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ACT News

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Casting Call for teenagers

Cornwall United Church Musical seeking one male 16-24 and one female 14-17 for May production.  Interested participants should be able to act, sing and dance.

Murder at the Hollow Rooms is an original murder-mystery musical written by Anne Hotchkis with lyrics by Sam Morgulis and music composed by Perry Neatby.  It is a light-hearted production that takes place in Victoria-by-the-Sea with 10 cast members.  The plot of the story starts with a murder-mystery contest in which 4 teenage detectives attempt to solve a murder using a scavenger hunt for beach creatures and a search for clues attached to each beach creature.  There are 13 songs in the production plus a few dance routines and so i To date the adult roles have been cast and most of the teenage ones except for one male role (young person in the 16-24 age range) and one female role (young person in the 14-17 age range).  The amateur production is being organized as a fund-raiser for Cornwall United Church. 

Performance dates are May 15 and 16, 2014 plus a dress rehearsal on May 14.  Rehearsals are on Sundays (Feb 9 week at 11:30 a.m.) but may change afterwards to 1:30 p.m. and will be conducted on a weekly basis until the end of April and perhaps twice a week during the first two weeks of May.  The director is Diane Wallace.  The address for rehearsals and performances is Cornwall United Church, 9 Cornwall Road.  Anyone interested in auditioning and taking part should contact Anne Hotchkis by phone at 566-2749 or by E-mail,

Posted by Bunty Albert on 02/08 at 10:50 AM
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Sunday, October 06, 2013


Wanted: Plays for the 2014 Community Theatre Festival

  Prince Edward Island’s annual celebration of World Theatre Day is the PEI Community Theatre Festival, and in 2014 it will again be held at the end of March—Saturday, the 29th.
  Once more it will be at the Carrefour in Charlottetown, filling the Saturday afternoon with a play running approximately every ¾ of an hour or so, with a social time in-between performances.  Refreshments will be provided to the players, as well as being available for purchase by audience members.  Performers will be given helpful adjudication; last year that was done by the irrepressible Wade Lynch and his arts-savvy colleague Monique Lafontaine.  Each group will be presented with a participation award.
  The Community Theatre Festival is a showcase for true community theatre—a great 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.
  The Festival has grown in popularity since its resurgence in 2010.  Last year the Carrefour’s theatre was almost always full as people watched two or three or all the performances.  There were six fascinating plays, put on by a wide range of groups—well-established ones like ACT, children, a French school class, a Mi’kmaq group, Sketch 22 veterans and other old-hands, and newcomers.  Five of the six plays were original—developed by the people involved in performing them.
  Here’s what Adjudicator Wade Lynch had to say about it:
“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 see young actors taking their first tentative steps into a public arena alongside those who have spent decades treading the boards is thrilling. 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. I can’t wait for next year!”
  Now is the time organizers are inviting amateur (for-the-love-of-it) theatre groups to express interest and get working on a play.  What’s wanted are short plays or excerpts—generally no more than a half-hour—of any kind: comedy, quasi-improv, gripping drama, mystery, slice-of-life, political satire, romance, family-friendly or avant-garde/mature.
  So let the creative juices flow.  There’s plenty of time over the coming few months to get into performance mode.  Mentoring guidance is available on request.
  To get information and to express interest, contact any one of the organizing trio:
• Kate Martin 892-4384
• Sara McCarthy 315-2839
• Rob Thomson 628-6778
A group should signify its intention to participate by December 15th; then definite confirmation is needed by February 1st.

Posted by RobAdmin on 10/06 at 02:51 PM
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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Auditions for INHERIT THE WIND

ACT’s next major production, partnering with Trinity United Church, Charlottetown, is INHERIT THE WIND.  Auditions are Sat.-Sun., Nov. 23-24, 1:00-5:00 p.m.  Rehearsals begin mid-January for performance April 24-27 in Trinity’s hall.  The Director is John Moses.  The SM is Sharon MacDonald.  Contact her for an audition time:, or 432-2317.  Auditioners have the option of preparing a short monologue from any modern play.  Experience is not a requirement.

INHERIT THE WIND is based on a real courtroom case, the so-called “Scopes Monkey Trial” of 1925, in the town of Dayton, Tennessee.  At that time, and right until 1967, the state had a law against the teaching of evolution in its schools.  A number of local citizens decided to challenge this law with a show trial – chiefly in order to profit from the publicity.  They persuaded John Scopes, a substitute teacher (who might have presented the evolution chapter from the state-sponsored textbook he was using in one class period; he couldn’t remember), to act as defendant, and they persuaded two famous national figures to be counsels on either side.  For the prosecution they secured William Jennings Bryan, a fundamentalist Christian who had been the Democratic nominee for President three times, and for the defence they had a famous Chicago lawyer, Clarence Darrow, an agnostic who had recently defended two notorious killers.  The two were considered to be among the greatest orators of their day.

During the trial the Judge refused to hear any of the defence’s expert witnesses, ruling that their plausible explanations of evolution were irrelevant to the question of whether Scopes had broken the law.  In a highly irregular proceeding, Darrow called Bryan himself was as an expert witness on the Bible, in order to ridicule his views on creation.  The tactic worked – but still, Scopes was found guilty.

