SOAP Theatre stocks up on awards at O-Zone Festival

SOAP Theatre stocks up on awards at O-Zone Festival

SOAP's production of Outside Mullingar won specific recognition in five categories at Vernon’s annual O-Zone Theatre Festival. (Submitted photo)

SOAP Theatre’s production of Outside Mullingar didn’t only entertain audiences in Oliver. The show stunned audiences at Vernon’s annual O-Zone Theatre Festival as well.

On May 24 SOAP Theatre took its production of John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar to the festival, which presented seven consecutive nights of community theatre productions from Kamloops, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Kelowna, Oliver-Osoyoos and Princeton.

The event was adjudicated by Andrew McIlroy, a renowned professional acting and directing coach based in Vancouver.

“While the festival includes some friendly competition, the main purpose is to showcase our work, see what others are doing, and to learn from the adjudications, workshops and networking available in relation to each show,” said Tom Szalay, director of Outside Mullingar.

SOAP’s production of Outside Mullingar was well received with a standing ovation by the Vernon audience.

The production won specific recognition in five categories:

  • Jenn MacNeil won the award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Rosemary Muldoon. In the words of the adjudicator, her performance was “mesmerizing!”;
  • Jeff Smith was given an adjudicator’s shout out (honourable mention) in the category of Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Anthony Reilly;
  • Tom Szalay was awarded the award for Best Newcomer as the Director of this production;
  • Brian Hesje received the award for Best Sound Design, an award that SOAP has now brought home from festival twice in a row;
  • The set, designed by Tom Szalay, also received an honourable mention in the Best Set category.

This year was SOAP’s third entry in the O-Zone Festival in three years and Szalay says plenty more are planned.

“As different directors, actors and designers attend subsequent festivals, with different adjudicators each year, it will continue to raise the club’s skills overall and create continual improvement in the caliber of live theatre presented to our home audiences. Such exposure also builds the club’s courage to take on more challenging material and to succeed in doing so.”

SOAP is now looking forward to a well-deserved summer break and getting ready for the 2018-19 season.

Auditions for two of their shows will be held on June 9 and 10. Further details are available at