Volunteers Bring Theatre Kelowna’s “HONK” to Life

Taking part means being adopted by a giant family of quirky, warm-hearted people who come together for the love of entertaining. Theatre Kelowna is made up of all volunteers. When you have 30 to 40 people putting months of free labour into a full-length Christmas show, you get a backstage experience that elevates every person involved to a heightened sense of teamwork, camaraderie—and chaos. Even after it’s over, when I run into a fellow belly dancer or friendly gnome from my past, I know although we may no longer be in costume, we are forever bonded in theatre.

To find out more about the play this year, I make a call to Debbie Helf, the beacon of the group and member for most of its 33 years. To me she is a huge local icon. Or iconoclast. She can play both roles quite well (imagine her now, rubbing her hands and raising her brows with such theatrical perfection you can’t help hang on her every twisted thought). She excitedly tells me about Honk, debuting in December. It’s the theatre’s version of the Ugly Duckling, and even though I’m missing out on being in it this year, I know a seat in the audience is one holiday gift worth buying. Professional actors, mainstage musicals, shows on Broadway, are all often worth the price tag and the trip. But it’s in the small corners of the theatre world where perhaps the most moving moments occur. In a space where no one is paid, no one is perfect and everything is a labour of love. ~Gillianne Richards

The show runs until Dec 11th – click here for details

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