Evita - A View From the Desk
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Horse Whinny and Crazy Chicken Cluck
Costumes and sound effects added to Our Town rehearsals
Get ready for Our Town. Only a few rehearsals left ... then it’s on stage—opening night at The Carrefour is Thursday, April 9th.
Today (Sunday, 29 March) we were all in costume, and did it ever look good. Pam, Hélène, Vanessa, Karen and Alison have made us look like we authentically belong at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Sound effects were introduced today—including the clucking of a crazy chicken and the whinny of Bessie the milk-wagon horse.
There were tears of joy for the wedding scene ... but also a chuckle as Mrs. Soames (Barb Rhodenhizer) said “Doesn’t she make a lovely bride?” and George (Fraser McCallum) spoke his “I do” a little too quickly!
This is going to be a very good show. Because of the large cast, with so many fans!!, and because it’s the special anniversary of ACT’s very first production, there’s a ‘risk’ of sell-out. So it’s probably a wise move to get tickets well ahead of time. There are three ways of doing that:
(i) online at www.actourtown.brownpapertickets.com;
(ii) by phone at 1-800-838-3006 ext1;
(iii) in-person cash sale at the Charlottetown Farmers Market on Saturday morning, April 4th.
Information: 902-628-6778, email@example.com
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Our Town_1995 Slide Show
ACT’s first production was Our Town in 1995. Like this year’s Our Town 2015, rehearsals were at the Rural and performances at the Carrefour Theatre. This music is from the short lived musical version of Our Town.
Click on the following link…
- Gerry Gray
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Community Theatre Festival 2015 - Photos
A selection of pictures from the 2015 Festival plays
To see a few photos of each of the five plays, click on “Gallery” in the upper-right area of this page ... scroll down to Productions - Community Theatre Festival 2015.
Wow, what an afternoon it was at the Carrefour on Saturday, March 7th. Five original plays, two dozen participants, 150 people enjoying it all.
Many thanks to the Tracadie Players, In the Moment, Art Without Borders, the Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors and ACT (a community theatre).
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Happy Birthday, ACT! ... coming home to Our Town
ACT’s 20th anniversary - Re-staging the debut play, Our Town
Our Town is back in our Charlottetown, playing for two weekends at the Carrefour. ACT (a community theatre) is presenting evening performances Thursday to Saturday, April 9, 10 and 11, a Sunday afternoon matinee on the 12th, and two more shows on Friday the 17th and Saturday April 18th. Paul Whelan is the director.
Our Town won Thornton Wilder the Pulitzer Prize. It is one of the most popular and beloved theatre pieces of all time: after three quarters of a century, it is still performed at least once a day somewhere in the world. The New York Post called it “beautiful and remarkable—one of the sagest, warmest and most deeply human scripts to have come out of our theatre ... a spiritual experience.”
PEI reviewer Sean McQuaid called it “the best piece of theatre I’ve seen in town this year.” That year was 1995, when Our Town was the very first production of ACT (a community theatre). McQuaid was prophetic: “With any luck,” he said, “Our Town is only the first of many ACT productions in our town.” And so it was: in the two decades since then, ACT has staged more than 50 productions—Shakespeare, Gilbert and Sullivan, uproarious comedies, avant-garde, edgy drama, home-grown originals, blockbuster musicals. And now ACT is celebrating its 20th anniversary by remounting its debut show, Our Town.
Theatre-goers will find a hallway display of materials from the original 1995 production and ACT’s first season. David Sherren, the man who directed the first show, will be coming over to the Island for a performance. A gala reception will be held for members of the original company and for persons and organizations who have supported ACT through the years.
Our Town is a play that sets off the audience imagination. Sound and lighting effects, mime, the Stage Manager’s narration, and a minimal set with little more than some chairs and a couple of step-ladders: they make two family homes and a main street come alive ... with dynamically fluid shifts from present to past to future.
Thornton Wilder saw his play as “an attempt to find a value above all price for the smallest events of our daily life.” Our lives, in both their grand-event rituals and their daily humdrum routines, are really quite miraculous. As the young woman Emily comes to understand in her end-of-the-play wisdom, we never fully appreciate all we have until we lose it. “Oh earth,” she cries, “you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.”
There are four ways to get Our Town tickets. They will be sold at the door, but in view of the special nature of this anniversary production, organizers believe there is a likelihood of sell-out. They are therefore providing three methods for advance purchase. The online box office is at www.actourtown.brownpapertickets.com; phone service is at 1-800-838-3006 ext1. And in-person cash sale will be available twice at the Charlottetown Farmers Market—from 9:30 to noon on Saturday March 28th and April 4th.
