Kelowna’s New Vintage Theatre stokes holiday spirit amid pandemic

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Local theatres were just adjusting to playing smaller audiences when the recent provincial health order shut their doors and put performances back online. The latest production to hit the really small screen is the holiday classic, It's a Wonderful Life by New Vintage Theatre. Community reporter Sydney Morton reports. – Dec 13, 2020

Keeping theatre alive during a pandemic is something that New Vintage Theatre has mastered.

The Kelowna-based theatre company has filmed and released four plays online this season. Their latest one is the holiday classic, It’s A Wonderful Life.

“It starts with Clarence the angel; who is assigned as George’s guardian angel,” director Josie Morrow said. “George is facing whether or not he wants to live and Clarence is given the task to prove to George that his life is worth living.”

The holiday play is Morrow’s directorial debut. She was working on bringing the radio play to life on stage for a socially distanced audience. Then suddenly she had to switch gears after the provincial health order went into effect in November, shutting down live theatre performances once again.

Read more: Coronavirus: Kelowna’s New Vintage Theatre takes play online

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“We took the script, found a cast really quickly and we started rehearsals,” Morrow said. “We ended up filming it in three days after three works of rehearsal. It was a wild ride.”

For New Vintage Theatre, the pandemic has been an opportunity to broaden its audience all the way across Canada.

Read more: Coronavirus: Kelowna Actors Studio puts on socially-distanced Princess Ball

“I think that what we find with the arts is that it’s something that gives us inspiration and hope, to know that there is a world we want to continue to be a part of and share,” said Bonnie Gratz, New Vintage Theatre artistic director.

The online production of It’s A Wonderful Life was filmed by James Alton and tickets to view the online play on your own time are still available until Dec. 19. For tickets visit

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