Valemountia – your town like you’ve never seen it

By: Laura Keil

A store that can make anything; yoga poses only locals would understand; a society that tries to save the town – with goats, investors and dynamite.

This is your town like you’ve never seen it before. Or will it, in some ways, be déjà vu?

Local playwright Sharon Stearns of Wishbone Productions is known for stage productions with tight lines and local flair. Her latest project – with mostly first-time actors – guarantees more of the same.

This particular production has deep roots in Valemount’s history and current experience. The Through Our Looking Glass project received funding from Columbia Basin Trust’s Youth Grants Initiative for Stearns to work collaboratively with youth, ages 12-30, to create a play exploring and reflecting their visions of community – past, present and future.

Over the past six months, a core group of young adults  Caitlin Beddington, Donalda Beeson, Nicole Dryden, Miwa Hiroe, and Laura Keil have created and written most of the script, with Stearns acting as dramaturge on their material. Carla McKirdy and Heather Whalen were also part of the early creative process. Kerry McNaughton joins the ensemble with her creative skills in the full-length performances showing Oct. 18th and 19th.

The result? The wacky, conflicted world of Cordelia Dunn who returns home for her grandmother’s funeral, only to find herself lured into the real and imagined plots of Valemountia’s eccentric residents.

As director and producer, Sharon Stearns has supervised the collective creative process, developing an acting ensemble and guiding the playwriting, improv and character creation.

Valemountia hits the stage Oct.18th and 19th, 2014 at the Valemount Community Theatre. Tickets can be bought at Infinity for $15.