The Divine Ms. Lavender

I am currently on a hiatus of sorts. Since forming New Vintage Theatre in August 2012 I haven’t had the opportunity to take a break from teaching or directing for some time. I have been going at it hard to get things started and I have learned in the past if something is going to last you have to be able to give it to others who you trust and who are talented to take over and run for a while. Such is the case with Angela Lavender, who is directing our upcoming play, Five Women Wearing The Same Dress by Alan Ball-the playwright behind the Academy Award winning film American Beauty and the popular cult television series Six Feet Under. I met Angela through Bumbershoot Theatre when I directed her in Charlotte’s Web. Funnily enough, Angela is also from Calgary and was a drama teacher at a school my former theatre company toured to on a regular basis. I guess our paths were meant to cross, even in multiple cities. Here is more about the divine Angela Lavender.

Angela actually grew up in Brooks, Alberta, and first stepped on stage at the age of three as a ballerina, later took a bit of drama in junior high, but it was in high school when she really caught the acting bug thanks to a fantastic teacher - Mac, Scott MacEachran- who inspired her to become a drama teacher, too (and her sister Karen is as well). Angela went on to attend the University of Lethbridge and taught in Calgary for eleven years, with one year in the UK, where she met her future husband, Dan and was privy to some of the best theatre the world has to offer.   Two years ago this week Angela then made the big move to Kelowna because her husband was offered a job that he simply could not turn down. 

“I have always loved visiting Kelowna and it is the spot where my husband proposed to me,“ says Angela. “Whenever we visited the Okanagan we felt at home and marveled at the natural beauty of the area.”

The first big production that Angela saw was The Phantom of the Opera in Calgary in the early 1990s.  So she is particularly excited to have the opportunity to meet Jeff Hyslop (The Phantom), when he comes to work with Bumbershoot Children's Theatre this Spring. Angela is a teacher at Bumbershoot and will direct The Elves and The Shoemaker in December 2014 which will feature the puppets of her friend, Chris Godziuk of Panadream Theatre from Montreal. When not working with Bumbershoot, Angela teaches workshops for The Actors’ Project, a company from Vancouver.

Angela’s favorite shows from her visits to London’s West End include Avenue Q, The Woman in White, Monty Python’s Spamalot, and The Lion King and from her own performance history she enjoyed being in New Vintage’s Calendar Girls, a show she starred in June of 2012, and made great friends as a result. 

Now it is Angela’s turn to direct and she looks forward to getting to know the cast and crew of Five Women Wearing The Same Dress and creating a memorable experience for the audience. 

“This play is a wonderful mix of humour, resilience, and friendship.  Working on a show takes a lot of dedication.  You become family members with everyone involved.  We have the opportunity to get to know each other, our characters and their world and then to share that world.”

The world of Five Women Wearing The Same Dress is a mix of Bridesmaids and Tony and Tina’s Wedding. This play is set in Knoxville, Tennessee , vintage 1993, and gives you the behind the scenes of a wedding party who all divulge their opinions on sex, drugs and peach high heels and ponder why they are all in the wedding when they can’t stand the bride. Audiences are invited to join us for the festivities-which include pre-show and intermission excitement & there will be cake! Dress in your vintage bridesmaid dress or tux and be eligible for an exciting door prize.

Five Women Wearing The Same Dress runs May 14-16 at The Black Box Theatre in Kelowna. This is a 19+ age show/with an extreme subject & language warning. Adults only. Tickets on sale at www.selectyourtickets.com

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Bonnie Gratz is an actor, director, and playwright. She is the Artistic Director of Kelowna's New Vintage Theatre, and a member of the Playwright's Guild of Canada and The Literary and Dramaturges of North America. 

For more on Bonnie, check out www.bonnie-gratz.com or check out www.newvintage.ca

Contact Bonnie at:  [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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