Hopping on the Stu-Bus

It was a world of wheels in the Salloum Room on Wednesday.


Because Chelsea McEvoy’s screenplay for her upcoming film The Wheels on The Bus was read by New Vintage actors Graham Daley, Joe Welton, Chris Froese, Ashley Armour, Marissa Alexander and Brock Gratz.

The audience was filled with the crazy cool gang that inspired it; a group of lifelong friends who all met because they are in wheelchairs.

Since January, I have had the extraordinary experience of being a dramaturg for Chelsea McEvoy, a well known fixture in Kelowna’s burgeoning film scene, as she worked on the script for her first feature film.

Chelsea has had a hand in a lot of locally shot commercials, music videos and major motion picture projects, but she always wanted to film her own feature.

Chelsea’s generosity and skill level have meant that she works consistently and while that has yielded incredible experiences and an enviable resume, she has not had time to devote to her feature film effort.

She blocked off Tuesday nights to meet with me and we flushed out her concept until it made its way from her brilliant brain to the page.

So what’s the story, morning glory?

The Wheels on the Bus is the story of a road trip that four buddies take from Kelowna to Burning Man in their wheelchair adapted bus, aptly named The Stu-Bus.

Along for the ride is a newly disabled hockey hero who looks down on the guys as men who he believes “gave up on rehab,” but jumps on board for his own to be revealed reasons.

The Wheels on The Bus is part Hangover, part Little Miss Sunshine with lots of laughs, some heart break and bucket loads of raunchy debauchery.

It is also based on the stories of Chelsea’s real life friends that she met through her partner James Hektner who is also in a wheelchair.

There actually is a Stu-Bus, James has a character inspired by him, and the men in the audience on Wednesday night were excited to hear Chelsea’s screenplay that, with their blessing, lifts all kinds of material from their own epic road trips.

The reading on Wednesday night was an exciting ride and it is just the start because this movie is already in pre-production mode with plans for footage to start being shot this summer as part of an accompanying documentary.

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

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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