A post-war love story

In the midst of crises — politically, environmentally and economically — artists have always been inspired to create and relate their unique perspectives on life.

This fall has proven to be a rich one theatrically here in the Okanagan with strong productions and large audiences enjoying plays produced from the many companies in the region.

Following New Vintage Theatre’s new play, Hauntings — Tale of The Supernatural directed and written by company member Ashley Armour, we have, just three weeks later, produced Calgarian David van Belle’s highly regarded play Liberation Days.

It is directed by Kendra Hesketh who remarkably also performed in Hauntings.

Liberation Days is the story of a Dutch woman named Emma (played by Dana Murphy) devastated by the Second World War, which has taken her father, brother and her fiancée is missing in action. 

Emma’s relationship with her mother is strained and her best friend even aligned herself with a German soldier and has been branded a pariah. Enter a young soldier, Alex (Adam Weaver), part of the Canadian liberating forces that will rebuild Holland.

Love blooms in the wreckage of war, but like all battles, the after effects of trauma linger and those liberated are not always ready to be free.

This play is one of New Vintage’s fifth birthday, all-Canadian season. It is based on van Belle’s grandparents' story of how they met and fell in love in Holland during the Second World War.  

Dutch dialogue is intricately woven throughout and has necessitated all of the actors to learn the language and take dialect coaching from storied coach David LeReaney (Fargo) and follow up coaching from Tonny Buckley, president of The Veendam Sister City Association. 

Kelowna Museums has also been instrumental in helping with research and will provide a special display of artifacts in the lobby with a museum docent for each show.

The show promises to be another outstanding production in a banner season of Kelowna plays full of brave, touching performances that will linger with you long after the show is done.

Liberation Days runs for three shows only, Nov.8-10 at 7pm in The Mary Irwin Theatre, Rotary Centre For The Arts. Tickets are available now at RCA box office or online at www.rotarycentreforthearts.com.

New Vintage Theatre is a Kelowna-based professional, charitable theatre company that is a proud member of The Professional Association of Canadian Theatres. For more info, check out www.newvintage.ca.

More Bonnie on Stage articles

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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