There will be a free screening at the Mary Irwin on Sunday the 27th as part of Cultural Days, Pride, and the Out and Proud film festival.
With COVID-19, theatres in Kelowna have entirely shut down. New Vintage Theatre had to cancel all their spring and summer live performances, but they had a one-person play that was possible to rehearse in isolation. Thanks to their partnership with the Okanagan Society of Independent Filmmaking, they knew they could make it happen.
The play is called Pink Unicorn by Elise Forier Edie. It is a beautiful story about a mother’s love for her child and about how love is not about making someone into who you want them to be, but about loving them for who they are.
The main character is Trisha-Lee, a conservative, religious Texan, who has dreams of one day passing her mother’s pearls on to her daughter at her pink wedding and of holding a cute grandbaby on her knee. When she is told by her 14- year-old, Jolene, that they are neither “girl nor boy” and that they are pansexual, she is taken aback.
Trisha-Lee has always been an open-minded person, but this news takes her by surprise. It is something she has never contemplated before and she is not sure she is supportive of Jolene’s choices and their name change to “Jo”.
When the community pushes back at Jo’s decision to start a GSA at her school, Trisha-Lee proves what she is made of and comes out as an ally and true supporter of not just her own child but everyone’s right to be free.
Pink Unicorn is a highly acclaimed one-woman show Bonnie Gratz, the founder of New Vintage Theatre, heard about two years ago when it was selected by a friend from Edmonton as part of their season. She knew she wanted to do this show because it is a subject she is very passionate about and has written about before, and would tie in with Kelowna Pride’s celebrations.
Kendra Hesketh is the actress playing Trisha-Lee and around 10 other characters that she encounters as part of the story and is said to be, “just magnificent.”
Bonnie has loved theatre since she was a very small child. She took every possible opportunity to be on stage growing up, which was strange to her parents because she had always been very shy. Her first professional gigs were in films and TV projects as a teenager. Bonnie went to a fine arts high school in Okotoks, Alberta, just outside of Calgary.
Later on in high school, she discovered musical theatre and went on to university to study theatre, receiving her education degree. For the last almost 30 years, she has worked in Alberta and British Columbia as an actress, director, and playwright.
Bonnie also ran a touring theatre company in Calgary for 10 years and then upon moving to Kelowna, she worked freelance, then started New Vintage Theatre. This will be their 8th season
Bonnie has been involved in over one hundred different shows, so it is very hard for her to choose a favourite, but the stories that stick with her the most are those that use inventiveness and characters to tell a believable and relatable story.
Bonnie says, “Pure escapism is amazing-like the musical Rock of Ages or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – but the plays that pull you in like The Glass Menagerie, 52 Pick Up, or a play I wrote called In One Night stay with you and those are ones that I really treasure.”