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Chimera players take Sun Peaks back in time

June 20, 2016 1:14 P.M.
Dan Ondang, left, Jeff Daniels and Taran Waterous during rehearsal for Knights of the Sun.

Hear ye, hear ye: The Champion of the Sun will be crowned, not on the slopes at Sun Peaks, but on a soccer pitch.

Chimera Theatre in Kamloops colours the summer resort medieval with Knights of the Sun: Medieval Tournament Theatre, immersive outdoor theatre, starting Friday, June 24, 6 p.m. The show runs throughout the summer.

“It’s invented history rather than real history,” said Andrew Cooper, artistic director.

There is no stage other than the soccer pitch, which becomes a grand tournament field to be filled with song, dance, intrigue, romance and fierce combat as knights thirsting for glory vie for the title of Champion of the Sun.

“It’s a fun-filled piece of theatre,” said Taran Waterous, who plays High Lord Xander Arcatane. The drama is spontaneous and improvised, surrounding and engaging the audience in the moment.

“I think the benefit of doing theatre like this is that it’s pushing the boundaries of what theatre is,” Waters added. “It can’t go stale if it continues to evolve.”

The young touring company, which also produces an improvised comedy troupe in Kamloops called the Freudian Slips, put on a similar style of interactive theatre with last fall’s production of Crossroads at Tranquille-on-the-Lake. After that show, Cooper was approached by Tourism Sun Peaks, which was looking for new activities to enhance its summer tourism. The resort took a shine to his medieval idea.

But Knights of the Sun isn’t strictly for the tourists. Part of the idea is to attract visitors from the city to the resort on summer evenings. The City of Kamloops, which provided an arts grant, is among the sponsors.

“We’re hoping to get more people from Kamloops to Sun Peaks,” Cooper said, noting that summer resort visitors now outnumber winter visitors. “Summers seem to be really coming on strong.”

Tickets are $25 for adults 13 and $20 for seniors and children. Tickets are available through Tourism Sun Peaks at www.sunpeaksresort.com or 1-800-807-3257 or 250-578-5542.

Note: There will be no performances on the weekends of July 8-10, August 12-14, and Aug. 19-21.

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