Last month Frank Moher, Barbara Metcalf, Lorna McLellan and Brian March (clockwise from top-left) performed in Western Edge Theatre’s production of ‘Sandpiper Serenade,’ by local playwright Bill Miner, over the online videoconferencing platform Zoom. (Screenshot courtesy Frank Moher)

Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre staging online production via Zoom

Theatre company to present ‘The Shadow World’ by Island playwright Bill Miner

Last month Western Edge Theatre made its first foray into virtual performance and now the local theatre company is preparing for an encore.

On June 11 Western Edge staged Sandpiper Serenade, a one-act play by local playwright Bill Miner, via the online videoconferencing platform Zoom. The production was performed by four actors from their own homes using costumes, props, sound effects and virtual backgrounds.

Miner said more than 90 people tuned in to the broadcast – “I forced every relative of my wife and myself to watch it,” he joked – and feedback was positive.

“I think people enjoyed the twists of the plot itself and they loved the southern accents and the acting and I think they were pleasantly surprised and engaged by the medium itself,” Miner said.

He said there was a lot to learn from that first performance and those lessons will be heeded on July 30 when Western Edge presents another one of Miner’s plays, “an homage to the gothic thrillers of the ’40s” called The Shadow World.

The play follows a brother and sister from Toronto who lose all their wealth and out of desperation seek the aid of a reclusive uncle who was once the world’s leading medium. The siblings try to convince their uncle to once again perform a seance, knowing that his last attempt to commune with the dead ended in catastrophe and is the reason he’s been living in seclusion on a Gulf Island for the past 20 years.

The Shadow World stars Nanaimo actors Randy Humchitt, Rick Meyers, Erik Tully and Diane Verhiel. Like Sandpiper Serenade, it was originally written as a radio play.

“Ironically, given this will be the third medium that I’ll have produced this one-act – I did it live and went into the studio and I produced a podcast of it – I feel that with the cast I’ve got and what we are utilizing from the Zoom medium, I think this is the best medium for the play,” Miner said.

Miner is co-directing the play with Western Edge artistic director Brian March, who appeared in the Zoom production of Sandpiper Serenade. March said it was “still basically what we do on-stage,” only not face-to-face.

He said many actors haven’t had the opportunity to perform live for an audience lately and taking part in the Zoom shows is a way to get those feelings back.

“I found, because I was acting in the first one, that you get some of that same pre-show excitement. Butterflies before it starts,” March said. “And I think that’s one of the things performers miss is that moment before you step onto the stage and face the audience.”

WHAT’S ON … Western Edge Theatre presents The Shadow World by Bill Miner on Thursday, July 30 at 7 p.m. on the Western Edge YouTube Channel. The recording will be available after the show.

SEE RELATED: One-woman show about travel and self-discovery makes Nanaimo debut

SEE RELATED: Western Edge debuts play about family of CFB Comox pilot who disappeared



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Theatre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID Creations opens at the Art Gallery

Rental and sales exhibition features works by 34 local artists

Daniel Lapp’s West Coast Kitchen Party

Join BC’s highly renowned fiddler and folk artist Daniel Lapp for a… Continue reading

Emily Carr show wraps up Canadian Tour at Royal BC Museum

Fresh Seeing opens with exclusive addition of T’anuu

Antimatter festival adapts

Hybrid model brings 100 films

Nanaimo singer Elise Boulanger releases her new single, ‘Cigarettes et rosé’ on Oct. 11. (Photo courtesy Laura Baldwinson)
Nanaimo singer releasing new single inspired by overheard conversations

Elise Boulanger to unveil ‘Cigarettes et rosé,’ accompanying ukulele tutorial video to come

Lee Porteous will be one of the performers at the Duncan Showroom’s storytelling event later this month. (Photo Submitted)
Duncan Showroom hosts storytellers series

Monthly shows will be broadcast live on YouTube

The 2020 City of Victoria Youth Poet Laureate Neko Smart will give up her seat for the next young poet in January. (Contributed/ Jeremy Loveday)
Nominations open for Victoria’s 2021 Youth Poet Laureate

Honourary one-year term reserved for region’s emerging poets

Joëlle Rabu and Nico Rhodes present No Regrets, a live-streamed and in-person show featuring the songs of French singer Édith Piaf at the Port Theatre on Oct. 17. (Photo courtesy Vital Image)
Nanaimo mother-son duo pay tribute to Édith Piaf in Nanaimo

Vocalist Joëlle Rabu and pianist and arranger Nico Rhodes present ‘No Regrets’ show Oct. 17

Local poets Ian Cognito and Pat Smekal are releasing their latest collection, ‘Old Bones and Battered Bookends.’ (Photo courtesy Literacy Central Vancouver Island/Image by Jacques Gamelin)
Nanaimo area poets release anthology on aging

Ian Cognito and Pat Smekal present ‘Old Bones and Battered Bookends’

The Arts Alive sculpture Winds of Time by Linda Lindsay which sat in front of the Pharmasave on Oak Bay Avenue in 2019 has been purchased anonymously and will be mounted in the King George Terrace parking lot. (Photo from OakBay.ca)
Winds of Time breezes onto Oak Bay lookout

Donor bought Arts Alive sculpture for Oak Bay lookout

Campbell River author tries out new genre for upcoming trilogy

Kristin Butcher kept her book grounded in real world, with some fantastical elements

Nanaimo psychedelic rock band marks 10th anniversary with new release

Moths and Locusts’ new LP ‘Exoplanets’ includes recordings made over the last 10 years

Most Read