The Passage: A story of the Gold Rush

January 29th, 2020

Take a trip back to the Gold Rush through a woman’s eyes, in RCAC’s presentation of The Passage by Adrianna Bogaard, performed by Jen Viens on Saturday, February 8, 2020 in Rossland’s Miners Hall.

In 1897 the world was seized with Gold Rush fever, and everyone was looking for a way to cash in. For the many adventurers seeking a quick route to reach the Yukon, the promise of the All-Canadian Trail from Edmonton seemed a sure thing. However, as many travellers soon found out, the trail is not the simple and pleasant route that it was advertised to be …

The Passage is an innovative one-woman show based on the true story of 27-year-old Nelly Garner, the first woman to attempt the Edmonton trail. Full of optimism and vigour, Garner set out with her party in the summer of 1897. The journey quickly became a test of her bravery and ambition – and her will to survive. She joined a group of men on an impossibly difficult trek to the Klondike via Edmonton.

The play, written by the highly talented Adriana Bogaard presents stunning language taken from Garner’s diary. Actor Jen Viens is mesmerizing in this one woman show that relies on only a few props and projected images of harsh weather and barren landscapes on a huge tent cloth strung on the back wall. Most importantly, Viens has a riveting emotional connection with this feminist whose trek to the Klondike was ripe for tragedy.

Winner of the Special Merit award in the 2015 Theatre BC Playwriting Competition and Best Solo Production at the 2016 Montreal Fringe, The Passage is a thoughtful examination of a fascinating period in Canadian history, and a rumination on the great risks involved in seeking great fortune. Accomplished performer Jen Viens brings her extensive experience on stage and screen to her performance as Nelly Garner.

The production team includes Adriana Bogaard (writer/director), Gillian Nasser (costume/set designer), and Steven Smits (sound designer), all recent graduates of the National Theatre School of Canada. Osheen Harruthoonyan (projection designer) is an experimental photographer whose work has been featured on Bravo! Arts Channel, Space Channel’s InnerSPACE, and numerous national and international publications.

Saturday, February 8, 2020, 7:30 PM, at the Rossland Miners Hall

Tickets $22, available at Out of the Cellar or online at www.rosslandartscouncil.com

The Rossland Council for Arts and Culture is grateful to the British Columbia Arts Council, the BC Touring Council, and Teck, for their support.

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