Presidents Message

A video message from Diane Llewelyn-Jones
Powerhouse President

Welcome to Our New Powerhouse Board Members

Powerhouse Theatre Board Members September 2023

From L to R

CARA NUNN – VP Facilities
JEFF KIRKHAM – Director of Marketing
LESLEY MCCOY – Director At Large
EMILY MACARTHUR – Director At Large
DARCY FROST – Secretary
DAVE ELLACOTT – Director At Large
SARAH MCLEAN – VP Productions

2023 AGM – Response to Membership

The AGM for 2023 was held on Thursday, September 7, 2023 in the Powerhouse Theatre. Reports were read from the past years, successes were celebrated, and concerns were heard. The new board had a full day retreat last month and began to address these concerns. We are happy to report the following:

You are invited to attend a General Membership meeting on Thursday, November 2, 2023 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm in the Green Room titled “Membership Revisited”


  1. The Board received many questions about privacy policies and receiving lists of members as well the task of simply getting a job done via knowing who to call/contact. We have decided to hold a special general meeting where we will present how the new Membership Works software now located on our website can assist, introduce in-house Powerhouse Distinction awards, and how the future of Powerhouse membership could be. We’re very excited to introduce new and exciting tools and ideas!


  1. After many months of a lot of work by many individuals, our emails are in one place and up-to-date. You should have already received communications for opportunities through email.
  2. Our new website is up and running! This is a treasure trove of what is happening at the theatre. Please check often!
  3. We are also publishing our newsletter “Spotlight” quarterly and here is the Autumn edition! As requested, the video message from the President will continue. In future, we are hoping to be able to sent a link via email to view Spotlight
    on our website. The advantage of this is that you can access it at any time online and past issues as well.
  4. “Call out” opportunities for volunteers, supplies, sponsorship, and general help will be done through email and Spotlight.


  1. We are doing some upgrading in the theatre to be proactive in preventing opportunities for fires to be started around our exterior. We will be sending out information as to how you could gather needed items or work your contacts via email and Spotlight.
  2. In August, our building was re-keyed. Keys have been distributed to those with specific job responsibilities. Any members wishing to be at the theatre to contribute to a show or project please notify us via to set up a time, or to know when the connecting person is available.


  1. As part of our Board retreat, we identified in order of importance what we felt were the most pressing concerns to be investing in. Some we felt could be accomplished through donations or sponsorship. Those will be let known through the Spotlight so that you can contribute and/or round up from your circles of influence.

Announcing Powerhouse Theatre 2023-2024 Season

It’s a Wonderful Life

By Philip Grecian; Based on the film by Frank Capra
Directed by Jackson Mace

Jackson Mace

I’ve been involved with this magical little theatre for 28 years. Hey … it got me lifetime membership! It all began as a bumbling cop in 1995s Arsenic & Old Lace. Since then I’ve appeared in …. well “starred” in, designed for or directed a grand total of 20 productions! Thank goodness for acting, designing and directing because I really don’t know how to do anything else! Whenever a kids’ show surfaces … I seem to get the nod. Should I have chosen teaching? But I must say … what with juggling that teaching career, a passion for theatre, a love for music and of course my family … “It’s a Wonderful Life”!

It’s a Wonderful Life is an incredible film! I often don’t watch it start to finish. Instead … every year I manage to catch “moments”. But oh those moments; the gymnasium floor swimming pool, the lasso the moon scene, George and Mary passionately sharing a phone call! And, of course…George Bailey alone and broken on a Bedford Falls bridge. Theatre directors face a stiff challenge trying to do justice to those Frank Capra moments … no zoom lenses, soft filters, etc. But we have an equally powerful medium for story telling. Our team is using multi-media projections in this show. This is not the first and won’t be the last such effort by Powerhouse. It’s progressive and impactful! Still … it’s the creative premise and life-changing message that drive this theatre experience. Our aim is to “bridge” technology with this timeless tale and leave audiences magically moved. I hope our efforts will be fondly and warmly remembered for years to come!

The Importance of Being Earnest

Written by Oscar Wilde; Adapted by Ken Womble
Directed by Emily MacArthur

Emily MacArthur My first encounter with Powerhouse was playing Girl #2 in Aladdin in 1999, and I haven’t looked back since. I performed in Powerhouse productions throughout high school, and then moved to Victoria to complete a B.F.A. in theatre at UVic (directing). After starving in Vancouver for several years, I decided to attend law school at McGill. I eventually moved back to Vernon, where I am now a lawyer at Nixon Wenger. I remain involved in theatre wherever possible, including performing with Powerhouse, Kelowna Actors Studio, Big Apple Productions, and Virago Collective, and as a board member of Powerhouse and Caravan Farm Theatre.

