Community Theatre Festival 2017 - Spotlight - Improv Fun

Non-ACT Press Release

Sunday, April 07, 2013

2013 Community Theatre Festival

A rich variety of original creativity—A fine success!

  The theatre of the Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean was a very lively place on Saturday afternoon, April 6th, 2013.  Several hundred people—some for the whole afternoon, others who dropped in for an hour of two—enjoyed a smorgasbord of six short plays in celebration of World Theatre Day.  The variety was so rich, in both the style of play and nature of the performing group ... small children and seasoned elders ... cultural pageant to biting satire.  A wonderful thing: five of the six pieces were original—developed by the groups themselves.
  For the first time we had a play in French, and it was about the French language.  In their home theatre, students of the dramatic arts program of L’école François-Buote staged “Le français—c’est moi.”  It was a hoot: each character claiming to be the representative of La Francophonie ... and what a potpourri of characters—ranging from snooty Parisians to down-home, full-of-bonhomie Island farm-boy.  Adjudicator Monique Lafontaine commended the amusingly iconic portrayals. Comic it was, yes, but with the good message about the breadth and strength of French language coursing through cultures around the world as well as our own Island community.
  The Bonshaw Young Players are a children’s group (ages 7 to 14) who work with Ruth Lacey.  “The Mystery Men - the Mystery of Joe Hardy” was scripted by youngsters Benaiah Johnson and Qwyn Scurr.  The mystery was a series of thefts from the Hardy’s own house, which connected with the presumed, but unverified, death of Joe himself in a plane crash in the Amazon ... and a trap caught the surprising criminal.  The audience was delighted with the comic touches, especially the car which alternately backed up and then raced forward across the front of the audience.  All was eventually revealed in fine irony as super-sleuth Joe was led off to jail.
  Colour would be the word which would best tell you about “Mi’kmaq Legends”.  The Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors were dressed in shiny bright regalia, and the mood was set by a campfire and drum.  The presentation included a haunting song, dancing, and effective flashing of lights.  It was great to see a range of ages working together—adults, youth and small children.  Adjudicator Wade Lynch pointed out how good stories, with good lessons-for-life, cross cultural boundaries: ‘The legend of Little Scar Face’ and ‘The Ugly Duckling’ aren’t very far apart.
  ACT (a community theatre) brought back, from its ‘fairy tale’ show last month at The Guild, “Mirror Mirror”.  The three sexy-looking women were, in a way, outclassed by the Mirror—the man in the fittingly termed ‘vanity’ set-piece who stepped out for his bow to reveal Superman underwear!  An impressive achievement was the way two actors portrayed a succession of very different princes.  There was lots of laughter in this satiric refashioning of the Sleeping Beauty tale.
  “Folding Tables”—A Play a Week’s portrayal of a dysfunctional life-coaching seminar—could well have been called ‘Turning the Tables’.  Over the course of 25 minutes the roles of coach and participant gradually reversed in hilarious fashion.  The wonderfully effective silences between the inept facilitator (Lennie MacPherson) and his straight-faced and taciturn victim probably outweighed the amount of dialogue.  Body gestures and facial expressions worked without words, and the audience was repeatedly in stitches.  No one who watched will ever behave the same at any future self-improvement workshop they might attend!
  The final play was “My Buddy Mark” by the duo All the World’s a Stage.  It was a quasi-improv-style portrayal of a rehearsal of itself—as old-pro Bill McFadden provided commentary and led his buddy Mark McIntosh through a reflection on their past few months of working together and building a friendship.  The audience was bolstered by a strong contingent connected with the Island’s Brain Injury Association, there to see their fellow-member or friend Mark take the stage.  Take it he did, climaxing the afternoon with his singing of “The Impossible Dream”.  The lyrics were so meaningful in this context: emotion surged, and the audience rose to give a standing ovation.
  It was a fitting conclusion to an afternoon of not just engaging entertainment but also exceptional achievement for the participants.  What a great springtime tapping of the creative juices running in Prince Edward Island’s community theatre landscape.
Click on ‘Gallery’ - see the photos

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Young People’s Theatre Camp

Summer Theatre Camp for Kids at Beaconsfield’s Carriage House

Beaconsfield Historic House and former Island thespian, Emily Hanlin Piper, are presenting a Prince Edward Island History Theatre Camp for children ages 8-12 at Beaconsfield’s Carriage House in Charlottetown, Monday through Friday, July 19 – 23 from 1pm until 5pm.  The students will perform an original comedy, Princess Louise Comes to Call based upon the real-life visit to Beaconsfield of Queen Victoria’s daughter, Louise.  Sharing directorial duties is Cheryl Scofield, MA Theatre.  The cost is $150 for each student with sibling discounts available.

