'Uncharted territory:' First-time director brings Agatha Christie to Kelowna stage - InfoNews

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'Uncharted territory:' First-time director brings Agatha Christie to Kelowna stage

The full cast of Black Coffee will take to the stage on April 17.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Tate Adrian
April 16, 2019 - 7:30 AM

KELOWNA - As a first time director of a major stage show, Tate Adrian has been "white knuckling it" for the last three months.

"It's terrifying," he joked.

Adrian is the director for Black Coffee, a stage play starring Agatha Christie's world-famous signature character Hercule Poirot. The play, presented by the Theatre Kelowna Society which turns 70 this year, takes to the stage this week at the Mary Irwin Theatre after over two months of rehearsals.

Adrian has directed smaller productions before now, but Black Coffee is his first major production as a director. He said he's had to learn as he went along, growing as a director and an artist.

"It was uncharted territory for me," he said.

Adrian said he was drawn to the play because of the conviction of the characters. Black Coffee focuses on Poirot as he tries to find the newly-made formula for the atomic bomb after its creator is murdered. The detective investigates a crew of party guests as he tries to uncover the killer. Adrian said this classic whodunit provides actors with rich characters to inhabit and explore.

"We see the different ways they face adversities," he said.

After auditions last December, rehearsals for the play began in late January, often running three times a week. Adrian said the entire crew was committed to getting the show off the ground in just over two months.

"We've been go, go, go," he said. "Very dedicated group."

As a director, Adrian enjoyed working with the actors and learning how to bring the deeper layers out of their characters.

"It's been one of the most rewarding experiences," he said. "The best part is helping [the actors] find the 'aha' moment."

Black Coffee takes to the stage on April 17. The cast will have two dress rehearsals beforehand. Adrian has been so focused on the show itself he hasn't thought much about the typical pre-show nervousness.

"I haven't left much time for pre-show jitters," he said. "Maybe I'll schedule them a week after the show's done."

Black Coffee runs from April 17 to April 28 at the Mary Irwin Theatre in the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors, students, and Theatre Society members.

Check out showtimes and ticket availability here.

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