Saturday, December 19, 2009

‘Twas a Grand Christmas Adventure in Barkerville

Photo Richard Wright: One of the best things about the Old Fashioned Christmas is shopping at Mason and Daly or C.Strouss.

Our foray into Christmas entertainment at Barkerville for the annual Old Fashioned Christmas was a real success.  We did three shows, with our Sunday afternoon show being sold out to a standing-room-only crowd in the Methodist Church.  Matt Quick did a great job of adapting his one-man “Tis a Grand Adventure” to a Christmas theme. Marcello Sequeira, who has been with us 5 years now, stepped in as Stage Manager and did a great job of recording sound cues to fit the seasonal adaptation.
            The only downside was the drop in temperature. Saturday was about -10, Sunday -27 in the early morning and then Monday it was -35.  No sleigh rides that day! Fortunately we had not planned on shows that day.
            For a while Matt and I thought it would be just the two of us, as Marcello’s flight did not land at Quesnel, but Williams Lake, 100 miles south.  And, the RCMP was threatening to close Highway 97.  After many calls he managed to get the next flight to Quesnel and early the next morning he and Matt arrived and off we went.

            Photo Richard Wright: Matt as Ed Howman in the Methodist Church.

Next week it is down to Vancouver for Xmas and the New Year and then auditions for our next season, cast and crew meetings and away we go on our 7th year at Theatre Royal, Barkerville. Stay tuned for cast and crew news.

 On another note, research for the shows and other writing is moving along nicely, with some real interesting connections being made between Cariboo and U.S. gold and silver strikes.  It is becoming clear that many of these miners were a peripatetic bunch. California to Cariboo, Cariboo to White Pine, Nevada in 1869, then back to the Omineca rush of 1870, then down to Tombstone for the great silver rush of 1878, then, if they were not too old or dead, off to the Klondyke.  And throughout, the same names keep cropping up.  I am working on another great story from Tombstone titled “Who shot the Sheriff”, but just as I get it framed more information comes in.  Just yesterday a thick envelope arrived with the U.S. prison records of our protaginist, and the story flip-flopped. Back to digging and peeling back the layers of the onion.

What’s the book show, the drama, for 2010 everyone wants to know? Well, we have some ideas but they are not yet set in stone. There are so many stories to tell, so many characters, so many stories that need to be told.  By January we will know.

Photo Richard Wright: Prison documents open new doors.


© Richard T Wright 2009

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