The first time I read “The Importance of Being Earnest,” I immediately fell in love with Oscar Wilde. The casually hilarious banter, biting satirical observations, comedic misunderstandings, tightly structured plot – and oh, the puns! He just spoke to me. However, it isn’t just the comic perfection of Wilde’s writing (although I do still think “Earnest” is one of the funniest plays I’ve ever read) – it’s also the universal and relatable commentary on relationships, honesty, and social values that make it such a timeless work. In directing this production, I am excited by the prospect of merging the storied past of our cherished theatre with the vibrant present. Powerhouse Theatre holds a rich legacy that has illuminated its stage for sixty years. With this play, I hope to not only pay homage to the tapestry of Powerhouse’s history, but also emphasize its relevance to our world today. And … you know, make people laugh.

Cottages and Indians

Written by Drew Hayden Taylor
Directed by Tanya Laing-Gahr

Tanya has acted in or directed numerous professional and community productions for Cranbrook Community Theatre, Fort Steele Follies & Living History, Kimberley Summer Theatre and Powerhouse Theatre. Her most recent acting roles include Karen Brown in Unnecessary Farce and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, both directed by Matt Brown. Tanya directed Powerhouse Theatre’s Calendar Girls in 2018 and Ben Hur in 2022. Tanya’s most frequent (and most favourite) collaborator is her husband, Rusty, who agreed to support any of her productions as technical director after she told him he had to.

In my professional and personal life, I dedicate myself to the journey of Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. And, in the last number of years, I’ve worked with nonprofit organizations, including TheatreBC, to highlight the need for greater inclusion of Indigenous voices. I’ve always believed that theatre can be one of the primary forces for positive social change, both in the stories we tell as well as the way we create space in the cast and crew for people with different perspectives. I’m excited to direct “Cottagers & Indians” by Ojibway playwright Drew Hayden Taylor, which explores some of the specific tensions between Indigenous Peoples and settler Canadians. The play is warm, funny, poignant and real. This is a great example of how mutual understanding can create Reconciliation between individuals, and perhaps provide hope for Reconciliation for all of us.

Something for everyone in the season ahead!

It’s a Wonderful Life
Meet the Cast and Crew!


Paul Philps as George Bailey
John Lomas as Henry Potter
Geoff Atkins as Clarence
Doug Fairweather as Reinman/Gower/Charlie/Carter
Anthony Yskes as Bert/Ed/Welch/Man on Porch/Joseph (V.O.)
Jeff Kirkham as Uncle Billy/Chairman
Josh Wade as Harry/Peter Bailey/Ernie Bishop/Horace/Tom
Paige Nykolaishen as Mary Hatch-Bailey
Michelle Howe as Mother Bailey/Mrs. Davis
Sydney Byles as Violet Bick/Mrs. Thompson/ Secretary (V.O.)
Amy Bell as Tilly/Mrs. Hatch
Nathan Kirkham as Young George/Peter Bailey II
Korbin Wade at Young Harry/Tommy Bailey
Rubee Wade as Young Mary/Zuzu
Jayden Kashuba as Young Violet/Janie


Production Manager – Richard Kerton
Admin Producer – Dave Ellacot
Director – Jackson Mace
Stage Manager – Belinda Baycroft
ASMs – Brian Atamanchuk, Sue Blakely
Set Designer – Eugene Leveque
Set Builder Head – John Ravensbergen
Set Builder – Bob Rinaldi
Set Decoration – Sarah McLean
Audio and Visual Coordination – Bob Oldfield
Sound Design – Jackson Mace
Lighting Design – Jessika LaFramboise
Costume Design – Trina Panich
Properties – Jean Blackwell
Hair Design – Stephani Wade
Lobby Decoration – Sharon Pratico
Program – Sarah McLean
Video Projection Advisor – Rusty Gahr
Video Projection – Don Redgwell
FOH Team – Ann Cordingly
Photographer – Cara Nunn
Preview Night Coordinator – Val Heuman

The Importance of Being Earnest
Crew Callout

We are looking for people interested in the following positions. Please submit your name and we will get back to you ASAP!

  • Costume Design
  • Costume Head and Crew
  • Sound Design
  • Lighting Design
  • Sound/Lighting Operator
  • Properties Design
  • Props Crew
  • Stage Construction
  • Set Painting
  • Stage Management
  • Front of House
  • Bar

Celebrating Powerhouse Award Winners

Our congratulations to the cast and crew of Butterflies are Free who took home several awards from the Okanagan Zone and Mainstage Theatre Festivals.

Butterflies are Free Awards

Celebrating Powerhouse Theatre 60th Anniversary

On September 9, 2023, members came together to raise a glass to 60 years of community theatre at Powerhouse. A great time was had by all!

Thanks to Amy Bell for these wonderful memories!

