Into the Roots

Written by Nicolle Nattress

Public Reading, September 9th

PWYC at the door 7:00 PM

Dramaturge, Danette Boucher

Cast: Michelle Lieffertz, BJ Bailey, Matt Randolph

SYNOPSIS: Jackie gets more than she expects when she signs herself up to be a patient at the School of Dentistry, through the barrage of drills, needles and repeated visits to Tushar, a student dentist, she rides a roller-coaster back into her teen years into drugs, Rock & Roll and Kevin.

If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the Exploration Series with the Sunset Theatre, please FILL OUT AND SUBMIT THE FORM BELOW. For General questions please contact Karen Jeffery at  

It is the intent of the Sunset Theatre's Exploration Series to help the vision of your play or project come to life throughout the varying stages of your particular project and needs.  This means that in a perfect world, we would support the development from the early germaine ideas on through to a premiere production, however this is not a requirement.  In other words, while we would love to find projects to develop from beginning to end, each and every project will have its own needs and outcomes.  In this, we find it exiting to engage with artists at any stage of thier development.  In some instances there may be a desire to ask for first right of refusal, while in others, we may help you find somewhere to premiere it, or continue working elsewhere. In all instances however, the Sunset Theatre asks that we be credited and/or acknowledged for the appropriate level of support that was provided through the Exploration Series.

Filling out and submitting the form below does not automatically guarantee you a spot in the Exploration Series. Submissions are accepted on an on-going basis and in rotation depending on the varying needs and availability. It is important to note that the artist retains any and all rights to thier work unless otherwise negotiated. ​​

Blood Runs Through My Braids

A work in development by Kym Gouchie 

Dramaturge/Director, Michelle Thrush

December 3rd-9th 2017

The concept for ‘Blood Runs Through My Braids’ was inspired by Kym’s recent haircut that took place on a full moon just a few days before she arrived in Wells. With her six-inch freshly cut braid in hand, she set out to explore the many aboriginal cultural teachings and worldviews. Kym gathered pictures, images, events, memories, drawings, dreams, concepts and desired outcomes. What emerged was an exciting discovery of her relationship with hair and how it informed her as a woman, mother, and artist. She learned about the significance that hair plays within her aboriginal culture and the integral role it plays in the identification of self and the balance of power. Her great-grandmother had kept her hair and burned it in monthly ceremonies. Intuitively, Kym has known the power and sacredness of hair. Hair represents status in her community; hunters kept their hair long so they could sense their prey; the cutting of hair exert control and power over someone (residential school); the cutting of hair on a full moon helps hair to grow thicker and faster (moving forward). To be asked to braid someone’s hair is considered a sacred honour. The foundation for the play is exploring themes of identity, power, greed, honour, trust and spiritual guidance
“Being an artist in the north has countless blessings and the Sunset Theatre is one of them. As a Lheidli T'enneh member and neighbouring First Nations community, I am excited to explore the ancestral memory and creative energy that the land in Wells BC has to offer.”

Kym Gouchie

Kym will be joined by Michelle Thrush an award-winning film, television and theatre actress. An alumni member of Crazy Horse Aboriginal Theatre Company, where she served for a period of time as Artistic Director. She tours extensively through North America with her one-woman shows: "RECLAIM", "RIGHT NEXT DOOR", and her latest, "FIND YOUR OWN INNER ELDER". Her work with youth is her greatest passion with characters such as "Majica, the Aboriginal Healing Clown" and "Kookum Martha", a sprite old Indian Elder.  Michelle explains laughter is a natural part of her culture.  Her work with Aboriginal children addressing important issues in the community through comedy and performance is what Ms. Thrush enjoys best. Michelle is currently working the acclaimed ‘Making Treaty 7’ project.  Michelle has worked on such projects such as APTN/Showcase series MOCCASIN FLATS, MIXED BLESSINGS and NORTH OF 60 for CBC. Feature films include the award-winning UNNATURAL AND ACCIDENTAL. This raw and in-depth film explores the tragic story of murdered and missing Aboriginal women.

The Douglas Project

Written by Danette Boucher

Public Reading, September 8th at 7 pm

PWYC at the door 

Dramaturge, Nicolle Nattress

Cast: Julia Mackey, Andrew Hamilton, BJ Bailey and James Douglas

Stage Manager: Leigh Robinson

Sir James and Lady Amelia Douglas have long been celebrated as the first couple of Colonial era, British Columbia. James Douglas was a high ranking officer for the Hudson’s Bay Company during the fur trade and the first Governor of the Colony of British Columbia during its founding gold rush days, and his wife, Amelia, was his partner for life. For many years James Douglas has been celebrated as the “Father of British Columbia,” but, as our national zeitgeist shifts toward a broader and more diverse version of history, many traditional stories are ripe for re-framing.

