Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Nov 3-11: The Diviners, Douglas College

This is a show I've repeatedly considered for Pacific Theatre. Would be a perfect Stones Throw / Emerging Artists show. Morris Ertman staged it at Rosebud, I've seen several memorable productions including a leap-to-your-feet staging by the Playhouse Acting School, back in the day. (Wonder what 2007 theatre luminaries might have been in that 1982(?) crop of student actors?)

Anyhow, here's the co-ordinates...


The Diviners: Finding redemption in the dirt

In the parched earth of a mythical 1930s southern farming community
one ex-minister and one teen-age boy seek to quench their spiritual

The town has lost its church, the preacher has lost his pulpit and
the boy has lost his mother. The basics elements life - hope, faith
and water - are everyone’s concern.

“This play focuses on one town were everyone is struggling with
fear and faith,” says "The Diviners" guest director, Stephen

"The Diviners", written by American playwright Jim Leonard Jr.,
sees the residents of Zion facing a shortage of water. Buddy, a
misunderstood youth, with a gift for water-witching, is also
tormented by the fear of water. C.C. Showers, a back-sliding
preacher confronts his own haziness as he rejects the demands of a
life he once lived. Around them are the townsfolk who are all
seeking simple hope and something to believe in.

Drover decided that the best presentation of "The Diviners" was to
take a decidedly down-to-earth approach.

“In the past, I’ve directed students in finding unconventional
approaches to their characters [ensemble casting "Oedipus the
King"; cross-gender cast "Taming of the Shrew"]. This play is so
poignant and human that there are no such conventions required.
It’s the student’s ability to connect to their character that will
make the play,” says Drover.

“The Stagecraft students who are working on the set are also
learning about the period. They are working hard to create a 1930s
Great Depression town,” says Drover.

This is the fourth play Drover has directed at Douglas College. He
is co-founder and Artistic Director of Pound of Flesh Theatre in
Vancouver whose mandate is to produce alternative productions of
classical plays. Productions include "Macbeth" and "The Bond", an
adaptation of "The Merchant of Venice", to be remounted in
association with the Gateway Theatre in March 2007. He is also
co-writing a new play with actor Todd Thomson.

Presented by the Douglas College Theatre and Stagecraft
Departments, "The Diviners" runs from November 3-11 in the Studio
Theatre. For ticket information and times, please call 604-527-5488
or visit our Web site at

"Can't remember when I last enjoyed a student production so
much....Wow!!!!.....and these are students????......this far out
weighs what are often labeled the heavy weights here in the lower
mainland. We could not have been in a better place last evening."
- Susanna Uchatius, Artistic Director, Theatre Terrific

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