This camp will focus on period manners, comedic timing, diction and more through theatre games as well as play rehearsal.  All of the young thespians’ hard work will culminate in a final performance at 7pm on Friday, July 23rd at Beaconsfield’s Carriage House.

Emily Hanlin Piper, BA Theatre from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, is a former Island theatre and music instructor now residing in Massachusetts.  She was the 2004 winner of Theatre PEI’s Best Production Award.  Since leaving PEI, Emily has lived in Chicago where she performed professionally and taught a number of theatre, music and art classes.  She now lives on a 250 year-old farm in Westford, Massachusetts where she owns her own arts-based business, Rumphius Creativity Unhinged.  She teaches
theatre, puppetry, art and eco-friendly classes as well as performs as Mrs. Junkbox in schools across the state.  She is very excited to be back on PEI this summer and to work with Island kids once again!

Cheryl Scofield  has been teaching theatre in Virginia and Illinois for several years.  She has an MA from Northwestern University in Theatre History, Criticism and Literature and worked as a dramaturg with some Off-Loop theatres while living in Chicago.  Also in Chicago, Cheryl taught theatre in inner-city schools in a program designed to keep kids out of gangs through involvement in theatre.  She is currently director and theatre teacher at Liberty High School located in Virginia.

For more information and to register, go to  Registration forms are available under “How to Register”.  Please use the Summer Camp form.  Or contact Emily Hanlin Piper at 978.995.7002 or  Sibling discounts and payment plans are available.  Limit: 20 students.

Posted by RobAdmin on 05/20 at 08:50 AM
Non ACT NewsNon-ACT Press ReleasePermalink


What’s in a name?  Quite a lot for the former Indian River Festival Chorus.

IRFC singers enjoyed their role as ‘back-up vocals’ for featured artists at the Festival in each of its nine years.  But this year the Festival chose not to use the Chorus, which strengthened director Carl Mathis’s growing feeling that the group is ready to claim its own identity, repertoire, and audience.

Mathis says that “within minutes” of his e-mailing his decision to break with the Festival, “the responses came back from singers, saying, ‘So where are we going to sing then?’ It was very positive.  I was delighted, overwhelmed, and humbled.  Their answers are what made this future we are launching.”

Much remains unchanged besides the director, a former voice professor at UPEI: the mandate to sing classical music, rehearsals and concerts in the summer, and a core membership of experienced choristers from other choirs, who would otherwise have to forego their singing fix at this time of year.

All of these elements were reflected in a recent “Name-the-choir” ballot circulated by an interim Executive among current members.  The short list included “The Island Summer Chorus,” and “The Master Singers.”  But the clear winner reflects the choir’s classical roots, its unbroken, though altered, existence, and the sheer love of bel canto or ‘beautiful singing’: Vive Viva Voce – the living voice!

“The IRFC,” says Mathis, “sang music from the 14th century to ‘the ink is still wet.’  So will Viva Voce – including classical pieces twisted into something funny.  Composers have written humorous pieces for centuries, so we won’t be stuffy.”

Already there are more performance invitations for this new/old choir than ever before.  During August 1-5 Viva Voce will appear in the organ recital series at St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral, Charlottetown, and Saint Simon and Saint Jude Roman Catholic Church, Tignish; in a Sunday service at Trinity United Church, Summerside; and in an independent concert at Bonshaw Hall.

Viva Voce currently has 22 members.  New singers of all voices, experienced in learning classical music, are welcome.  Rehearsals are Mondays 7-9 pm at Bonshaw Hall, beginning May 31; regular attendance and dues ($40/year) are required.  Anyone interested should call Carl Mathis at 892-1780.

