Celebrating Tofino’s history: a theatre project

The CSCTA board and creative staff had been talking for years about commissioning and producing a play about Tofino and its characters and history — a production aimed at both locals, to remind us of what has gone before, and visitors. Ideally we want the production to run weekly all summer, to attract and inform our nearly one million yearly visitors.

It’s an ambitious project. Here’s where it stands now [July 2017].

Step 1: Get a script

In November 2014, the theatre board issued a call-for-interest for writing an “original one-act play celebrating Tofino’s history, to be shown at the Tofino Theatre on a regular basis starting in summer 2016 [that was ambitious!] for the education and enjoyment of locals and visitors.”

We received several expressions of interest, and in early 2015 commissioned Victoria playwright and cultural facilitator Will Weigler to do the work. Will spent time in Tofino in early 2016, getting the lay of the land and interviewing dozens of locals. He sent us a first draft in the fall and, after a bit of back-and-forth, the theatre has a workable script in hand. Title: Lovers, Lunatics and Poets. Yep, that about captures the feeling!

Step 2: Live reading

A stage production is an ambitious a project for a small non-profit like us. As an interim step, we’re planning to stage the play as a live reading and/or radio play in fall 2017. We are also fund-raising for …

Step 3: Production

The full-on stage production, planned to launch in summer 2018.

From the original call-for:

Play criteria:

  • A one-act theatre piece of 50-60 minutes. Plays must be original creations, not adaptations or translations.
  • Historical facts should be accurate, but may be creatively fictionalized.
  • Family friendly. Dramatized (not a lecture), with enough variety to hold both child and adult interest.
  • While the script may contain numerous characters, it should performable by a cast of 6 or fewer, and be stageable in the small CSC Theatre in Tofino.
  • Sound and video projection is available.

A few of many references for Tofino history:

  • Margaret Horsfield and Ian Kennedy, Tofino and Clayoquot Sound: a History
  • Adrienne Mason, Long Beach Wild
  • Margaret Horsfield, Voices from the Sound
  • Walter Guppy, Clayoquot Soundings and others
  • Frank Harper, Journeys

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