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Kayak is the tale of a family adrift

Latest production by Between Shifts Theatre Company opens for two-week run
Paddle pals Todd Weitzel, Kathryn Daniels and Sidney Klips star in Kayak. photo by Janice Carroll

Annie Iversen is all at sea.

She is lost, alone on a large stretch of water in her son Peter's old kayak, pondering how on earth she has gotten into the mess she is in.

The middle-aged suburban mother has made a series of wrong choices after fighting Peter on his falling in love with an environmental activist, Julie.

This is the premise of the play Kayak, which is being put on by Between Shifts Theatre Company at the Eagle Eye Community Theatre in Squamish.

This is Janice Carroll's first time directing a Between Shifts production.

"I really enjoy doing it," Carroll says.

"There are a lot of memories in this play, but also a lot of conjuring that happens while Annie is out there trying to come to terms with some of her choices... the characters clash — Annie and Julie — in that Annie believes she is bringing Peter into a dangerous world."

The story is about trying to protect her now-adult child and keep him away from a risk taker.

"Annie imagines these conversations she has with Julie, saying that she would laugh at Annie being stuck out there. The story goes in and out of different situations," she says.

Kathryn Daniels plays Annie, Todd Weitzel plays Peter Iversen, and Sidney Klips plays Julie Daniels.

Carroll says telling a complex story of family and fear is interesting.

"When you are playing with memory it kind of loosens things up, it allows you to interpret. It's not following a linear line and we don't have to make it realistic. There is more freedom to it all, which is fun," Carroll says.

This has meant they've experimented and often come up with interpretations

The production runs from March 30 to April 1, and from April 5 to 8. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors and available at Thursday, March 30, and Wednesday, April 5, are two for one days.

There is a special talkback performance with a Q&A with Kayak's playwright Jordan Hall of Vancouver on Thursday, April 6. Hall won the Samuel French Canadian Playwrights Contest for Kayak in 2010.

"I hope and think the audience will be entertained. That is always what we want," Carroll says.

"We want people to think about the decisions that we all make in terms of what we prioritize and how we do it. What kind of sacrifices do people make in order to follow through on what they think is right? Is it family first? Is it the world first? Do we tackle problems with government or big business?

"This is almost an apocalyptic cautionary tale. What happens when we're set adrift from the stability of the world that we know?"

Kayak is Between Shift's submission for the 2016/17 Theatre BC NSZ Festival of Plays. It will be performed as part of the completion on May 12 at Presentation House Theatre in North Vancouver.

"It's exciting. You see where you fit in and you learn so much from watching others' shows. It's a great opportunity," Carroll says.

"And this year the competition is celebrating Canada's birthday, so they are all Canadian plays."