Caravan Farm Theatre’s summer show a saucy ‘Bridgerton’ style musical | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Caravan Farm Theatre’s summer show a saucy ‘Bridgerton’ style musical

An audience awaits the start of a performance at the Caravan Farm Theatre in Spallumcheen near Armstrong.
Image Credit: Caravan Farm Theatre

When Caravan Farm Theatre’s artistic director started making plans for this summer’s production, she wanted to make sure it was both delightful and meaningful.

The Bear and The Proposal: An Okanagan Wedding Party in Two Acts fills the bill. It’s based on two hilarious Anton Chekhov plays but with a local twist.

Shook’s adaptation was inspired by the book Okanagan Women’s Voices: Syilx and Settler Writing and Relations, 1870s to 1960s, according to a media release from the theatre. It’s a collection of stories from seven women about friendships and marriages between early settlers and Syilx people at the turn of the century.

“As we discovered in this remarkable book, the history of our area is steeped in rich relationships between Syilx and settler peoples,” Shook said in the release “We chose to surface this history by working it into our adaptation of these two Russian plays — merging the fictional with the historical.”

Shook said it's a “saucy, Bridgerton-esque take" on Chekhov comedies.

UBC Okanagan faculty member Bill Cohen with the Okanagan Nation played a role in transforming the Chekhov plays into a hyper-local adaptation that includes Syilx cultural knowledge.

Estelle Shook, left, and Bill Cohen at Caravan Farm Theatre.
Estelle Shook, left, and Bill Cohen at Caravan Farm Theatre.
Image Credit: Caravan Farm Theatre

“Even though as Canadians we have a lot of work to do with respect to Reconciliation, we also need find the lightness and joy and laughter. It’s important to find ways to celebrate and connect,” Shook said.

The Bear and The Proposal: An Okanagan Wedding Party in Two Acts has historical characters including one inspired by Captain Frederick Houghton, an early settler and owner of the land that became Coldstream Ranch, along with settler and author Susan Moir Allison.

The show — starring Canadian actors Ryan Beil, Kevin Bundy, Sheldon Elter, Kristi Hansen, Jani Lauzon, Renae Morriseau and Amanda Trapp — runs from July 9 to Aug. 4 and tickets are on sale now. Go here for more information and to buy tickets.

Caravan Farm Theatres is one of Canada’s premier professional outdoor theatre companies on an 80-acre farm in Spallumcheen just outside Armstrong in the North Okanagan.


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