Coyotes hit the Caravan Theatre stage in its summer production - InfoNews

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Coyotes hit the Caravan Theatre stage in its summer production

Caravan Farm Theatre crowds are always filled with life.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Tim Matheson
June 20, 2019 - 7:00 AM

ARMSTRONG - The Caravan Farm Theatre has been offering the Okanagan the show of the lifetime for decades.

This year they're celebrating 40 years of showcasing live, outdoor performances on an 80-acre farm in Armstrong. Actors, writers, musicians and other artists from around the globe make their way to the farm for a residency where they collaborate and create productions.

Artistic director Estelle Shook fell in love with the theatre company and its unique appeal at the age of six, when she visited the farm with her family to watch a performance.

"I was fascinated, I knew it was sophisticated and for adults, but there was so much there," Shook said. "It made me think about deeper mysteries I could get a better understanding of later, when I was older."

As a teenager, she started volunteering in community theatre, then became a professional theatre artist and worked at small and large theatres across North America.

Then, 15 years ago, she gravitated back to where her love of theatre began.

"There's no other company like it in the country," she said. "It's a professional theatre company on an 80-acre farm in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. You have world-class artists and an incredible natural environment and original plays that are so smart, for all ages."

And the fact it's outside with an audience that is relaxed, able to get a craft beer and a bag of popcorn and enjoy the majesty of the outdoors makes it all the more special.

The upcoming production, the Coyotes, is going to offer another unique experience for all those interested in attending and to get an idea of what that means Shook said there are some questions to consider.

What if the world was running out of water? What if there were only one working well left in existence and it was on the run-down farm of a widow and her two daughters? Who would want this well? What would they do to get it?

And what if the "most fabulous coyote of them all" fell in love with the mad daughter of the widow who owns the farm with the only water left in the world?

"It's the perfect blend of mystery, magic and flat out comedy," said Shook. "It's hilarious."

Some of the best clowns in the country are in the cast.

"And then there is true beauty and moving mystery and emotionally grounded stories," she said. "It's about a family of three women who are complicated, set against a backdrop of an improbable drought...There's pathos, but each character is funny and all are playing comic notes and are really actually dealing in real emotional realities with each other."

All of it, Shook said, was grounded in emotional truth and reality.

The play will run for four weeks opening July 16 until Aug. 11.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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