Seven community theatre groups in the region that includes the Tri-Cities will perform their best stage plays of the season in Coquitlam next week.
Starting Sunday, the groups - which involve three clubs from Coquitlam - will vie for the chance to represent the Fraser Valley Zone at the Theatre BC provincial festival in Kamloops in July, competing against nine other zones from around B.C.
This year's Fraser Valley contest, called Still Standing, will see each of the seven arts organizations perform on separate nights from May 8 to 14 at the Evergreen Culture Centre (1205 Pinetree Way) and be adjudicated by Andrew McIlroy, one of Canada's most sought-after teachers and whose acting credits include Battlestar Galactica (as Jacob Cantrell), Smallville and The L Word.
Co-hosting the zone event in Coquitlam is Theatrix Youtheatre, which won the 2010 zone fest for having the best ensemble cast with Little Women, and Stage 43, which not only clinched the zone's best production prize for Ravenscroft but also went on to win the B.C. title at Mainstage last year.
Stage 43 will launch the zone fest on Sunday with Hay Fever, a Noel Coward comedy about the Bliss family weekend; the local group will wrap up its run of the show at ECC the day before the zone festival starts.
And Theatrix will close the competition with a matinee performance of Into the Woods Junior, a family musical about Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and other children's literature characters.
Another Coquitlam group in the line-up is ABC Let's Act, which will present Cinderellas 2: The Fairy Tale Continues - also a family musical that follows the rags-to-riches princess as she travels the world.
Winners for, among other things, best production, set design, acting and direction will be named at the end of the zone fest on the evening of Saturday, May 14 with a gala that is open to the public; tickets are $30 or $20 for Theatre BC members.
Around since 1932, Theatre BC currently serves 70 community theatre groups around the province.
For single tickets or festival passes, call the Evergreen Cultural Centre box office at 604-927-6555 or visit evergreenculturalcentre.ca.
For more information about Still Standing, visit www.fvzfestival.theatrebc.org.
The zone festival is sponsored in part by The Tri-City News.