Opportunities to Volunteer and Be Involved

As our Powerhouse Society grows and changes with the times, our governing structure changes and grows as well. This year’s governing roster is in need of Members to fill the following positions:


Social Committee – At least three individuals willing to create and administer four social events during the year: one each quarter and one being the “Season Celebration” to take place in late spring.


Workshop coordinator – Organize attendees, work with the presenter and their needs, prepare the physical space for the workshop, clean up and report.

Scholarship coordinator – outreach to high schools and talent schools to obtain applicants for theatre scholarships from Powerhouse. Administer paperwork.

Marketing and Advertising

Our marketing and advertising presence in the community requires more attention and expertise each year. Radio, flyers, and posters have been augmented and surpassed by social media, physical community outreach, and having an online presence.The Marketing responsibility now carries 13 titles. As many hands make light work, the board is looking for those who have an interest or experience to help in the following ways:

  1. Sales
  2. Print/Radio/Posters
  3. Programs
  4. Online media (not Facebook)
  5. Event Photography coordinator (scheduling and organizing photos to be taken by various people of all our activities including play prep and rehearsals)
  6. Fairs and Events/community Outreach – having a physical presence at other activities within our city

If you feel you could contribute to our success in any of the above positions,
please reach out to


Call for Volunteers for Regional Okanagan Zone (OZONE) Theatre Festival being held May 24 – June 1, 2024 here in Vernon. Need help with reception, serving, cleaning up, ushering and various other PR organizational duties. Please contact Penny Bayne at

Powerhouse Theatre Facility Upgrades Needed

Call out for Building Assistance

We have been advised by the fire department that our building is a prime target as many fires are being started by lighting wooden doors and other appendages like ramps and loading docks on the exterior.

We have passed all fire regulations, but feel it is in our best interest to be proactive.

If you have any connections to finding the following, or connections to provide funding for the following, please respond to

In order to create a better “fire proof” building, we need to make our back lot less accessible.

  • Yard lean out barbed wire topper for fence – 53′ +40′ + 9′ = total of 102′

In order to create a better “fire proof” building, we need to replace our outer doors.

  • House fire exit doors – double the opening size: 89″ x 58″
  • Costume department outside door – 81″ x 32″
  • Fire exit door for upstairs dressing room – 81″ x 36″
  • Stage Left fire exit door to yard – 81″ x44″
  • Loading doors – either two doors or an insulated garage door that is not a roll up door – 112″ x 85″

The stage right exit door is already a metal door! So, one less to find!

New Powerhouse Members

Blast from the Past

Enjoy these memories from past Christmas productions at Powerhouse.

Powerhouse Calendars Available for Sale

60th Anniversary calendars are available for sale at a cost of $20.00. The calendar covers September 2023 through February 2025 and includes photos and highlights from the past 10 years!

Please contact: or Sarah McLean at

Children’s Theatre at Powerhouse

With over 25 years of on stage experience, Vita Artes Performance Academy is excited to bring their knowledge into the Powerhouse Theatre through their performing arts classes. Owned and Operated by Sydney Sengotta, Vita Artes is committed to providing fun and inclusive acting, singing, and dance classes for students of all ages. Sydney has been a member of the Powerhouse from a young age, performing at the theatre with groups from around Vernon. Sydney also has worked around the Okanagan with Viva Musica and other performance companies as well as toured with The Royal Theatre in Barkerville and the Rocky Mountaineer Rail Tour. Sydney went to the Canadian College of Performing Arts where they obtained their diploma, as well as obtaining credentials from both The Royal Conservatory of Music and Trinity College London. He also completed his Masters of Communication from Royal Roads University. In 2011, Sydney began teaching speech arts with the Bolton Academy of Spoken Arts in Vancouver, and in 2014 created Vita Artes Performance Academy in the Tri-Cities. Sydney returned to Vernon in 2019 where Vita Artes started working with other local community members to provide fun and inclusive performing arts training for youth. Currently Vita Artes works with The Vernon Recreation Centre and The O’Keefe Ranch as well as the Powerhouse.

Vita Artes classes provide a space for students to be free to build their skills in the performing arts. Each class builds upon the strengths of the students, while also helping to develop skills they may not even know they had! Vita Artes classes begin at the early ages of 2-5, where we encourage imagination and curiosity through our Little Performers and Stars classes. They are a great class to build foundational learning and development. For older students, Vita Artes offers Musical Theatre and Speech Arts Classes. Musical Theatre Classes work on vocal and dance training, creating performances as a group to present. In Speech Arts, students develop their creative side, and help build confidence when performing in front of others. From poetry to scene work students develop their communication skills both verbally and written. Vita Artes offers both group and private classes at the Powerhouse Theatre in the Green Room.

For more information you can visit them on their website at, look them up on Facebook at @VitaArtesPerformanceAcademy or email them at

From Powerhouse Theatre to you and yours

Stay well and see you very soon!

Thank you for being a part of Powerhouse Theatre!

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