Local playwright brings you behind the front lines in Afghanistan

Based on the experiences of a Kelowna doctor, this Kelowna-written play tackles the issues faced by those on the front lines

Three actors, a minimal set and a camouflage background set the stage for a new provocative play that tackles life behind the front lines in Afghanistan and the impact it has on those who serve.

Written by Kelowna playwright Sean Harris Oliver, The Fighting Season tells the story of three Canadian medical personnel in the Kandahar Air Field during the Afghan War.

The play is based on the experiences of his own father’s service overseas, Kelowna’s Dr. Jack Oliver.

The playwright first shared the script with director Stephen Jefferys while it was already playing to sold-out crowds in Vancouver. He wanted to see it performed on a local stage and Jefferys wanted to make that happen.

“When I first read it I got chills. This subject is still relevant, it is about how war changes people, how war changes people in the medical community in particular,” said Jefferys.

“I think it is an exciting theatrical experience. It is a combination of stories from the present and delving into the past so the audience gets to see a play of the imagination.

The three-person cast is made up of Graham Daley, who plays field medic Kristy; Anita Reimer, who plays ICU nurse Karine; and Don Plant, who plays orthopaedic surgeon Terry.

“They were all affected by it, they were changed by it,” said Jefferys.

The story weaves each character’s memories and present emotions together to bring a brutal but sometimes beautiful story to life.

“I really liked the idea of working on a script that was written by a local playwright and taking place in Afghanistan during the war,” said Plant.

This is the first time he has had the opportunity as an actor to meet the person his character is based on.

“It has been a thrill just to meet him,” said Plant.

“It brings home what Canada’s role is outside of our shores. It is an exciting play based on real life history which appeals to me as a former reporter. It is a thrill to be doing such a gritty show about something Canada has been so active in, in the news, over the last 10-20 years.”

Anita Reimer is anglophone actor who doesn’t speak any french and yet plays a francophone nurse who struggles with providing medical care for a terrorist that she knows killed her comrades.

“It is provocative. It is bringing up questions that are real,” said Reimer.

“I think it is an important piece for creating awareness about what all of our service people go through and how they served our country and served Afghanistan. It is powerful. I also really wanted the challenge of the French-Canadian accent.”

Dr. Oliver volunteered for the Canadian Armed Forces as a surgeon for four weeks at the Kandahar Air Field in 2008 and recently said “this whole [play] is a conceivable scenario—it didn’t happen, but it’s conceivable”.

The Fighting Season runs May 16-19 at the Creekside Theatre in Winfield and May 21 at The Powerhouse Theatre in Vernon.

The Fighting Season is also Theatre Kelowna Society’s entry into this year’s Ozone Festival.

Related: Festival highlights Okanagan theatre

Tickets for the Winfield shows can be purchased online here or for more information, click here.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Snowfall warning issued for Highway 1 from Salmon Arm to Golden

Environment Canada says to expect 15-30 cm of snow by Thursday evening

Single-bridge option chosen to replace RW Bruhn Bridge

Five-lane span selected over plan with second bridge at Main Street

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke, set to reopen at 7:30 p.m.

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near the west entrance to… Continue reading

Salmon Arm plans to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

Video: Truck crashes into ditch west of Sicamous

Reports indicate traffic is still flowing through the area

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Submissions sought for UBC Okanagan’s annual fiction competition

University’s annual short-story contest enters its 21st year

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Sicamous Eagles blanked by Princeton Posse at home

KIJHL squad takes a tough loss as Christmas break draws near

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

Most Read