Posted by RobAdmin on 05/20 at 08:36 AM
Non ACT NewsNon-ACT Press ReleasePermalink

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Liverpool International Theatre Festival Program Now Available

The LITF 2010 festival program guide is now available on our website.  Please see:

Beth George
Marketing Director, LITF 2010
(902) 356-2670

Posted by webmaster on 05/09 at 01:03 PM
Non ACT NewsNon-ACT Press ReleasePermalink

Monday, April 26, 2010

Workshops Planned for Liverpool International Theatre Festival


The upcoming Liverpool International Theatre Festival will feature six outstanding theatre workshops at its tenth biennial event, being held in Liverpool, Nova Scotia from May 19 – 23, 2010.  Hosted at the Best Western Liverpool hotel, these workshops will give attendees a chance to learn first-hand about various aspects of theatre craft. 

Although the workshops primarily cater to people involved in theatre, the public at large are invited to attend the workshops for a rare peek at what goes on behind the scenes.  All workshops are free admission for all.  The following workshops are offered at this year’s festival:

Read Full Article >>>

Posted by webmaster on 04/26 at 10:04 AM
Non ACT NewsNon-ACT Press ReleaseNon-ACT WorkshopsPermalink

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nova Scotia Well Represented at the Liverpool International Theatre Festival

Once Upon a Theatre Collective 11 11.jpg

The Liverpool International Theatre Festival, to be held May 19–23 at Liverpool’s Astor Theatre, is pleased to welcome four outstanding Nova Scotian theatre companies to its milestone tenth anniversary competition.
The River Hill Players, from Inverness, will join three Halifax companies—the Once Upon a Theatre Collective, the Theatre Arts Guild, and francophone players from Ca cloche dans ma caboche—at the prestigious festival.
“We’re both pleased and proud to have, among the competitors, four troupes representing Nova Scotia,” says festival artistic director Chris Heide.

The River Hill Players will perform Her Wake, starring Cindy O`Neil and Diane Mouland as two elderly Cape Breton ladies attending the wake of a mutual dear friend who has recently passed away.  As the evening progresses, their tongues loosen and they share stories about their friend at her best and her worst.  This biting social satire, a reflection on life in rural Cape Breton, has had audiences in stitches all over Nova Scotia.  Written by Inverness playwright Frank Macdonald, Her Wake is a home-grown hit.

Read Full Article >>>

Posted by webmaster on 04/19 at 04:06 PM
Non ACT NewsNon-ACT Press ReleasePermalink

Monday, August 10, 2009

Provocative New Cabaret Hits The Guild

A Peek At “Martha’s Box”
The Guild
August 12 & 13, 8pm.
Licensed 19+, Provocative Content
Tickets $16.

