Tracy Ross, Artistic Director of Bumbershoot Children’s Theatre in Kelowna, is a multi-talented woman who has big aspirations and a big talent to match it. Right now she is directing two plays, The Book of Ruth, a play about The Holocaust geared for teens and adults that opens tonight, and A Year With Frog and Toad, a heart-warming musical for families that opens in May. Both plays have great buzz in the theatre world, and have been recent hits across Canada and the U.S., but each presents a series of theatrical elements that makes them challenging to direct and produce. Tracy Ross does both.
I met Tracy when I first moved to Kelowna from Calgary three years ago. She gave me the great opportunity to start their first after-school theatre classes, direct Charlotte’s Web and do a run of a play I had written called My Favorite Fairy Tales. This generosity is something I am very grateful for. Ross is known for doing just this - creating opportunities for artists of all ages at Bumbershoot Theatre; so just how did this dynamo of the stage get started?
“I was teaching a seniors’ tap class and one of the gentlemen in the class suggested I audition for a show that he saw advertised - so I did - and that was my first show; Nunsense as Sister Leo, the Ballerina Nun. And then I never stopped… I produced, directed, performed, wrote all with Theatre Kelowna… a really great supportive place to get started. I am so grateful for all of those opportunities,” says Ross.
She goes on to explain that the idea to create Bumbershoot Children’s Theatre was a combination of many things, her interest in theatre, the birth of her daughter and the support of her friends and opportunity all mixed together.
Tracy has many, many other things on the go besides these two plays. She is directing for Kelowna Opera in June, working with a Master Puppeteer from Montreal, writing three different plays, working on an exciting new partnership with Festivals Kelowna and her huge production in the summer, Legally Blonde. She also has “a wee secret project that she is hoping to unveil” in the near future.
Check out The Book Of Ruth, opening this week at Bumbershoot Theatre. The play is best suited for teens and adults and runs this weekend and next. Tickets and information are available at their website at www.bumbershoottheatre.com