Who among us has not considered the five-finger discount in times of high prices?
Theatre Northwest’s newest production is ready to tackle that question with its newest production, called The Shoplifters.
“It is a very interesting story right now,” the play’s director, Kevin McKendrick, told My Bulkley Lakes Now.
The comedy is centered around four characters, two women who are caught trying to nab some meat from a store, and the two security guards who caught them.
It was written in 2015, but McKendrick said with the cost of groceries and living so high, now more than ever the morality of stealing is an interesting debate to have.
“I want [audiences] to have a heck of a good time in the theatre where they have laughed a lot, but they have also had this issue or two that they are kicking around in their head,” McKendrick said, adding that every piece of theatre should be “provocative, but entertaining.”
“Is it more of a crime to jack up the prices of something than it is to steal something… that is the serious tone of it but it is put in the frame of a comedy,” he said.
One of the four actors, Tao Saefkow, spent his early years in Prince George and moved to Smithers when he was 10, he is making his first return to a theatre he grew up in as a child.
“My Dad did a lot of the set designing for Theatre Northwest when I was young,” Saefkow said.
“That’s honestly why I decided to become an actor, I grew up around it.”
He said he spent enough time in the theatre that he would fall asleep in the seats while his dad was working.
“It has always been on my bucketlist to come back and do a show here… it is surreal, but it is also very real at the same time.”
Saefkow plays Dom, an “overeager new security guard,” who he described as “very much one of the clowns of the play.”
Talking to residents of the Bulkley Valley, Saefkow laughed and said “make the trek. It is a lovely show, it makes you think, it makes you laugh.”
He has been getting into the role of the character six days a week, eight hours a day in preparation for opening night.
“Our job is to make it look like the work is not obvious,” McKendrick said.
The actors prepare for their roles months in advance, but only have three weeks in Prince George to put it all together before the curtain opens.
The show will run from February 16th to March 8th, tickets are available online.