Buskers and Arsonists

Nelson History Theatre’s youth theatre program is taking to the streets (and parks) this summer. Seven actors with professional aspirations will be performing short scenes and poems at various locations on Baker St and beyond beginning on Monday, August 7th.

“They are a talented bunch,” says Artistic Director Richard Rowberry, “and in my declining years it’s fun to toss them a few ideas and watch them run with it. With a theme of Deaths and Duels, they are working on pieces from Shakespeare as well as poems by Robert Service, that great old chestnut The Highwayman, and my favourite made-in-the-Kootenays piece, Three Fingered Frank.”

Originally conceived as a busking project with the performers asking for donations, Rowberry says it has

been so well supported by The Osprey Community Foundation and local businesses that they have decide to forgo the monetary side. “It frees them up to move around and not worry about all that. They are still getting well paid though, “he adds, “thanks to a Canada Summer Jobs employment grant, individual donations and support from BC Gaming and the RDCK. Over the last twenty years we have contributed to the post secondary education expenses of around fifty young people with wages and fees topping $250,000.”

Later in August (the week of the 20th to the 25th) the same group will perform Red Sky Over Nelson: The Story of The Nelson Arsonist again at various locations around town as well as a couple of shows in Ymir and possibly elsewhere. “Given the way things have gone this summer,” says Rowberry, “it was an appropriate choice although I didn’t know it at the time. It’s a fun storytelling piece with six actors and even a bit of audience participation. Ingrid Love is directing and the actors are Jacklyn Banman, Quinn Barron, Morgan Beck, Emma Chart, Noah Kingsley, and Gillian Wiley. There will be admission charged for this one – but not a lot.”

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Mary Rose

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