Ken Hildebrandt is the executive/artistic director of Gallery 7 Theatre, which is holding the Abby Theatre Fest from Sept. 21-24.

Ken Hildebrandt is the executive/artistic director of Gallery 7 Theatre, which is holding the Abby Theatre Fest from Sept. 21-24.

Gallery 7 Theatre celebrates return of Abby Theatre Fest

Festival runs Sept. 21-24, featuring short plays and films

Gallery 7 Theatre opens its new season with the return of their festival of short plays and films, Abby Theatre Fest.

The festival runs Sept. 21 to 24 at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, 32315 South Fraser Way to kick off the “‘Happy 30(+2)” season.

The festival features two staged one-act plays and three short films created and/or performed by artists from the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.

“We’re very excited to be bringing back the in-person version of our festival after two years of online versions,” said Ken Hildebrandt, executive/artistic director.

“Abby Theatre Fest is definitely a bit different than our usual offerings and it definitely has an edge to it. It’s meant to explore themes and stories not always presented on our mainstage but are still important to us as a theatre.”

RELATED: Gallery 7 Theatre in Abbotsford seeks new board members

Plays and films to be featured at this year’s festival are:

• Tough, a one-act play by George F . Walker. The title of the play describes the show. It’s a tough show with tough themes of growing up, making life lasting choices, and striving for hope. The characters in the play are in a tough situation made tougher by their young age. It’s a story of growing up in the hardest way possible and seeing these humans at their most vulnerable. Audience Advisory: Explicit language.

• Evoke, a short film by Sue Backs. Cloves and nutmeg floating through the air. Cards surreptitiously handed under the table. Cookies devoured in the dead of night. Photos of the dead. Memory swirling through it all. What will you leave with? More importantly, what will you leave?

• Gender Is, a short film by Veda Maharaj. This film is about gender confusion. Gabriel, a girl in her early teens, is suddenly misgendered by a pair of teens. This gives her the inspiration to experiment and explore the concept of gender with the support of her friend, who shows her the harmful impacts of a society with gender roles, and the thrill of breaking the norms.

• Stories Post-COVID, a short film by Moira, Jayne and Charlene. Two years ago, a three-year old and a six-year old found their lives turned upside down when a “panoramic” came. To avoid the doldrums, they told each other ridiculous stories to pass the time. Two years later, their quest to tell stories has only grown. Now that they are all “grown up,” what tales of adventure woe could they have to share post-COVID?

• Original Works: Stories of Life and Love, a series of staged vignettes created and performed by students from Abbotsford Christian School. This locally written student collection takes viewers on a journey through 10 short stories about love, life, friendship, humour, hardship and difficult choices. Join in as the performers transport audiences through windows in time that will celebrate the unique moments while making them laugh, cry, and think twice about what comes next.

Performances and screenings will follow a different schedule each day of the festival. Festival passes are $40, and individual performances or screenings are $10 each.

For tickets, performance and screening schedules or for more information, please visit gallery7theatre.com or call 604-504-5940.

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