Performance perfect way to celebrate 10 years of authentic storytelling

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, September 23 2014

The Gabriola Players celebrated their 10th anniversary performing in front of islanders by going back to the beginning with the Vagina Monologues this past weekend.

A very appropriate choice of theatre, not only because it was the Monologues which was the first piece performed by what would later become the Gabriola Players, but also because, like the Players’ decade of history, the Monologues have a connection between the stories being told and the people we know so well.

In her pre-show interview, Sheila Malcolmson had said one of the impacts of the Monologues is having people (the audience) whom we know, tell authentic and true stories.

That was certainly true with Malcolmson’s first on-stage acting performance (seen above), as we heard “My Vagina Was My Village.” Malcolmson turned her years of public speaking experience to telling the chilling tale of a Muslim woman repeatedly raped and assaulted during the Yugoslavian Civil War.

The audience almost forgot to clap in the silence which ensued.

At the other end of the emotive scale, Malcolmson also performed the skit known as, “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy,” which has a very…umm, happy ending.

Every one of the Gabriola women who performed the Monologues did so with amazing ability - and as Malcolmson had said, in doing so, brought beautiful justice to the Monologues and the interviews which inspired them.

What made this performance so appropriate was that the Players have, over the past 10 years, been able to use a similar connection with the audiences here on the island.

First off, it is theatre - where there is the visceral connection between the audience and the performers - something which cannot be touched by movies, TV or radio.

Then take a cast made up of Gabriolans, the people we see every day in our community, on the ferry and in the Village.

Pick a story. Be it a funny one, an intellectual one, a tearjerker, a drama or as in the case of the Monologues, all of the above.

Have an outstanding support crew, talented costume and set designers, and skilled directors.

Put all that together, and you have the essence of community theatre, put on by the Gabriola Players.

And…in case anyone’s worried they’ve missed all the Players have to offer before their Christmas Panto hits the stage, mark down October 24 and 25 on the calendar. They’ll be bringing 12 Angry Men to the stage at the Rollo Centre. 

Tickets on sale at North Road Sports and online at