Director Susan Wydenes (bottom left) puts the cast of the Way of All Fish through their paces during a recent rehearsal. Photo by Alistair Taylor

Rivercity Players present a night of comedy in four different styles

Campbell River’s community theatre group stages a collection of one-act plays

Ready for four varieties of comedy?

Rivercity Players’ fall production, Bits and Bites, has provided four directors the opportunity to each bring a production to the stage.

Susan Wydenes is directing The Way of All Fish by Elaine May. This dark comedy is a power match up between a self-absorbed executive and her seemingly drab secretary.

Wydenes, who has both acting and directing experience with Rivercity Players, is enjoying working with the characters in the play.

“I like that the characters surprise us a little bit throughout the play,” she said, “and I like playing with the balance of power between the two.”

The challenge in the play has been to figure out the characters – is Miss Riverton clever and intentional, or not? Is Miss Asquith vulnerable, or not? She feels her actors have worked well together, in bringing out the dynamics of this play.

Mr. Compatible, by Amy Zipperer, is brought to the stage by Sara O’Haver. While O’Haver has acted in numerous plays as well as working backstage and front of house, this is her first time as director.

The play is about a girl who is frustrated with the dating scene and so decides to treat finding love like a business arrangement.

O’Haver thought the play was ‘pretty cute’ when she first read it.

“I am really loving how my characters are growing – the actors are working well together,” she said, “I can’t wait to see how it all comes together.”

Bill Walton chose The Raft by Stephen Leacock because “of the absurd sense of humour it contains and it’s unusual setting.” The play takes place on the high seas, where two castaways are happy to meet up.

Walton has a strong background in theatre, and in a variety of areas – acting, producing and directing, to name a few. He is enjoying working with an enthusiastic and creative cast, as they work on making the pay as entertaining as possible.

In selecting this play, Walton notes, “I have always preferred farce to comedy. I hope the audience enjoys the crazy situation of two very odd people lost on a raft.”

Rounding out the evening is A Little Something for the Ducks by Jean Lenox Toddie, and directed by Marg Branscombe. Branscombe is making her debut as a director with this charming comedy about two senior citizens and their feathered friends, but she has years of experience in acting, stage managing and other production areas.

“The actors are connecting with their characters and each other in a very nice way,” said Branscombe, “I think the audience can look forward to being entertained on a variety of levels.”

The plays will be performed Oct. 16 to 19 and 23 to 26 at 7:30 p.m., and 20 and 27 at 2 p.m. All performances are at the Rivercity Stage 1080 Hemlock Street. Tickets are $20, and available on-line at rivercityplayers.ca, and also at the Rivercity Stage on Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mild adult themes.

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This cast of characters are not in the plays, they’re directing them for Rivercity Players night of one-act plays, Bits N Bites. From left is Bill Walton, Marg Branscombe, Sarah O’Haver and Susan Wydenes. Photo by Alistair Taylor

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