Naked Stage Productions Society’s Ed Milaney (artistic director)

Stripped-down shows set for Newton

Naked Stage Productions' readers' theatre shows to take a 'radio show' approach to full length stage plays

Tom Zillich

Black Press

While the name of a new theatre company sounds pretty erotic, the three guys behind Naked Stage Productions Society promise otherwise.

For shows starting in September, their stage will be “naked,” not the performers.

Nudity was certainly not on Jim Trimble’s mind when he came up with the concept and recruited fellow theatre/music lovers Peter McCreath and Ed Milaney to get it going.

Together, the trio will launch the “readers theatre” venture at Newton Cultural Centre with a three-performance run in mid-September.

“There’s no props, no backdrops, no sets, no microphones, just actors on stage, probably seated on a stool with a stand there, and they read a script,” explained Trimble, a South Surrey resident.

“It’s very similar to old-time radio,” he continued. “Those of us who were brought up in the ’30s and early ’40s, we would rush home from school every day to listen to Captain Midnight or Jack Armstrong or Orphan Annie, whatever it might be, and the whole gang from school would sit around the radio and the listen to this. You were forced to use your imagination, and that’s what this is as well.”

Trimble was involved in The Vaudevillians, a seniors entertainment troupe, for 15 years. When illness forced him to retire from the stage as emcee, he went about creating Naked Stage to bring audiences something he says hasn’t been done in Surrey before.

“A group used to do it many years ago in East Vancouver,” Trimble said. “It’s done in Miami, a big group there, and other places like Mexico, where Pat (his wife) and I saw it while vacation in the wintertime, and we thoroughly enjoyed those shows.”

McCreath, a barbershop singer and founding member of Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society, is the group’s vice-president, and Milaney, a Surrey Civic Treasure award winner with 50 years of stage experience, is the artistic director.

“I’m really so blessed to have recruited some fabulous people to work with me on this,” Trimble said.

Open auditions for the first Naked Stage show, “Any Wednesday,” will be held at Newton Cultural Centre on Saturday, July 23 from 9:30 a.m. to noon and on Sunday, July 24 from 1 to 4 p.m. Show dates are on Sept. 16, 17 and 18 at the cultural centre’s 100-seat “black box” theatre, on 72nd Avenue.

Look for more details at Nakedstage.net, or email entertainment@nakedstage.net.

“It’s a delightful play that was made into a movie starring Jane Fonda (in 1966),” Trimble said about “Any Wednesday,” written by Muriel Resnik. “It has some great humour in it, a situational comedy. The play ran for 993 performances on Broadway. It was a hit, with good reason.”

The story centers on a Manhattan woman who is trying to decide between two suitors, one married and one not, on the day of her 30th birthday.

Naked Stage Productions Society plans to do a show every two months.

“I think it’s something the community will enjoy, and will be enduring,” Trimble said.

“I’ve never been as enthused about any initiative in my life.”

The company had considered opening with “Barefoot in the Park,” but the performance fees were too steep, Trimble said.

“The reality is, we don’t know how this will be accepted (by audiences),” he reasoned. “Ed is looking at which plays would be best to do, and we decide on them… ‘Barefoot’ would bring out a lot of people but as an opener we weren’t sure, because unless you know you’ll put tushes in seats, you don’t want to stick your neck out.”

Another key for Naked Stage is involving younger actors and, ultimately, audiences.

“There’s a school in Langley that uses this method (to teach acting),” Trimble noted, “and we’d love to get involved with Studio 58 at Langara College.”

He paused and smiled.

“Working with (young acting students) is something we’d like because we don’t know too many young people anymore.”

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Seven years after daughter’s death, grieving mother issues new appeal for answers

Ashley Chauvin’s body was found near South Surrey’s Nicomekl River in July 2012

Friends of ‘Mac’ rally to fund young family left behind by former martial arts teacher in Surrey

‘He’s well loved,’ says operator of Fraser Heights academy where Mackenzie MacWilliams studied, worked

Police food drive to help feed North Delta kids

Donations collected will go support the Rotary Club’s Starfish Pack program

Surrey burglar loses appeal on Hook & Ladder break-in conviction

The case centred on a Jan. 3, 2016 break-in at the Newton pub

‘Inventive ideas’ sought soon for Surrey One Act Festival, set to return to Whalley stage

Also planned by Royal Canadian Theatre Company is a Five Minute Play Writing Challenge

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

5 to start your day

Worst 10 bus routes in Metro Vancouver released, woman, 60, charged in connection to thefts at YVR and more

One million recyclable bottles ‘lost’ daily in B.C., foundation says

387 million beverage containers didn’t make it back into the province’s regulated deposit refund system in 2017

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Woman, 60, charged in connection to thefts at YVR

RCMP believe the foreign national is part of a larger organized theft group

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Worst 10 bus routes in Metro Vancouver for rider complaints

TransLink releases list, with Route 319 at the top

VIDEO: Highway One to be widened east to 264th Street in Fraser Valley

The $235 million project includes upgrades to overpasses and a rail bridge

Most Read

l -->