Stage North "Take Five" Opening as Scheduled


Stage North is opening Take Five, a comedy by Westley M Pederson, as scheduled on May 2 on the North Peace Cultural Centre stage. The best of the comic actors in Stage North have kept their humorous edge through the past challenging months. The play is funny, the actors are funny but the process of rehearsal and set construction has not been so funny. Rehearsing this show has brought to mind the challenges of portable theatre.

Ironically the play focuses on an actor on opening night who tries to perform on a set that is not complete. A fellow actor does not show up; a stagehand is recruited to fill the role; a man from the audience uses the stage phone to argue with his wife; props are missing; sound cues are off. What else can go wrong?

The cast and crew of Take Five felt like they were living the play. In the middle of the four months of rehearsal for Take Five, Stage North was given notice to move out of their rental space since the building had been sold. Living with this eventuality for the past few years, the Stage North members adjusted quickly and drastically shortened the usual production time schedule for the last show of this season.

Director Dale Hillman said, “Once we knew we had very little time left in the space, we scrambled to get the set completed and searched for a place to finish off the rehearsals.” Tony Atkins, volunteer set builder, worked long hours to get construction done in advance. All tools and lumber are now stored in 2 C-Cans until a new space is found for Stage North. “The set was a team effort under Tony’s direction,” explained Hillman, “and luckily NPSS graciously offered their drama room to rehearse the last of the show.”

As director of the show, Dale has kept the cast and crew focused on the show. “Take Five has a cast full of comic actors. Timing is everything in comedy and these actors have the right chemistry”, Hillman stated. Dennis Szalai, a long time veteran of acting has played may comic roles as far back as the 1980’s. One of his more comic roles was in Greater Tuna. JP Wood may be best remembered as Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther Strikes Again. Dallas Ashdown is one of the funniest improv actors in Fort St. John and tends to tiptoe among fully-set mouse traps. Jamie Lock seems to snag humorous roles of ethnic origin that are way over-the-top. Kyle Behrens, relatively new to Stage North, was the reprobate ex of Paulette in Legally Blonde. Corine Dyke was most recently seen as the not-so-gracious Aunt Sponge in James and the Giant Peach.

Stage North continues to look for a home. In the meantime, the show must go on. Take Five opens on the NPCC stage on Thursday, May 2 and continues to May 3 and 4. Tickets are available online at or at the NPCC box office 250-785-1992. All seats are $15. Check out

For further information: Dale Hillman (Director) 250- 793-6715

Submitted by Sue Popesku 250-785-6214