The Carrefour will be catering intermission refreshments for the performances. The Carrefour/Ecole François-Buote is reached via the Queen Elizabeth Hospital turn-off from the Charlottetown bypass.
For information: 628-6778, robthomson @ pei.sympatico.ca
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Community Theatre Festival - Program
This year’s player groups and their plays
Here’s what’s lined up for Saturday afternoon, March 7th ...
ACT (a community theatre) - The Belarusian Orange Grove
This is a comedy which explores the nature of competition: how far are everyday people willing to go to win the prize of their dreams ... and why? Simple on the surface, it develops with unfolding layers.
It is the product of last fall’s ‘Plays in a Day’, in which authors were given a set of ingredients around which to create a play—in this case, four actors, two suitcases, and the color orange. Written by Benton Hartley and Cameron MacDonald of Popalopalots fame, the play sparkles with wit.
ACT is the well-known theatre organization with more than 50 productions under its belt—now celebrating its 20th anniversary by remounting its original show Our Town this April.
‘In the Moment’ theatre group - A Man of Two Minds
This is a dramatic piece written by Melissa Heald. Returning from a dinner party, Henry and Charlotte face a test of their marriage: Charlotte has learned a secret that her husband has been keeping from her.
Set in the 1940s, the play explores the expected roles of a husband and a wife, the notion of marriage, and ideas of love.
In the Moment is a fresh new group, born from connection via one of last fall’s ‘Plays in a Day’
Art Without Borders - Small Talk
This is a dark comedy—in fact the humour is fairly morbid. As two female corpses in a morgue chat about their dramatic deaths, one lets some information slip that causes the other to believe that their lives may have been connected by more than a common dislike for Coronation Street.
The play, written by Kassinda Bulger, touches on ideas about human connection in our daily lives, and the fact that a lot of it is taken for granted.
Art Without Borders is a group of pals who got much of their theatre experience in UPEI’s Theatre Society and Holland College’s School of Performing Arts.
The Tracadie Players - Betsy’s Diner
This is comedy in the skit genre. The aim is straightforward: to make us laugh ... so get ready for some home-spun shenanigans in the classic diner setting.
Gary Gaudet is the writer and director, and in this particular production, about 8 of the usual gang of 15 or so Players take a fun-filled part.
The Tracadie Players have a long history of putting on successful dinner theatre to raise funds for community service organizations and warm up Tracadie-area residents on a late winter’s night. Every show has been a sell-out.
The Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors - Mi’kmaq Legends
This is a set of stories that have been passed down from generation to generation—legends of Creation, of Rabbit, of Muin and of Wind Eagle. The presentation includes songs and poems, and really great costumes, too.
These are a few of the vignettes created by Julie and Richard Pellissier-Lush to share their Mi’kmaq cultural history.
The Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors have been performing for four years. Last year the group performed 100 shows, mostly through the summer at the Celebration Zone as a part of the 2014 anniversary presentations.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Monday, March 16, 2015, 6:30 pm
Southport Room, Stratford Town Centre
ACT will host a reading of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Those attending will be invited to take turns reading various parts from an adapted script. The same script will be used for an outdoor production of Hamlet in Stratford’s Robert Cotton Park, August 28-29 and September 5-7. Noah Nazim, already cast as Hamlet, will be present as will the director of the September show, Terry Pratt, who will coach readers on delivering the Bard’s lines. Admission is $2 to cover the cost of copying scripts and is free for ACT members. ACT memberships will be available at the door. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, February 09, 2015
Canada Wide Casting for Anne of Green Gables (Movie of the Week)
Hello, I am hoping that it may be possible for you to post the following message on your web page for me. At this time we will only be holding auditions in Halifax but we will welcome reels or self-tapes from interested parties. This is a Canada wide Casting Call and I would greatly appreciate any assistance you may be able to provide to get the word out as time is short. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.
Thanks in advance!
Ballyhoo Casting Company
Casting Call - We will be holding local auditions for the lead role in an upcoming Movie of the Week, “Anne of Green Gables” that will film in Toronto in late May until mid-June. These auditions will be held on February 21st in Halifax. This is a Canada wide Casting Call and we are organizing the Call for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. We will be joined by Jon Comerford in Halifax on the 21st for the auditions. We are looking for the following:
ROLE: (LEAD) - Slight Caucasian Female
Age range: 11 to 14 years but must look 11.
Character is described as “a lively girl with blazing red hair. Smart beyond her years, eager, and wildly imaginative, Anne has had to grow up quickly. She is compassionate and vulnerable, though sometimes fiery. She speaks rapidly and excitedly, and is easily lost in her own thoughts and fantasies.”
