Tim Howe and Katrina Barson are appearing in Secondary Characters’ musical production Last Five Years during the Rickrack in the Wack Festival May 3-7. (Submitted photo)

Rickrack festival announces a theatrical cornucopia in Chilliwack May 3-7

Rickrack in the Wack features 12 theatre performances spread over five days from May 3 to 7 in two theatres

The upcoming Rickrack in The Wack Festival promises to be a theatrical cornucopia for local audiences.

Sponsored by the Chilliwack Players Guild, Rickrack runs May 3-7 in two theatres.

Festival curator, Ian Fenwick, has assembled a lineup of 12 productions containing an eclectic blend of genres that is certain to appeal to many theatre patrons with varying tastes.

“The festival aims to present a wide range of theatre from edgy-experimental, newly-created work, to established contemporary and classic plays, to plays for young audiences,” says Fenwick.

The lineup includes: Happily Never After, a children’s show from the Players Guild, along with six productions from Thompson Rivers University’s Tru Actors Workshop Theatre from Kamloops, and Confessions of a Grocery Clerk from Capricorn Theatre Productions.

Edgy/Experimental work includes A Trois by Barry Hall, presented by Rae MacEachern. Plus three original works by Canadian playwrights, including: Savitar Production’s Basement Santa by Rajnish Dhawan, Canadian Content by Darcy Knopp, and Imposter Theatre’s Three Love Spats by Alex Rake.

The contemporary Canadian classic The Life History of the Elephant will be presented by Off Topic Theatre.

Rickrack in the Wack will also include the musical Last Five Years from Secondary Characters, along with theatre improv performances by SimPhoney Improv. Both are Chilliwack theatre companies.

Ticket prices will be quite affordable at $10 per show (with a $5 discount for three or more tickets) and patrons will also have the opportunity to purchase a festival pass for $60 that will permit them to see all 12 shows at a reduced rate.

The festival will be spread over five days from May 3 to 7 in two theatres — one of them being in the Rotary Hall Studio at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre and the other across the northwest parking lot in the Chilliwack Players Guild Hall.

The opening ceremonies of the event will take place in the Chilliwack Cultural Centre Rotary Hall on Wednesday, May 3 at 4:30 p.m.

Call 604-391-7469 for tickets or visit chilliwackculturalcentre.ca or the Centre Box Office at 9201 Corbould St.

On days of performance, tickets at the Guild Hall are available only by credit card or cash, not debit. However, a cash machine is available at the cultural centre.

Show descriptions

A Trois, by Barry Hall, directed by Rae MacEachern: Love and sex. Why? Because it’s not as if it’s something you choose to do. You just do. Warning: 14+ Sexual subject matter and coarse language.

Basement Santa, by Rajneesh Dhawan, directed by Thomas Smith: While Santa tries to learn to be a Canadian with help from his landlord, his fake green card wife schemes with her real boyfriend to attain Santa’s wealth. When everyone’s secrets are revealed, hilarity ensues.

Canadian Content, written and directed by Darcy J. Knopp: Ivan has written the kind of play that Michael Bay dreams about when he is lonely. The trouble is the CBC wants something more… Canadian. Ivan and his friends are determined to stay up all night to come up with a script that tastes like maple syrup and smells like a moose. Warning: swearing, adult themes, alcohol use.

Caught in the Act by Bruce Kane, directed by Kayla Alfred: Two people who are trapped in a small world work hard to break through their barriers and take control of their lives.

A Bench on the Edge by Luigi Jannuzzi, directed by Stephanie Morrison: When two people talk to one another on the edge of the abyss, what do they talk about? Taking a step off of it, of course.

Confessions of a Grocery Clerk, written and directed by Lauren Trotzuk: This brand new musical follows Emma, the newest cashier, as she discovers the ups and downs of the job, meets the other quirky cashiers, and finds a place to belong.

Dead Boy by Craig Wright, directed by Martina Anne Doucte: Sam, Lara, and Devon sit around a Ouija board, trying to reach the famous Dead Boy. Despite their skepticism, strange things begin to happen. Dead Boy, are you there?

In On It by Daniel MacIvor, directed by Anna Dokshina: A story about a dying man trying to make plans for the end, a pair of lovers trying to make it work, and two people trying to make a play. A world where accidents happen.

Happily Never After adapted and directed by Jacqui Higginbottom, from the play by Tim Kelly: The course of true love does not run smoothly: Sleeping Beauty does nothing but nap; the Frog Prince refuses to give up his amphibian ways; and nothing will pry Cinderella away from her beloved cinders. Our unhappy fairy tale characters demand the Grimm Siblings make some changes, which they do, but not in the way you might think! Find out if things end up truly Happily Ever After. Suitable for all ages.

The Life History of the African Elephant by Clem Martini, directed by Tina Sharkey: This play about elephants and humans explores the imagination, frailty, and spirit of animals in captivity.

Three Love Spats written and directed by Alex Rake:

• The Early Valentine

• Convergence and Cleopatra

• Josie (or, It Came from Lake Honeymoon)

The Way Of All Fish by Elaine May, directed by Erik Stephany: A tumultuous blend of comedy and suspense. This show guarantees to leave the audience laughing, but only from the edge of their seats.

The Most Massive Woman Wins by Madeline George, directed by Morgan Benedict: Challenging, brutal, and hilarious. Four women of various shapes and sizes sitting in a waiting room of a liposuction clinic explore their perceptions of body image.

The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown, directed by Shelley Wojcik: A powerful and intimate musical about two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. The show’s unconventional structure consists of Cathy telling her story backwards while Jamie tells his story chronologically; the two characters only meet once, at their wedding in the middle of the show. Warning: adult language and sexual innuendo

Whose ‘Wack Is It Anyway? by SimPhoney Improv: And now for something completely different. Join Chilliwack’s own fast-paced six pack of humour as we bring quick-witted thinking and a gaggle of laughs from way outside the box to this creative unscripted comedy show. No two shows will be the same.

For more info, including the festival schedule, go to www.rickrack.ca.

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