Several years back Jeff Forst read a newspaper article about a grow op bust at a home located right next to an RCMP station in Prince George. The story struck him as a great plot for a romantic comedy.
The actor/playwright turned the idea into a first draft of a four-character play set in Nelson — then put it in a drawer and forgot about it. That is, until last year when he pulled a character from that original script and wrote a dramatic monologue from her perspective as a young pot grower that has been flirting with a “hot cop” who discovers her illicit business. She needs to decide if she will flee or stay for love.
The monologue won third place in an alumni writing contest hosted by the University of Victoria’s literary journal, The Malahat Review, which prompted Jeff to revisit all the old characters and ultimately turn that forgotten script into a new play.
He and his actor wife Lisel will co-star in the world premiere of Cop Shop/Grow Op, at the Capitol Theatre next Saturday. They each play two roles in the show, one cop and one entrepreneur.
“Miraculously all four characters are never on stage at the same time,” laughs Jeff. “I think as actors we were just excited to get to play more parts. We weren’t thinking about how fast we’d have to make costume changes.”
The last show the Forsts co-produced for the Capitol stage was a golf comedy called Fore-Play, more than a decade ago. Since then they have been more focused on their individual careers: Jeff directing kids plays and Lisel taking on character roles in a variety of local productions.
They’re excited for this opportunity to work together again.
“We’re both so busy with other projects — Jeff is directing two other plays and I’ve been doing a million things — this has sort of become an excuse for us to actually spend some time together,” Lisel says.
Cop Shop/Grow Op will be at the Capitol Theatre for one show only on Saturday, October 26 at 8 p.m. The audience is encouraged to dress up. Prizes will be given to the most imaginative cannabis and cop-related costumes.
This play is rated PG-13 for its swear words; marijuana content; unofficial legalese; and risque double-entendres.
Tickets are $15, available at the Capitol Theatre box office and online at capitoltheatre.bc.ca.