The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society Presents Jake’s Gift

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society proudly presents Jake’s Gift written and performed by Julie Mackey on Saturday, November 20th 2011 at 8:00PM with Songs of the War Years featuring Sally Evans and Molly Boyd beginning one hour earlier at 7:00 pm.  Jake’s Gift is part of the Society’s 2011/12 Theatre Series and takes place at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.


Jake’s Gift is a surprisingly funny drama that tells the story of a Canadian World War II veteran who reluctantly returns to Normandy, France, for the 60th anniversary of D-Day. While revisiting the beach he landed on sixty years earlier, Jake encounters Isabelle, a precocious 10-year-old from the local village whose inquisitive nature and charm challenge the old soldier to confront some long-ignored ghosts: most notably, the war-time death of his eldest brother Chester, a once promising young musician.


“The comedy really comes out in these two people who tell it like it is” – Says writer and performer of Jake’s Gift, Julia Mackey. “I think what I’ve seen is a lot of people have a Jake in their world, a story about loss and emotional experience for people.”


In June 2004, Julia Mackey traveled to Normandy, France, for the 60th anniversary of D-Day. During that eight-day journey, she interviewed dozens of Canadian, British and American veterans who had returned for the ceremonies. The stories they shared with Julia, and her own life-long interest in World War II inspired the development of the play.  In August 2006 the first draft of Jake’s Gift received a workshop performance at the Sunset Theatre’s Exploration Series in Wells, BC.


This is a beautifully moving play with only one actor portraying all four characters. Through one irritable 80 year-old man and a quick-witted ten year-old, an amazing story is told through their eyes, signifying one of Canada’s most historic events.


“With a sense of loss, there’s also a lot of friendship even with the differences in generations.” Adds Mackey, “(Audience members) may feel more patriotic and the importance and remembrance of passing on”.


The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support: Vernon Lock and Safe, Swan Lake Nurseryland, Alan Francis Pringle, the Vernon Morning Star, the Okanagan Advertiser, North of 50 Magazine, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the British Columbia Arts Council and the Regional District of the North Okanagan.


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