Original local theatre premieres at the Vallican Whole

The Vallican Whole Community Centre shares a unique theatrical event with Slocan Valley.

On Saturday, March 10, the Vallican Whole Community Centre shares a unique theatrical event with the Slocan Valley community.

The second feature in this year’s Up Close and Intimate series is the world première of Be/Longing, an original and very personal play about the lives of Slocan Valley women, written and performed by Martina Avis and Marya Folinsbee. Doors open at 7 p.m., performance starts at 8 p.m.

Many Valley folks have witnessed Marya’s outstanding thespian talent as part of the Valley Gems theatrical troupe, directed by Martina. Who could forget watching her channel Elvis as part of their modern version of Midsummer Night’s Dream? Martina, on the other hand, has rarely been seen here on stage. This is her first foray into the world of acting, rather than directing and design, in almost ten years.

What is the play about, and what inspired them to take on this challenge?

Marya says, “Originally, I was imagining some kind of historical storytelling, playing recognizable characters, maybe creating some kind of Slocan Valley portrait. What has arrived is surprising, and quite different from that. I am surprised at how personal a lot of it feels … but still somehow rooted in this place.” Martina’s take on it is: “This play is mostly lighthearted, sometimes satirical. It captures lots of experiences in the valley. We hope people will see a bit of themselves and their neighbours in this show, that they will laugh and cry and contemplate what it means to live here.”

Part of the charm of the piece is the powerful connection between these two women.

Martina says, “I’m just so damn grateful when someone like Marya shows up. I’ve directed her in three plays and she’s a truly marvellous actor, I always have absolute faith in her. With this play, it’s fun to get to work with her in this whole new capacity.” Marya says, “I think we both recognized some kinship during the first couple of plays: A collaborator! Another theatre geek. Someone who speaks my language. On top of that we are in the same stage of our lives, both becoming mothers around the same time, so we became friends, and began to trust each other as artists and theatre-makers as well.”

Martina was born in the Slocan Valley, and is a fifth-generation valley resident, whereas Marya arrived about five years ago. This gives them two very different perspectives to work with.

As Marya puts it, “That is one of the themes that shows up in the play — how we relate to this place from those different starting points. I have been reckoning with ‘belonging’ wherever I’ve lived … and I feel that complication very strongly here.”

Martina’s experience is, “My relationship with the valley has changed many times. As a teenager I couldn’t wait to leave, in my early twenties I visited regularly and began to recognize its uniqueness and beauty. Now that I’m raising my children here, I’m so grateful be a part of this place, our community is how I make meaning in my life.”

Now they’ve written a play about being here, about the women they are and the women they live amongst, about the home truths involved in being a woman in this place. Everyone who comes will admire the courage and creativity of these two remarkable women as they make their way through this particular part of the world.

They want to extend a big thanks to the Slocan Valley Arts Council, for their generosity and patience.

Tickets for this play and for the next presentation in the series, Maria Dunn, storyteller in song, are available for $40 for the two at www.vallicanwhole.com. Check out the poster etc. on Facebook/TheWhole. The series is well on its way to selling out, so get yours now.

Just Posted

Facing no challengers, Moore promises “more of the same”

Biggest accomplishment was restoring reputation of Rossland, mayor says

Lost sheep returned to the fold — stolen sculpture reappears

The Castlegar Sculpturewalk sculpture was reported missing Tuesday.

Threatened species found nesting at Teck Trail

Canadian data collected from 1968 to 2005 show an 80 per cent decline of the Common Nighthawk

Trail bus line readies to takeover Kelowna run

Silver City Stage Lines must have a booking site up by Sept. 30; two vehicles activated by Oct. 26

More burning prohibitions rescinded in southeast B.C.

Category 2 and 3 fires will be permitted in Southeast Fire Centre as of 1p.m. on Wednesday.

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Most Read