Runaway Moon Theatre artistic director Cathy Stubington demonstrates one of the suitcase plays that will be performed during the troupe’s upcoming Festival of Mini Theatre. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)

Big stories begin with small suitcase in upcoming festival

Shuswap-Okanagan storytellers to open up at Festival of Mini Theatre in Salmon Arm

How did you get here?

There are many ways to answer the question and residents and visitors will be able to hear 20 responses during Runaway Moon Theatre’s Festival of Mini Theatre which runs May 3 to 5 in downtown Salmon Arm.

The suitcase shows will take place throughout the city, says Runaway Moon stage manager Dalynn Kearney.

The festival opens Friday, May 3 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Lakeside Manor on Harbourfront Drive NE.

There will be three different performance spaces so stories will run concurrently with a possible 12 or more 15-minute plays during the two hour period.

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Cathy Stubington, Runaway Moon’s artistic director and festival performer, says the question will be answered by a number of talented guests artists and co-directors from their own perspectives.

Tim Gosley, formerly of the well-loved TV program Fraggle Rock, is on-board as is James Fagan Tait, who is well known to both Runaway Moon and Caravan Farm Theatre fans. Salmon Arm Secondary’s well-loved and now retired drama and musical theatre teacher Kathy Hay will share her story as well, as will Sue Vignola of Vernon.

Storytellers will come from across the region, including Grindrod, Mara, Armstrong, Vernon, Salmon Valley, Victoria and places in between.

“There will be puppets, pop-ups and everyday objects coming alive,” says Kearney.

“And the only parameter is that it there be a suitcase or backpack involved,” adds Stubington of the small but creative props to accompany the storytelling.

Performers and their suitcases will set up at various venues to be determined with the help of Downtown Salmon Arm manager Lindsay Wong.

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Storytelling will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, with a repeat of the Friday night event from 7 to 9 p.m., this time at First United Church on Okanagan Avenue. Find the storytellers on Sunday, May 5 from 1 to 4 p.m. and ask them “How did you get here?”

An information booth with maps showing the various venues will be located at the Ross Street Plaza.

Stubington points out that while many of Runaway Moon’s performances are geared to children, this one is directed more to adults. But children with adults are welcome and won’t be offended.


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