The play, Age of Arousal, is a powerful ensemble play about the ongoing struggle for gender equality and liberation, set in Victorian times. / Submitted Photo

Mission theatre group nets four awards

ONTS honoured at Theatre B.C.’s Fraser Valley Zone Festival

Mission’s Opening Nite Theatre Society scooped up four awards at Theatre B.C.’s Fraser Valley Zone Festival.

The play, Age of Arousal, is a powerful ensemble play about the ongoing struggle for gender equality and liberation, set in Victorian times.

The show won awards for outstanding director, for Norma Rushton, outstanding set design for Joe Samorodin, and outstanding costume design for Karen Wootten (tied with Chilliwack’s Offtopic Theatre Society).

Opening Nite also won the Fraser Valley Zone Award for being a club that is inclusive and contributes to the community.

Age Of Arousal enjoyed a successful run in Mission, before moving on to the festival.

Samorodin, who created Arousal’s representational set, a giant revolving wedding cake on which the actors performed, said “It’s a great feeling to have a set that works for a play and helps drive its narrative. “

Rushton, a retired high school drama teacher, said “I am incredibly proud of what we (ONTS) accomplished. We are a small group in comparison to most of the other community theatres competing, yet we held our own and came away with some of the most prestigious awards and many heartfelt congratulations.

“Any time we can learn from professional artists is an opportunity for us to become better and stronger. Mission was extremely well represented and to excel on a larger regional stage is proof that we are a force to be reckoned with,” added Rushton.

Six community theatre groups entered the Fraser Valley Zone Festival, with Langley Players winning Best Production for Dancing at Lughnasa.

The event, which took place May 12 to 17 at Coquitlam’s Evergreen Cultural Centre was hosted by Coquitlam’s Stage 43 and adjudicated by Katrina Dunn, professional stage director, and Faculty member of the University of Manitoba.

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