The annual Ryga Arts Festival, which will be held in August, 2020, pays tribute to the works of Canadian playwright George Ryga. (File photo)

The annual Ryga Arts Festival, which will be held in August, 2020, pays tribute to the works of Canadian playwright George Ryga. (File photo)

Ryga Arts Festival to include short play competition

Competition open to youth and adults in the Okanagan and Similkameen

Plays by Okanagan-Similkameen playwrights will be presented during this year’s Ryga Arts Festival.

The festival is an annual celebration of Canadian playwright George Ryga. It will be held in Summerland in August.

“While our events will certainly be different this year, with virtual-digital-online performances and presentations taking the lead, we’re being creative and want to inspire creativity in others,” said artistic director Heather Davies.

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Festival details will be announced soon. In the mean time, writers have an opportunity to compete for a spot on the festival’s stage by writing a short play.

The winning entry and some runners-up will be presented on Aug. 22 either digitally, or in a public-health approved venue.

The competition is open to residents of the Okanagan-Similkameen.

There are two categories: youth (under the age of 18), and adult (over the age of 18.)

Judging will be done by three independent judges,and first, second, and third prizes will be awarded of $150, $100, and $50, respectively.

Plays must have parts for two to four actors, require minimal sets or props, and are restricted to a 10-minute performance time.

Entries must be submitted by email no later than July 10, as a PDF file, to rygafest@gmail.com.

Full criteria and rules can be found online at rygafest.ca/assets/forms/RYGA-Short-Play-Competition2020.pdf.

The Ryga Festival aims to advance appreciation of the arts by organizing and staging an annual arts and cultural festival in Summerland that honours Ryga, following his inspiration to foster creativity and creative expression in any art form.

Ryga lived in Summerland from 1962 until his death in 1987. Most of his plays, including his 1967 work, The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, deal with social justice issues.

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