“Do you want to dance and hold my hand,” the actors of Fernie’s original play Make Love, Not War sang last Thursday evening at the Fernie Arts Station.
The local musicians, along with 10 local actors and actresses, are gearing up for writers/producers Nadine Steele and Doreen Oosterhuis’ original play, set to take place at the Arts Station on Feb. 20 and 21.
After selling out of tickets for their Christmas performance, held during the annual What the Dickens Christmas celebration, Steele and Oosterhuis are confident that their self-coined ‘home grown musical for grownups’ will be a hit.
Set in the Elk Valley, the ‘70s themed performance will showcase the struggles faced by an array of characters, including a young veteran from Afghanistan in search of his high- school sweetheart, a married couple facing the challenges of marriage and a British Tourist.
“It’s a romance,” Steele added. “We just wanted to do something different from the Christmas show.”
Catered to adults, the musical will feature an originally scripted performance and a live band, singing mainly adapted songs with one original song.
In fact, Steele and Oosterhuis began writing this play in the summer of 2014 and, with input from their cast, have been continuously adapting it since.
“We collaborate with our cast about the songs, the characters and the plot,” Steele noted. “Our motto is you speak, we tweak,” Oosterhuis added.
This performance was made possible with assistance from the Columbia Basin Trust, through their Columbia Kootenay Culture Alliance (CKCA) grant, which Steel said encourages local artists to get involved in performances such as this one.
“That’s what we feel our play is doing,” said Steele, who noted that the 10 artists involved in the play are all from Fernie.
“There’s nobody that doesn’t live here,” Oosterhuis added.
Among the actors and actresses in the play are Erik Thorlakson, Regan Haydu, Markus Glickman, Randal Macnair and Andy Blakemore.
Tickets for Make Love, Not War will go on sale Feb. 4.