The Melville Boys
By Norm Foster
Run Dates April 25 to May 2, 2015
Our Spring 2015 production of The Melville Boys, opened in Osoyoos on April 24 and closed in Oliver on May 2.
The Melville Boys is a poignant comedy by Canadian playwright, Norm Foster that required actors to perfect their comedic timing, while maintaining a reality in their characters. This was a welcome departure for some from the more cartoonish characters that populated recent productions such as Lend Me a Tenor, Twisted Tales, and another Norm Foster classic, The Long Weekend.
The Melville Boys introduced actor Nathan Linders (Twisted Tales, Lend Me a Tenor) in his directing debut. New directors always face a steep learning curve, that Nathan took in stride with help from assistant director and long-time SOAP actor/director, Diane Gludovatz.
Another big part in The Melville Boys is a detailed, literal set depicting a classic Upper Canada, family fishing cabin. This was Tom Szalay's first set design, complete with kitchen, screen door, sunlit outdoor area and "home-made" pot-belly stove.
Producer: Patrick Turner
Directors: Nathan Linders & Diane Gludovatz
Stage Manager: Penelope Johnson
Set Design & Construction: Tom Szalay
Set Dressing & Painting: Brian and Jennifer Mapplebeck
Costumes: Bernice Myllyniemi
Properties: Christine Rothwell
Lights: Tom Szalay
Sound: Jen Jensen
Front of House & Concession: Louise Szalay
Theatre director Nathan Linders thinks it’s never too early to start planning that summer vacation to the family cottage, especially when it includes the prospect of fishing and beer.
"It's been ten years since the Melville boys have been out to the family cabin. It seems like a long time and a lot has changed in the family, but once out to the lake it seems like nothing has changed at all. The lake is still quiet and filled with fish. The last fifteen kilometres of the drive is still on gravel roads, and there are more deer on those roads than cars.
The Melville Boys is perhaps one of the most beautifully-executed samples of [Norm Foster's] humour-meets-humanity style of storytelling. It’s raw. It’s visceral. It’s real. It’s a snapshot of anyone’s life on any given day, anywhere. And that is what makes it profound.
- Brampton Guardian
Cast and Characters
Brohm Dason as OWEN: Brohm moved to Osoyoos from Vancouver in 2014. Although new to SOAP, he is no newcomer to entertainment, having performed in live theatre and TheatreSports in Calgary, obtained his diploma form the Vancouver Film School and worked with over 40 TV shows and films.
Youth is wasted on the young. Impulsive and immature, OWEN is looking for any way he can to enjoy his free ride just a little longer.
Craig Bjornson as LEE: Craig is a long-time Oliver resident. He played roles in three recent SOAP productions -The Wild Guys in 2011, The Long Weekend in 2012 and Twisted Tales in 2013. Craig is really looking forward to another Norm Foster play, typified by careful character studies wrapped in comedy.
LEE, the elder Melville boy, has been the long-suffering man of the family since their father died when he was sixteen. How can he get his beer-swilling, womanizing little brother to step up in his time of need?
Robin Stille as MARY: This is Robin’s fourth time on stage with SOAP since moving to Osoyoos from Haida Gwaii in 2007. Robin finds MARY’s "good girl" character a refreshing change from having to channel her inner tramp in previous shows.
MARY bought the local country grocery store five years ago. Maybe it was the black flies, or maybe it was the high-pressure lifestyle of country grocery purveyance, but whatever the reason, her husband left her two years ago without explanation; and even took the car when he left !
Sarah Williams as LORETTA: Sarah moved to Osoyoos from Mississauga, Ontario in 2014. Her theatre experience began in high school, as a theatre major at the Cawthra Park School of the Arts. Although stage work has been put aside in recent years, Sarah looks forward to LORETTA’s trampy character, which she claims is not her usual go-to behaviour.
LORETTA moved in with her older sister MARY early last year to help with the mercantile business and contributes to the household as often as she gets work making commercials for Harry, the local used car kingpin.