Powerhouse Theatre’s production of Calendar Girls won the title of Best Production at the awards Saturday night for the Mainstage Festival that was held in Vernon.
Director Tanya Laing Gahr says it was a tremendous way to end a remarkable run for the cast a crew.
“It was really nice to have a Vernon-based play in Vernon and then to be awarded with the Best Production, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor all at home. Everyone was on their feet. EVERYONE was on their feet when the production was awarded.”
Laing Gahr says adjudicator Stephen Drover felt like he was dancing in the streets when he saw the play.
“And he loved the fact that it just made him feel good. It made him believe in humanity and the goodness of people, at a time when our news cycle maybe isn’t giving that kind of information to us.”
She says Drover felt the production values were through the roof, with the warmth and love of the cast shining through.
Laing Gahr notes that Mainstage involves the best of the best in community theatre around the province and some of the groups are semi-professional.
“So it really means something that this group of volunteers who got together three and four times a week to bring this to life were recognized for the high value and quality that it brought to the stage.”
Laing-Gahr was named Best Director and says it was an amazing affirmation for her.
She says it was rewarding because as a director she is setting the vision for the production.
“And saying yes to ideas and you are bringing people along with you so that they say yes as well.”
Laing Gahr goes on to add she had a very cooperative cast and crew.
“Oh, I did. You know I was working with 13 people on the cast and another 13 to 20 people backstage. So, we had a huge ensemble and everybody, everybody came with their hearts just wide open and ready to do the work. So I couldn’t have asked for a better team of people.”
Cast member Barry Goodsell was named best Supporting Actor for his role in Calendar Girls.
“He was tremendous. He was tremendous from the beginning until the end. And one of the things I really appreciate about Barry as well, is he was our photographer. So he took those amazing calendar shots of the women and of the cast and crew that were then used for the calendar that we sold. So, he came as a fantastic actor but also one of the best photographers that I’ve ever met.”
Laing Gahr Calendar Girls will be one of her best memories.