This is a Union show, however; both Union and Non-Union talent will be considered.
If you would like to have your child considered, please be sure that travel to Toronto during the above dates will not be a problem should it be necessary for call backs or filming.
Please remember that a Minor needs to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
All submissions need to be sent to me before Friday February 13th. Please forward a current head shot (this is a must) and resume to email@example.com. Also please include parents name and contact information.
Auditions will be by appointment only in Halifax.
We will accept reels and/or self tapes for PEI residents due to the distance.
Audition locations, times and sides will be sent out after the 13th.
As I mentioned above, this is a Canada wide Casting Call, please feel free to cross-post and share with your friends and family, school drama clubs, theatre groups etc. Anne is out there somewhere and it would be wonderful if she was right here in the Maritimes!
Parents if you have any questions please send me a quick email and make sure you include your telephone numbers.
Ballyhoo Casting Company
Sunday, February 08, 2015
Play on! The 2015 Community Theatre Festival
Keep your Saturday afternoon, March 7th, open for the fun of a few short plays
A smorgasbord of theatre! It’s the 2015 PEI Community Theatre Festival—Saturday afternoon, March 7th, at the Carrefour in Charlottetown. It’s PEI’s way of celebrating World Theatre Day.
Starting at 1:00 o’clock, short plays will run every three-quarters of an hour or so: a variety of one-acts or excerpts (10 to 30 minutes)—intense drama, cultural heritage, off-beat avant-garde, and comedy—both slapstick-skit and dark humour. There’ll be constructive feedback by adjudicators Richard Haines and Monique Lafontaine.
This year’s line-up offers a set of intriguing titles: The Belarusian Orange Grove, A Man of Two Minds, Small Talk, Betsy’s Diner, Mi’kmaq Legends. They pose questions such as: How far are some people willing to go to make sure they win? What kind of secret comes out as a couple comes home from a party? How was Abegweit created? What gets served besides food in a diner? What kind of conversation goes on in a morgue? The presenting groups are ACT (a community theatre), the Tracadie Players, In the Moment, Art Without Borders, and the Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors.
The Festival is a showcase for true community theatre—a chance for writers, directors and actors to strut their stuff. Several of the plays are original works by Island playwrights. It’s great for the audience, too. People drop in for a particular play or two, or stay for the whole afternoon. This is good-fun entertainment ... and it’s a bargain: pay-what-you-will admission to help defray costs.
The annual event is backed by ACT (a community theatre) and supported by the helpful sponsorship of community businesses which have a commitment to the arts.
Here’s what Wade Lynch, adjudicator of several Festivals, says about the experience:
“The PEI Community Theatre Festival reminds me of why I went into theatre in the first place. It is an inclusive, nurturing community experience. The PEICTF is cross-generational, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual celebration of life expressed through theatre ... To hear stories told, sung and physicalized in English, French, Mi’kmaq and mime is how we build a stronger, welcoming, tolerant, safe and magical community.”
The Carrefour’s doors open at 12:30 on March 7th; the plays begin at 1:00 and run till about 5:00 o’clock. There’ll be a 20-minute break between plays to provide for adjudication and set-up of the next play ... and also to give the audience a chance to socialize and sample the refreshments.
For information contact Rob Thomson—robthomson @ pei.sympatico.ca, 628-6778.
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Tonight’s performance of Arcadia at the Havilland Club is canceled due to inclement weather.
Performance dates and times are as follows:
Friday, February 6th at 7:30
Saturday, February 7th at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
Sunday, February 8th at 2 pm and 7:30 pm.
Lady Baker’s Tea Trolley has kindly provided tea for matinee performances.
Ticket prices are $15 or $12 for students, seniors and unwaged.
ACT members can buy discounted tickets for $12 at least 24 hours prior to show time.
Tickets available at:
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Act has its Hamlet, further auditions in late March.
Auditions for Hamlet—the character, not HAMLET the play—have been successfully concluded. He is Noah Nazim, 28, a relative newcomer to the Island from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Montreal. Noah and the Director, Terry Pratt, began fencing lessons today, January 10!
The other seven roles in this eight-actor version of Shakespeare’s most famous play, four men and three women, will be auditioned March 29 &30;.
