Thursday, March 14, 2013

World Theatre Day and the PEI Community Theatre Festival

Saturday afternoon, April 6th, at the Carrefour
Good entertainment!

  The Community Theatre Festival is back, and variety is the spice of its life.  On the afternoon of Saturday, April 6th, the stage of the Carrefour will offer a smorgasbord of half-a-dozen short plays which appeal to virtually all kinds of audience.
  The Festival will be PEI’s way of marking the 53rd annual celebration of World Theatre Day—the day when thespians all around the globe show their respect for the vital force which live performance has been in virtually all societies stretching down through the centuries.  The Day’s message this year—from Dario Fo, the Italian playwright who won the 1997 Nobel prize for literature—refers to how provocative an influence the theatre has often been; it quotes a reactionary church prelate who 300 years ago lamented: “It is therefore urgent to rid our cities of theatre makers, as we do with unwanted souls”!
  The theatre makers of this year’s Festival are hardly unwanted souls; indeed, they represent a wonderfully varied cross-section of our PEI community.  For the first time there’ll be a play in (and about) the French language, developed and presented by the dramatic arts students of L’école François-Buote.  Children and young adults will have a strong presence in the Bonshaw Young Players, in a play by ACT (a community theatre), and in a unique production by the Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors which dramatically presents legendary stories through lyrical narration, music and dance.  Sketch 22 veterans Lennie MacPherson and Graham Putnam will take the audience to an ill-prepared and oddly mixed-up life-coaching symposium.  Another play, done in a modified improv style, will feature a friendship between seasoned pro Bill McFadden and Mark MacIntosh who has coped with a brain injury for most of his life.
  Five out of the six plays are original: they have been developed from scratch by the people who will perform them—a fine example of the creative juices flowing in community theatre on PEI.
  The Festival is an amateur-theatre happening for non-profit, for-the-fun-of-it groups.  It became a regular thing in the early 2000s.  There was a brief hiatus, and then it came back with grand success in the past three years.  It was standing-room-only at the Victoria Playhouse in 2010, and in the past two years it brought hundreds of people to the Carrefour for an all-afternoon session of plays topped up with yummy refreshments.
  For theatre-goers it can be a full afternoon or a drop-in-for-awhile sort of thing.  Each group puts on a short play, a half-hour or less, and there’s a good mix of types—comedy, edgy drama, cultural treat, mystery and such.
  The irrepressible Wade Lynch and his arts-savvy colleague Monique Lafontaine (for the play in French) will be adjudicators, giving helpful tips to each play-presenting group.
  The Community Theatre Festival is a showcase for true community theatre—a chance for scores of actors and off-stage production volunteers to perform beyond their usual home audience, to rub shoulders with and learn from one another and get constructive feedback.  For the audience it’s a bargain—pay-what-you-will admission to help defray costs—and good-fun entertainment.
  The Carrefour’s doors open at 12:30 and the plays begin at 1:00 and run till about 5:00 o’clock, following this schedule (subject to modification):
Ecole François-Buote ... Bonshaw Young Players ... Mi’kmaq Confederacy ...
ACT (a community theatre) ... A Play a Week ... All the World’s a Stage.
  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 sample the refreshments.
For information contact Rob Thomson—

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Posted by RobAdmin on 03/14 at 06:01 PM
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