Ultimately, the aim of this play about the lives of Sir James and Lady Douglas is to re-frame the narrative of colonial BC from how it has traditionally been represented – as a very male, very European adventure story – to a multifaceted version that embraces and includes the real presence and contributions of diverse peoples of differing genders and belief systems.

Exploration Series

The Exploration Series at the Sunset Theatre supports the creation and development of new plays at the varying phases of the creative cycle – from inception to full production.  This customized process empowers individual artists to explore and develop new work at their own pace, as tailored to their own level of knowledge and experience. This enables seasoned professionals, as well as emerging artists, to focus on their own optimal outcomes, and addresses the particular requirements of each unique project, whether that’s engaging dramaturgical support, facilitating a formal workshopping process, or lending resources and creative infrastructure to the incubation of germane early ideas. From its inception as a company, and as part of its mandate, the Sunset Theatre has been dedicated to the development of new Canadian plays. 

​If chosen for the Exploration Series, artists and playwrights are paid honaouriums and fees specific to their individual project. 

A Glimpse Back

by Marcel Gagnon
Directed by Karen Jeffery
Cast: Zach Running Coyote
Stage Manager: Amy Collisson

KOHKUM & ME by Zach Running Coyote
Directed by Amy Collisson
Dramaturge: Eugene Stickland

by Danette Boucher
Dramaturgical Support:  Nicolle Nattrass

Cast: Julia Mackey, Danette Boucher, Andrew Hamilton, BJ Bailey
Stage Manager: Leigh Robinson

by Nicolle Nattress
Dramaturgical Support: Danette Boucher
Cast: Michelle Lieffertz, BJ Bailey, Matthew Randolph

Staged Reading
You the Jury

by Amy Newman and Richard Wright

Staged Reading
Nick Preston

**BLOOD RUNS THROUGH MY BRAIDS by Kym Gouchie with Michelle Thrush

ALWAYS by Michaela Jeffery
Performers: Aislynn Meade, Patricia Bowler, Devin MacKinnon

**GOING WEST by Michaela Jeffery
Performers: Michaela Jeffery & Devin MacKinnon
Director/Dramaturge: Laurel Green

**KYM GOUACHE - Artist Retreat

**WHISPERS TO 17 by Morag Northey (Phase IV with Eugene Stickland Dramaturge)

**HIGHWAY OF FEARS  by Betsy Trumpner​​​​​​​

**WHISPERS by Morag Northey
(Phase III - Dramaturge Michaela Jeffery)

THE ONLY GOOD BOY by Chelsea Woolley
Performers: Michaela Jeffery & Dustin Allen Directed by Tim Sutherland

FETCH by Elena Belyea
Performers: Lucy Jeffery, Karen Jeffery, Michaela Jeffery, Devin MacKinnon
Director: Dustin Allen


**GODHEAD by Michaela Jeffery
Performers: Dustin Allen, Andrew Hamilton, Kaitlin Williams Gordon
Directed by Tim Sutherland

LIGHT BOXES by Michaela Jeffery
Performers: Danette Boucher, James Douglas, Chris Cooley, Stu Cawood, Dustin Allen, Kaitlin Williams Gordon, Eve Ghostkeeper
Directed by Tim Sutherland

Performers: Mack Gordon & Kaitlin Williams Gordon

BITS by Patrick Kearns
MOONWALK with Morag Northey

MORAG NORTHEY - Artist Retreat

CARA LESLIE - Artist Retreat


and David Rhymer - 30 years of song

MORAG NORTHEY - Artist Retreat
Onalea Gilbertson - Artist Retreat
Kings Court - Artist Retreat

Cocktail Salon, Compilation of 300+ passages, poems, songs, prose



by Danette Boucher

JAKE'S GIFT - by Julia Mackey 
Directed by Tim Sutherland

THE BOX IN SPACE (Clown Show) 
by Mark Dawson

BOY BLUE - by Michaela Jeffery
Directed by Tim Sutherland

Staged Reading: 
PIECES OF MONET by Michaela Jeffery

** Thank you to the BC Arts Council for their support of these Exploration Series Projects