Performances will be at 4:00 pm, outside in Robert Cotton Park, Stratford, on the last two weekends of the summer, August 29-30 and Sept 5-7 (Labour Day weekend. ) Rehearsals will begin June 13 and continue on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
For further information about the production, contact the Director, Terry Pratt (firstname.lastname@example.org, 675-3672). To book an audition contact the Stage Manager,Sharon MacDonald.(email@example.com)
Thursday, November 20, 2014
To be Hamlet, or not to be
Auditions for Hamlet (only)
ACT (a community theatre) is looking ahead to its fourth, late-summer offering of Shakespeare in Stratford’s Cotton Park. After successful runs of Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Much Ado About Nothing, the company intends to mount the most famous play of them all, Hamlet – with the proviso that a suitable actor be found for the vital central role. Auditions for the role of Hamlet only will be held throughout December. Interested men, age 18-35, should email the producer for an appointment (firstname.lastname@example.org). The director is Terry Pratt and the Stage Manager is Sharon MacDonald. The play will be done with 8 actors in total, and will run as matinees on two weekends: August 29-30 and September 5-7 (Labour Day).
Friday, November 14, 2014
Plays in search of performance
Playwrights looking for performers for the 2015 Community Theatre Festival
Fresh from ACT’s highly successful ‘Plays in a Day’ experience (November 8th), at least two of the participating playwrights have given an enthusiastic indication that they want to enter plays in the 2015 Community Theatre Festival.
And now they’re looking for help to make it happen. In a twist on the famous Pirandello play (Six Characters in Search of an Author), here are two authors in search of not just characters, but an amateur team to put on a play.
Melissa Heald says she’s made it a mission this year to be part of the Festival. She has a one-act play which calls for one male and one female character. She’ll also be looking for a director for the play.
J.J. Steinfeld has a whole shelf-full of plays waiting to be put on, and he’d be glad to work with a group to pick one and get it performed in the Festival.
The annual PEI Community Theatre Festival will run through the afternoon of Saturday, March 7th, at the Carrefour in Charlottetown.
Interested? You can contact Melissa Heald at mheald @hollandcollege.com ... and J.J. Steinfeld at jjwriter @eastlink.ca.
You can find mini-bios on both playwrights in earlier entries (Oct 11 and Oct 16) on the ACT website.
Friday, November 07, 2014
Sixth Playwright Bio…
Plays in a Day, ACT’s November production, has six plays being written overnight tonight.
My apologies to Don Wright for not posting this earlier.
Don is the sixth playwright for Plays in a Day, (tomorrow, November 8!) and the bio he submitted is short and crisp:
Don Wright has extensive experience as an actor, director, producer, writer, broadcaster for CBC, voice-over for cartoons, and as Artistic Director of both the Victoria Playhouse and the Georgetown Theatre.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
AUDITION CALL - for Citizens of Our Town
Want to be a part of the re-mounting of ACT’s very first show?
Most people who know anything about theatre know about Our Town. It’s the Thornton Wilder classic which gets performed at least once a day somewhere in the world. It will be performed in our Charlotte’s town on a half-a-dozen days next April. That’s when ACT (a community theatre) will celebrate the troupe’s 20th anniversary with the play that started them going back in 1995.
Auditions for the fresh production are coming up. Plenty of parts are to be cast: there are approximately two dozen citizens of Our Town, in a roughly balanced mix of men and women. Two of the major roles are for teenagers, and children of several ages are also needed.
Rehearsals will start in January, and will be held using a combination of Tuesday evenings (to be confirmed), Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
The Director is Paul Whelan, and he is backed by a strong production team of ACT veterans.
To audition, a person will be asked to read from the script, but may also bring a prepared piece of their own . To arrange an audition, contact Kim Johnston at 902-621-0645 or email@example.com. Appointments are available on Saturday afternoon, November 15th, or possibly by special arrangement . The location is Charlottetown Rural High School.
To see a bit of history, click on ‘Gallery’ (in the upper right-hand corner) and look for photos from ACT’s very first production in 1995.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Plays in a Day - Playwright #5
Twenty-four hour play writer from 2000 returns to write for Plays in a Day!
J. J. Steinfeld is an award-winning fiction writer, poet, and playwright who lives hidden away on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published fourteen books, including Our Hero in the Cradle of Confederation (Novel, Pottersfield Press), Anton Chekhov Was Never in Charlottetown (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Would You Hide Me? (Stories, Gaspereau Press), Misshapenness (Poetry, Ekstasis Editions), and A Glass Shard and Memory (Stories, Recliner Books.) Over forty of his one-act plays and a handful of full-length plays have been performed in Canada and the United States, including the full-length plays The Franz Kafka Therapy Session, The Golden Age of Monsters, and A Television-Watching Artist, and the one-act plays The Waiting Ends, No End in Sight, Laugh for Sanity, and Freesias in Whiskey.
J.J. Steinfeld participated in a similar one-day theatrical event as part of the (then) PEI Festival of the Arts in 2000 for which he wrote Out-of-This-World Retrieval Procedures Incorporated.