Free-range, Locally-sourced Theatre Tours the West Kootenays


Slocan Valley theatre artists Marya Folinsbee and Martina Avis are bringing their new play, Be/Longing, to communities around the West Kootenays this fall. Be/Longing is a play told through a series of sketches, inspired by the history, stories and experiences of the writer/performers and other women in their community. The play debuted at the Vallican Whole in March of 2018, to a sold-out audience. Marya and Martina have since received a touring grant from the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, so they are taking their show on the road.

Martina was born and raised in Winlaw. She left for a time to study theatre in university, and to live and work in other places, but ultimately, she came back home. Since returning, she has been making theatre happen in her own little community, directing shows for the Valley Gems, a local troupe, and most recently, teaching drama at Mt. Sentinel. She’s also found a collaborator in Marya, a theatremaker and clown who moved to the Valley six years ago. Together, they have created a humble portrait of their home, a two-woman play that explores some of the experiences of living in rural community, written by a “local”, and someone “from away”.

The play was created through reading, research, interviews, and a “story harvest”, where interested folks joined the playwrights in a workshop to share their experiences of life in the Slocan Valley. Although a lot of the play is informed by those stories, the creators have also sourced from their own lives, and what has emerged is a collage that is both more personal, and more abstract, than they originally expected.

This fall, Martina and Marya are performing Be/Longing for audiences in Winlaw, Kaslo, Silverton and Nelson. They began in Winlaw, to an intimate audience in the living room of Marya’s cabin. On October 20th they were in Kaslo to perform at the Langham Cultural Centre as part of the Langham’s Guest Artist series. November 3rd they will be gracing the newly-renovated Silverton Gallery. They finish up the tour on November 10th with two shows in Nelson, co-produced by the Nelson Historical Theatre Society.

Audiences can expect a funny, absurd, and moving piece theatre, which sees the actors inhabit multiple characters, bizarre scenarios, and deep truths about rural life and community. The play is most suitable for a teen to adult audience, as it contains some mature subject matter.

The Nelson shows are at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm, Saturday November 10 th, at Hart Hall, 501 Carbonate Street. Tickets are $15, and can be purchased at Otter Books or reserved online at

For more information about the tour please visit or find the “Be/Longing Fall Tour” event on Facebook. Marya and Martina are also featured in the Fall/Winter 2018 issue of Articulate Magazine.

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