Charlottetown – After you’ve been touring around the world with the hit stage musical Mamma Mia! for 5 years, what do you do for an encore? If you’re Island-raised Marlene Handrahan, you take a break from Dancing Queen and S.O.S., and head back to PEI to put the finishing touches on a musical cabaret show called A Peek At “Martha’s Box”.
The former Miss Stacy from the Charlottetown Festival’s production of Anne of Green Gables – The Musical™ is bringing her new show to the Guild in Charlottetown for a two-night only run on Wednesday, August 12 and Thursday, August 13 at 8 pm. Handrahan describes A Peak At “Martha’s Box” as “a saucy evening of stories, musings and music”, which prompts the actor to ask, “Do you hate tag lines as much as I do?”
Handrahan stresses that the show is “more cabaret than theatre - no set, no staging.” With the emphasis on the entertainment, the cabaret format gives the actor an opportunity to present highlights from her more formal work entitled Martha’s Box as well as some notable musical additions. “The stories are based on the character I created for my play Martha’s Box, though here they’re presented in a more intimate and very musical setting,” explains Handrahan.
The original piece saw Martha, after the end of a relationship, rummaging through a storage locker in an attempt to locate a set of dishes, and finding remembrances of her life in the process. Says Handrahan of the cabaret version, “The story, or arc, is similar to the play in that the evening reflects on relationships, growing up, sex, finding yourself, and finding those damn dishes!” Though wearing its double entendres intentionally, Handrahan adds that the cabaret’s title “refers to the storage space that Martha uses as a metaphor for compartmentalizing her life.” And of course, the audience will be peaking at the play by getting highlights during this full-length cabaret performance.
Joining Handrahan onstage is Halifax singer/songwriter Brad Davidge whom Handrahan describes as “an incredible musician and a really intuitive artist.” Davidge will be featured performing some of his own material, as well as accompanying most of the stories. Handrahan adds that the music “plays an integral part in the piece. I really see it as a duet - both elements really influence each other - the rhythm of the music kind of drives the rhythm within the monologues, and vice versa.”
Handrahan and Davidge met while doing Eastern Front Theatre’s production of Canada’s Songbird: A Musical Tribute To Anne Murray in Nova Scotia this past winter. Davidge played with the band and joined the three female leads during duets. He’s also toured with artists such as Gordie Sampson, Bruce Guthro, Lennie Gallant and Natalie MacMaster and has shared the stage with Faith Hill, Don Henley, Allison Krauss, Yo-Yo Ma, Rosanne Cash, Randy Bachman, and Wynton Marsalis. Davidge’s professional experience has also seen him perform at Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic and Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops, and appear on Good Morning America, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and ABC’s New Years Eve Special with Peter Jennings. In 2002, Davidge released a critically acclaimed solo recording, Unfolded, produced by Gordie Sampson.
Says Handrahan of the opportunity to present this cabaret on PEI, “I love storytelling, and my writing has been informed by the community and culture I grew up in. To be able to combine the spoken word with music in such a complementary and spontaneous setting is a thrill.”
A Peek At “Martha’s Box” is part of The Guild’s Gotta Go Festival sponsored by Freedom 55 Financial, a Division of London Life.  Credit Union Central joins the festival as this show’s sponsor. For tickets and more information, contact The Guild online at or via their box office at 902-620-3333.
The Guild reminds audiences that A Peek At “Martha’s Box” contains provocative content and is licensed.
Written by Dave Stewart
Media Contact:
Cate Proctor,, 902-620-3474

Posted by Gerry Gray on 08/10 at 03:50 PM
Non ACT NewsNon-ACT Press ReleasePermalink

Friday, February 27, 2009

Can ACT come out to play?

Hello Gerry -

It was wonderful to see you kilted and graceful at the Private Lives Ball.  Have you checked out what Laurella Parsnips had to say about you on our blog? ( )  Some nice pics of you and Brenda there as well…

I am hoping that perhaps you will share this attachment with the members of ACT.  It is a great deal for groups of 10 or more who book and pay for theatre tickets before March 1st, when Montgomery Theatre starts selling its tickets through Bookings Online PEI. 

I am looking forward to seeing Evita next month.

Cheers, Gerry!


Posted by webmaster on 02/27 at 07:50 PM
Non ACT NewsNon-ACT Press Release • (0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, September 01, 2008

Cox and Box at Beaconsfield

Beaconsfield Fundraiser

“COX AND BOX” - a Boarding-House Musical

It’s the perfect scam. Landlady Bouncer is getting double rent for the same seedy room. Mr. Cox works by day, Mr. Box by night. Until today, they’ve never met. Nor do they know they are both engaged to the same woman—and both unwillingly.

Come into Beaconsfield’s boarding house as the Rataplan Players of Nova Scotia - Duncan Miller, Tony Marshall, and Jacqui Good, accompanied by Leon Cole on piano - sing and squabble through this delightful, 50-minute Victorian gem by Sir Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert and Sullivan) and F.C. Burnand, future editor of Punch. The piece is a musical adaptation of a popular farce of the day, Box and Cox.

Have you ever heard a lullaby sung to a rasher of bacon? It’s here. And watch for the PEI celebrity mystery guest, who plays the non-love interest of Cox and Box.

For the second half you can join the audience chorus for selections from Gilbert and Sullivan’s “HMS PINAFORE”, led by Carl Mathis and accompanied by Leon Cole, who in another life was host of the well-loved CBC Radio program, RSVP. Solos are optional. Or you can just listen and cheer on the fun.

