Why chickens are crossing the Vanderhoof stage

Chickens, farmers, and musicians are cooping up on stage to entertain the Vanderhoof audience with poultry behaviour this season.

Chickens The Musical

Chickens, farmers, and musicians are cooping up on stage to entertain the Vanderhoof audience with poultry behaviour this season.

From Nov. 3 to Nov. 12, Vanderhoof Community Theatre Society is presenting Chickens The Musical over two weekends at Nechako Valley Secondary’s Integris Community Theatre.

Written by Canadian playwright Lucia Frangione, the musical is set in Alberta during the 1980s farming recession.

A struggling farmer and his wife was backed up against bank loans and attempted to start their business again with chickens, described producer Sylvia Byron.

“The chickens become representatives of different parts of their personality: the males represent parts of him, the females her,” Byron said. “It’s a discovery of the past, overcoming tragedy, and working through small town family farm struggles.”

The script features authentic chicken personalities and is flooded with chicken puns, including the occasional movie reference.

“As a chicken owner, this scriptwriter knows the chickens and their personalities,” Byron added. “If you own chickens, you’ll get a kick out of some of the dynamics of the play, and if you’re not, you’ll still find it hilarious.

“It’s lighthearted and funny, but very poignant.”

With six actors, this year’s production showcases live music accompaniment from seven musicians and 10 instruments — including a banjo, an accordion, a stand-up bass, a washboard, and a kazoo — that will be housed in a makeshift barn loft on stage.

First-timer efforts are also centre-stage this season: Megan Young, though not new to theatre, directs a musical for the first time; Sarah Hara also participates for the first time as a stage manager; and two on-stage participants — Charlene Wiebe and Lori Wallace — are acting for the first time.

Wallace watched many plays and made costumes — her husband and kids were actors — and was asked by the director, who is also her daughter, to audition this time.

“I always say yes when people ask me to do stuff and I knew I couldn’t sing, but there were non-musical parts I could participate in,” Wallace said. Her daughter might have been worried about the empty nest syndrome, as all five children have departed from the Wallace home for the first time, she added.

“So I thought I would cross to the other side and try [acting.]”

With many puns, the play is a healthy opportunity to cackle out loud, Wallace said. She plays a 40-year-old farmer’s wife, and will be sharing the stage with her husband Kevin, who plays one of the four chickens in the play.

“It’s all you do,” Wallace said. “For example, when one of us says, ‘Fine,’ the other says, ‘Fine, fine, fine,’ [as part of the play.]

“It just takes over.”

Through the play, Wallace learns that chicken owners relate to their chickens.

“They depend on you and if you’re not around, they will die because they are so stupid [and could not take of themselves,” she said. “But it makes you feel like a strong benefactor.

 

Just Posted

RCMP officer cleared in Prince George arrest

A suspect’s leg was fractured in 2015 incident

Area timber supply cut by a third

More sustainable, pre pine beetle timber cut levels restored

Students dig in to finish harvesting garden produce

Hands-on healthy living education produces results in October, F2S month

New equipment for Vanderhoof public works

New generation grader and sweeper hitting the streets

BC Ferries restricts passengers from lower vehicle decks

The new regulations will no longer allow passengers to remain in their vehicles on closed car decks.

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Most Read