Neither of two Creston plays was selected to compete at Theatre BC’s Mainstage provincial competition this summer, but two performers earned awards for their acting in Footlighters Theatre Society’s recent adjudicated performances, held May 23 and 24.
Adjudicator Raimund Stamm awarded best production to the Ladysmith Little Theatre Society’s Stones in His Pockets but named Creston’s Suzanne Chubb best supporting actress and Lucas Szuch best-supporting actor for their roles in Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Play Right, locally written by Chubb and Jason Smith.
The list of awards was emailed to Footlighters after Stamm saw the Ladysmith play a week after the Creston plays. Smith, who also directed the comedy, informed Chubb, who has performed in the Creston Valley for over 30 years, of the win, her first, for the role of lounge singer Franny.
“I didn’t believe Jason when he told me about being chosen as best supporting actress,” she says. “Not ever did I think I’d win any kind of award. There were others more deserving than me, to be sure.”
Two Wrongs was the writing duo’s second play to be adjudicated; their first collaboration, Almost Golden, was named best production at the Kootenay Zone competition in 2014 and went on to be named outstanding community play at Theatre BC’s Mainstage that year.
As with Chubb, this is also the first win for Szuch, who started acting only recently — his first role was that of Charles Dickens in last fall’s A Christmas Carol — and took on the role of Franny’s gay pianist Vinnie in Two Wrongs.
“With this being only my second role on stage, the recognition feels especially good,” says Szuch. “I’m still new to theatre so having an organization like Theatre BC tell me I’m doing a good job means a lot.”
In addition to the acting awards, Two Wrongs also earned recognition for best set, designed by Jason Smith, and costumes, co-ordinated by Jennifer Dewald for the play’s pre-adjudication run on the May long weekend.
The Ladysmith production took all of the other awards, including best director, best actor and best ensemble.
Although Modern Dysfunction, also written by Smith and Chubb, was shut out of any award categories, Stamm’s adjudication and critique were still positive experiences, says Brian Lawrence, who co-directed and co-starred with Devan Coward and Simone Wiebe.
“The scenes Raimund worked through with us gave us some great methods to strengthen any performance we do in the future,” says Lawrence. “It will help us grow as actors and directors, and definitely made me look forward to competing again.”
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