The 2014 UFV Theatre directing class is ready for the 2014 Directors Festival.

Directors Festival: Five days, 21 plays, and five bucks a pop

UFV Theatre presents the 19th Annual Directors’ Theatre Festival this month.

UFV Theatre presents the 19th Annual Directors’ Theatre Festival this month.

The five-day festival will run April 23-27 at UFV’s Chilliwack North campus at 45635 Yale Road (at Airport Road) in Chilliwack.

The festival begins on the Wednesday with a series of previews and matinees, followed by Thursday’s opening ceremony at 4:30 p.m., and performances continue at various times Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, concluding on Sunday at 11 p.m.

Single tickets are at an accessible rate of $5 per show, with packages of four tickets for just $15, or a festival pass valid for all 21 show slots for $40. The full festival schedule is available at UFV.ca/Theatre. Tickets can be purchased at 604-795-2814, theatre@ufv.ca or at the box office on the day of the show.

“DFest” is a festival of short plays directed and performed by UFV Theatre students as well as post-secondary students from Capilano University, Simon Fraser University, Thompson Rivers University, Trinity Western University, and UBC Okanagan.

The festival has grown over the last two decades to become the biggest event of its kind in B.C., engaging over 150 students and 4,000 attendees in 2013. This year, audiences can choose from 21 show slots featuring 40-plus plays, playing multiple times in two performance spaces at UFV’s Chilliwack North campus.

Plays of nearly every theatre genre will be shown, from comedy to drama and everything in between. While many plays presented have been written by well-known playwrights, some have been devised by student playwrights.

Back by popular demand is the original burlesque comedy, Mr. Bigg and Tall, written by UFV students Tim Howe and Stephen Wilhite. There will even be staged readings of new plays written by upper-level English students who are learning playwriting from UFV Associate Professor, John Carroll.

As Festival Curator and UFV faculty member Ian Fenwick says, “The festival is a great opportunity to see and celebrate the work of students from across the province. Audiences can experience more theatre in five days than is possible in an entire year.”

This year’s festival is sponsored by UFV’s Student Union Society, UFV’s School of Criminology and Centre for Criminal Research, UFV’s Friends of the Theatre, and individual donors. Media sponsors are the Chilliwack Progress, the Abbotsford News, Star FM, CIVL Radio 101.7 FM, and The Cascade, UFV’s Student Press.

UFV Theatre offers a season of three main stage productions, the Directors’ Theatre Festival, and a variety of special presentations such as staged play readings, workshops, and more. All UFV Theatre productions cultivate professional standards of practice and performance, and offer a variety of opportunities for students to develop industry skills both onstage and behind the scenes.

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