William Anderson’s Father Francis attempts an exorcism on Danni, played by Whitley Dunn, to remove demon Nicole Potvin (from left) in ‘Dispossessed, or Danni’s Inferno’ by local playwright Sean Enns at the 2019 New Waves Festival. This year’s festival is taking place online. (Bulletin file photo)

William Anderson’s Father Francis attempts an exorcism on Danni, played by Whitley Dunn, to remove demon Nicole Potvin (from left) in ‘Dispossessed, or Danni’s Inferno’ by local playwright Sean Enns at the 2019 New Waves Festival. This year’s festival is taking place online. (Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre announces New Waves Festival lineup

Two-day event to feature online staged readings of plays by four area playwrights

Western Edge Theatre’s New Waves Festival is back but this year the event highlighting the work of area playwrights is coming to a virtual stage.

Today the local theatre company announced the lineup for this year’s online edition of New Waves. The festival will feature staged readings of plays by Nanaimo playwrights Gordon McInnis, Jenna Morgan and Daniel Puglas, as well as Charlie Whelton from Qualicum Beach. The readings will be streamed live from the Harbour City Theatre on Feb. 6 and 7.

“It’s, we think, a happy medium between doing something entirely on Zoom, which I think people have had enough of for now, and we can better capture something like a theatre experience by live streaming using four cameras from an actual theatre,” Western Edge executive director Frank Moher said.

McInnis’s Benefit follows an older actress and a young musician making a connection backstage at a fundraiser, I Feel Everything by Morgan is about a woman who takes a pill to experience emotions for the first time, Puglas’s Mourning in Room 243 is about a family gathering in a motel room after a funeral and Curling Season by Whelton involves a retired filmmaker coming to terms with her husband’s dementia and her own mortality.

“These are all really strong plays,” Moher said. “By nature a new play’s on it’s way to being a finished play, but these are all … really accomplished scripts already.”

Western Edge artistic associate Brian March chose the plays from a pool of about 20 submissions. He said they’re well-written and likely to appeal to Western Edge’s audience.

“I’ve been impressed by the quality of the writing and I believe they’re almost stage ready,” he said. “I know some of the playwrights have done a number of drafts of the plays already and they’re if not there, they’re very close to certainly being staged.”

McInnis has acted in Western Edge productions in the past but this is his first time working with the theatre company as a playwright. The remaining playwrights all have connections to VIU. Whelton, whom Moher calls “a longtime Western Edge supporter,” and Puglas, one of Western Edge’s new artistic associates, have both taken Moher’s script-writing classes, while Morgan is enrolled in the school’s theatre program.

“[Morgan’s] a brand new arrival at Western Edge with her play, which is wonderful,” Moher said. “One thing the festival is doing is bringing a whole bunch of new talent and actors and writers to Western Edge including a lot of young ones. That makes me really happy.”

WHAT’S ON … Western Edge Theatre’s New Waves Festival takes place online on Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 available online or by phone at 250-816-6459.

RELATED: Western Edge’s New Waves Festival brings new plays to Harbour City Theatre


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Neighbours have reached out to media on several occasions with complaints about the property

Darcy Rhodes (left) says his grandfather’s bonsai trees are his ‘babies.’ (Courtesy of Tamara Bond)
Construction takes place on Bamfield Main in early February 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY CTV NEWS)
Ongoing Bamfield roadwork unrelated to planned $30M fix

Construction by Mosaic unrelated to $30M upgrade ordered in wake of fatal bus crash

Protestors against old growth logging gather in front of the courthouse in Victoria on Thursday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Fairy Creek protesters gather at Victoria courthouse

Logging company seeks injunction to remove blockades near its Port Renfrew operation

One person is dead after a camper van caught fire Thursday morning in Victoria's Beacon Hill Park. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
UPDATED: One person dead after vehicle fire in Beacon Hill Park

Investigation into Victoria death in early stages

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Crews disassemble the iconic red and white KFC bucket from a sign on Goldstream Avenue. (Photo courtesy of Mark Schoor)
Iconic KFC bucket removed from Goldstream Avenue

Popular fast-food chain closes Langford location

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Clockwise from top left: Malahat First Nation Chief George Harry and councillors Steve Henry and Cindy Harry address community members in a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Screenshot)
Malahat Nation confirms first two cases of COVID-19

Community has been under stay-at-home order since Jan. 7

Most Read