At the end of the evening, reward your vocal chords with fine Victorian refreshments from Lady Baker’s Tea Trolley.

The event is a fundraiser in aid of Beaconsfield’s Garden Project and takes place one night only, Friday, September 19 at 7:30pm in Beaconsfield’s Carriage House - corner of West and Kent Streets in Charlottetown. Seating is limited and reservations are recommended.

Tickets are $30 (with a tax receipt portion to be issued) and reservations can be made by calling Beaconsfield Historic House at 368-6603.

Posted by TerryP on 09/01 at 07:33 AM
Non ACT NewsNon-ACT Press Release • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Associate Producer

Intern in Professional Theatre

The musical stage production Anne & Gilbert is looking for a reliable and responsible person to intern with our show.  The ideal candidate should:

- Have an interest in theatre.

- Be 16-years of age or older.

- Have a valid driver’s license and consistent access to a vehicle.
- Be available from mid-June through mid-July.

- Be available to work in Summerside, PEI.

The Anne & Gilbert intern assits the show’s stage management team.  This is a non-paying position, though an honorarium is offered at the end of the internship.  It is an excellent opportunity for someone with an interest in theatre to gain valuable experience. 

All candidates should e-mail their contact information along with some details about their theatre or related experinece to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  Please also indicate why you are interested in interning with Anne & Gilbert

Posted by EH_Support on 05/29 at 05:10 PM
Non ACT NewsNon-ACT Press Release • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Option to Renew

Just to let you know, there will be a reading of my play “Option to Renew” at UPEI this Wednesday, November 8. It will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Faculty Lounge, on the first floor of the Main Building. Greg Doran and the UPEI Theatre students are putting this together.

This is the script that won first prize in the TheatrePEI New Voices competition this year. If you are interested in seeing a reading of the play, a screwball comedy, you are most welcome to attend.

Margaret Martinello

Posted by EH_Support on 11/07 at 03:53 PM
Non ACT NewsNon-ACT Press Release • (0) CommentsPermalink

Friday, June 02, 2006

CITT/ICTS Rendez-vous 2006 Toronto, Ontario

CITT/ICTS Rendez-vous is an annual classic within the Canadian performing arts industry; it combines professional workshops, social events and unique networking opportunities for members and fellow colleagues from across the country. This year, the Toronto Committee has been working relentlessly at putting together a fantastic 4-day event centered around the theme (Enter: The Building) More the Bricks and Mortar.  Conference dates are August 10 to 13 2006, with pre-conference workshops August 8 and 9.

Check out conference details and schedule in this month issue of
e-StageWorks and on the website

Posted by EH_Support on 06/02 at 04:35 PM
Non ACT NewsNon-ACT Press Release • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

National Theatre School - Presents Gashlycrumb

The 2006 English graduating class of the National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) is proud to present a workshop production of Gashlycrumb, a collective creation directed by PE Islander Ker Wells, from October 25 to 29 at the Monument-National�s Hydro-Quebec Studio.

Posted by webmaster on 11/15 at 11:16 AM
Non ACT NewsNon-ACT Press ReleasePermalink

Sunday, March 27, 2005

World Theatre Day International Message 2005

27 March 2005   World Theatre Day
World Theatre Day International Message 2005

Ariane Mnouchkine
Stage Director

Read Full Article >>>

Posted by webmaster on 03/27 at 10:37 AM
Non-ACT Press Release • (0) CommentsPermalink

Saturday, January 15, 2005

National Theatre School One Month Curtain Call!

Only 30 days left to apply to the “National Theatre School of Canada”

Only 30 days left to apply to the “National Theatre School of Canada”
The National Theatre School has made its mark as one of the few conservatory-type institutions in the world that unite all the theatre disciplines under one roof. Located in Montreal, the NTS offers training in set and costume design, technical production, playwriting, directing and acting, in both English and French.

Read Full Article >>>

Posted by Super G on 01/15 at 06:03 PM
Non ACT NewsNon-ACT Press Release • (0) Comments • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >