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Stage 43 wins Fraser Valley Zone Fest

Bingo named best production of Surrey Little Theatre-hosted festival
Contributed photo Adjudicator Fran Gebhard (left) and host, Mike Busswood (third from left) celebrate with winners.

Theatre B.C.’s Fraser Valley Zone Festival – hosted by Surrey Little Theatre at White Rock’s Coast Capital Playhouse – wound up with closing ceremonies and awards last Saturday.

The adjudicator, Vancouver actor Fran Gebhard, chose Bingo, by Coquitlam’s Stage 43, as best production, which means it will go on to Theatre BC’s provincial finals in Vernon later this month.

The Daniel McIvor romantic comedy – about five Cape Breton friends who reconnect at their 30th high school reunion – also won best director for Lisa Pope, best ensemble (Pierce Ivan, Detton Lake, Aaron Davis, Michelle Berg and Leona Atkinson) and best properties (Claire Pinkett), as well as scoring Berg one of two best supporting actress awards handed out by Gebhard for the eight-play festival, which featured Canadian plays exclusively to mark Canada 150 celebrations.

The other went to Kathleen Driscoll for her performance as Dorrie in Surrey Little Theatre’s Homechild, which also won the best actor award for Grant Vlahovic, best makeup (Gail Ruginis) and best graphics (Ram Randhawa).

Best actress award was shared between Catherine Dawn and Camille Atebe – both players in Opening Night Theatre Society’s How It Works – with an honorable mention for Kristine McCallum from Langley Players’ The Grandkid.

How It Works also won the best costumes award for Bunny Patterson and a special award for “most chemistry between two actors” for Dawn and co-player Brian Brillo.

The Grandkid also received an honorable mention for best director (Cathie Young), an adjudicator’s choice award for most heartwarming moment (recognizing Young and cast members Marko Hohlbein and McCallum), and individual awards for best sound (Young) and best traditional set (Dave Williams).

Emerald Pig’s The Little Years won best supporting actor honours for John Nolan and best youth actress for Beth Scott.

Blyke Pyne was named best youth actor for CSOPA’s Unity 1918, which was also recognized for best youth ensemble.

Mather Piton, of Chilliwack Players Guild’s The Romeo Initiative, received the nod for best set design and best lighting and projection design, while the certificate for most inventive program went to Mathew Brisson of Offtopic Theatre’s The Life History of the African Elephant.

About the Author: Alex Browne

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