The Musical (ages 5 to 12), based on the popular book. It’s the story of Pinkalicious, who can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this pink predicament.
Theatre SKAM presents Runaway (ages 10+), a show about love, loss, acceptance – and extraterrestrials.
Sam Stewart, 16, values the environment and has organized a rally led by David Suzuki – who hasn’t shown up. Sam now needs to convince his supporters to help her save the world from a devastating fate. Sam’s story takes the audience on a journey from crazed activism to a place of real heart. A bittersweet slice of life with a dash of humour and a pinch of song.
Puente Theatre presents The Umbrella (ages 6+), a love story about a man and his umbrella; but one storm-struck day a certain sinister crow threatens their happiness together. The set is a theatrical-storm contraption, complete with thunder sheet, wind machine, and rainspout; the puppet stage is a huge bucket. Through a storm both metaphorical and actual, heroes emerge scarred – but love prevails.
Finally, Intrepid Theatre brings I Have Seen Beautiful Jim Key (ages 5+), a new play by Janet Munsil, inspired by the true story of an educated horse and the remarkable man who trained him. Using only patience and kindness (and apple slices) former slave, William “Doc” Key, trained his ugly duckling of a horse, Jim, to read and count. Their traveling show in the early 1900s was an inspiration for millions of school children, illustrating the importance of being kind to animals.
“The festival allows people to see very exciting but very different types of theatre. There’s something for everyone. With the Family Pass, as well, you get a great weekend with four amazing shows from four amazing local theatre companies,” says Rundell.
All shows take place on May 2 and 3 at the Metro Studio, 1411 Quadra St. For a full schedule go to kaleidoscope.bc.ca. ticketrocket.org.