Gallery 7 Theatre in Abbotsford presents an online edition of its annual short play festival Abby Theatre Fest: Stage to Screen Edition over two weekends in October.
This year’s festival features a mix of short performance pieces set to film created by artists throughout the Fraser Valley, Washington state and Ontario.
“While we wish we could host our festival in person, current conditions have pushed us towards trying something new,” said Ken Hildebrandt, Gallery 7 Theatre’s artistic director.
“I think we’ve come up with a really fun and exciting alternative that audiences will be able to enjoy from the comfort of their homes.”
Over the past few years, Abby Theatre Fest has showcased short plays produced by emerging and established artists, and has become a greenhouse for original works written by local playwrights.
This year’s Stage to Screen Edition will be no different. All films to be screened in this year’s festival are completely original, written and, in most cases, performed by the creators.
Artists have contributed anything from short films to performance poetry and even fun isolation stories told by children.
“I’m really thrilled about the variety of work on tap for audiences,” Hildebrandt said. “There’s plenty of humour, lots of soul-nourishing thematic content and even some avant-garde stuff to expand our artistic appreciation. Even though it’s live-streamed, I think audiences are in for a truly unique and exciting experience.”
The festival takes place over two weekends – Oct. 16/17 and Oct. 23/24 – starting at 7:30 p.m. On Friday evenings, audiences will be able watch, comment and ask questions live with Hildebrandt.
The broadcast will be replayed on Saturday evenings, with audiences being able to interact with the theatre in the chat room in real time.
The shows for the first weekend are:
n Motherhood and Being a Sandwich or The Best Laid Plans by Sue Backs
• Find a Way, an original short story reading about relationships by Sandra Griffiths
n Two Dinosaurs Under the Sun, a short film by Darby Sherwood (international submission)
n Isolation Stories Through the Eyes of Children 1, a series of short stories told by children and filmed by Charlene Crawford
n Dreams of a Ghost, a collection of original poems by Desiree Hale
n The End of Snow by Laurie Damer
n Magnificat, a short film by Joel Brandt
The shows for the second weekend are:
n Memoirs of a Middle School EA, a short comical film by Doriana Brewer
n Corona: Sonnet in Situ, a cycle of sonnets written and performed by Barbara Nickel
n Isolation Stories Through the Eyes of Children, more short stories created and told by children filmed by Charlene Crawford
n Verywhere, a post-apocalyptic original short film by high school student Ely Davidson
n Spoken Word, musings about creativity by Ontario resident Rebecca Laurenti
n Miss Porter, an original radio play and prequel to Tarzan performed by Jester’s Theatre
Tickets are “pay what you can,” starting at $15. A link to the live stream will be sent to ticket-holders two hours prior to the start of the performance.
Visit gallery7theatre.com to purchase tickets or for more information.