VIDEO PREVIEW: Campbell River theatre group’s raunchy romp

‘A delightful new comedy about the world’s oldest profession’

The actors will soon be getting the opening night jitters for Rivercity Players’ current production, Jenny’s House of Joy.

Opening on Thursday at at the Rivercity Stage (1080 Hemlock Street), Jenny’s House of Joy is described as “a delightful new comedy about the oldest profession,” the play takes place in a “house of ill repute” and tells the story of five women found there for a variety of reasons.

Besides opening for local theatre-goers, this production will also be entered into the North Island Zone Festival, which will be held in Courtenay this year, May 14-20. Seven plays are entered this time, and in honor of Canada’s 150th birthday, all plays are Canadian. There are 14 awards up for grabs – everything from Best Production to Best Backstage Coordination. The best production will represent the North Island Zone at Mainstage 2017 in Vernon.

Participation in a festival gives the cast and crew the unique opportunity to get professional input on their production.

Each evening, following the show, the adjudicator will give a brief review of the production for the audience. The following morning at the coffee critique, there is a more in depth discussion with the cast and crew. This is a great opportunity to hear what worked well in the play, and areas that could be improved.

Jen McGowan, who plays the gritty Jenny, is both excited and nervous to be attending festival for the first time. “It will be an interesting experience to be adjudicated,” she said, “it will shed new light on the whole production.”

Michelle Zylstra plays Clara, who provides a moral opposite to the other characters in the play and looks for a turn of kindness from them. Zylstra has been to festival before and is looking forward to “packing up all the gear and heading out on the road.”

Frances, the weathered prostitute with a tough exterior but a little bit of heart inside, is played by Christina Peterson, who has also participated in festivals before.

“It’s such an amazing experience,” she said, “my favorite part is the Coffee Critiques. I love re-working the play with a new person, it opens your eyes to other ways the play could be done.”

Jenny’s House of Joy is playing at the Rivercity Stage (1080 Hemlock Street) April 27-29 and May 4-6 at 7:30 p.m., and April 30 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at Impressions Gallery, CR Laundromat, and the Tidemark Theatre. Warning: coarse language and adult themes. Audience members in western attire will be entered in to a prize draw.