This trial, a battle of giants—which pitted a literal interpretation of the Bible against modern science,  unexamined faith against the right to think, the rural U.S. south against the urbanized north – did indeed garner publicity.  In fact it was the first-ever media circus.  It was covered by 200 journalists, who daily filed about 165,00 words that went round the world.  It was the first trial to be broadcast on live radio.  Hawkers of all kinds came to town to profit from the crowds.  Trained chimpanzees performed on the courthouse lawn.  Today the courthouse itself is preserved as an historic landmark, and features re-enactments of parts of the trial.

Both sides claimed victory, the fundamentalists because the law was upheld (though Scopes was fined only $100 and the verdict was later overturned on a technicality), and the modernists because widespread scorn was heaped on the other side.

INHERIT THE WIND was first performed in 1955.  It played on Broadway for two years, and at the Old Vic in London, and it has been revived in professional and amateur theatres many times.  It was made into a movie and into films for television, with famous actors in the leading roles.  The authors, Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, have said that in 1955 they wanted to draw attention to another attack on freedom of thought, the witch-hunts of the McCarthy era.  But the play’s original theme continues to resonate on its own, and is sufficient reason for further performances.  Creationism, as we now call it, is far from dead and the theory of evolution is far from explaining everything.  There are many – including President George W. Bush – who argue that the two sides should be given equal footing in schools.  Many church-goers are not sure what to make of the Biblical story of creation, and many non-religious people are quite ignorant of modern evolutionary theory.  In any case, the fight against unthinking dogmatism must be taken up by every generation.

INHERIT THE WIND is gripping courtroom drama.  To enhance the drama it takes several liberties with the facts, and the preface explicitly rejects the notion that the play is “history.”  The names of the two leading characters are changed to Matthew Harrison Brady and Henry Drummond.  A real-life, wise-cracking journalist, H.L. Mencken (who invented the phrase “monkey trial”) is here E.K. Hornbeck, who provides an element of humour in the play.  John Scopes is Bertram Cates.  There are many other fascinating characters in the cast, some entirely fictitious: Rev. Jeremiah Brown who preaches hell-fire for sinners like Cates; his daughter Rachel, who loves Cates but is under her father’s thumb and is impressed by Brady; the biased Judge; the Mayor; the Jailer; two children in Cates’ class, a mountain man; a radio broadcaster; Brady’s wife; members of the jury and the Ladies’ Aid, and other townspeople.  The town itself is “Hillsboro,” which could be almost any town in the American south.  So strong and popular is the play that many viewers take it to be, literally, the Scopes Monkey Trial.

ACT (a community theatre) and Trinity United Church have combined to put on this drama April 24-27, 2014, in Trinity’s church hall.  The first two performances will be dinner theatre.  For all performances, auditioners who don’t secure a speaking part will be invited to be characters in the drama, townspeople in costume, who freely ad lib their own attitudes towards the trial, as they welcome the visitors to their town, serve them food, and take as much money from them as they can. 

There are twenty speaking roles.  They include only four parts for women, but the Director may dress some women as men.  The extras as above can be of either gender, all female if necessary. 

A strong production team is behind this play.  The Director is John Moses, the Minister at Trinity United, who has directed this play elsewhere, as well as several other plays at Trinity.  The Stage Manager is Sharon MacDonald (Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) who has taught the play in high school.  The Producer is Jennifer Shields, and the Costume Designer is Pam Jewell.  Other team members are Terry Pratt and Rob Thomson.

Successful auditioners must be either members of the Trinity congregation or members of ACT.  They should also be prepared to assist this show or another as crew members, in the spirit of community theatre.

Posted by ACT One Editor on 10/02 at 06:21 PM
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

101’s of Theatre Costuming and Make-up Workshop

Have you always wondered how actors on stage can look so much older than they really are and how is it possible to clothe so many people for one theatre performance? Well now is your chance to take an inside look! ACT (a community theatre) is coordinating two workshops that will show you the how-to’s of theatre make-up and costuming.

The costume workshop will be taught by Karyn MacPhee, the head of wardrobe for The Confederation Centre of the Arts since in the beginning of Anne of Green Gables in 1972.  She was worked on hundreds of theatre shows, tours and musicals and also owns her own costume and tuxedo business, ‘Costumes-by-Chance’.  With Karyn’s guidance, she will show students a tour behind the scenes of the Confederation Centre and take them to the wardrobe room where she will teach to 101’s of theatre costuming.  This includes how to properly measure an actor, theatre timelines, a sewing tutorial and even a few fun sewing projects!

“There are not many younger sewers coming up the ranks in PEI, and those working now will face retirement soon. I am willing to work with students to help them hone their skills because there is a need for experienced people to pass on their skills to the next generation.”

The stage make-up workshop will be taught by Savannah Belsher-MacLean.  She is a professional artist who specializes in makeup for high resolution photography and film and earned her makeup artistry certification in 2003.  She has worked for CBC, TSN, CTV, the Family Channel, and her artistry has been featured in short films, corporate campaigns, and local fashion runways. Most commonly, you find her work on beautiful faces of PEI’s brides and bridal parties.  Savannah will be teaching simple basics for men and women, stage make-up kit essentials, aging and special effects, plus much more! 

We are looking for people of all ages including men.  These workshops would be ideal if you are looking to learn more about theatre, if you are interested in acting, or if you just like make-up and fashion. 

Costume Workshop: March 17th-2pm @ Confederation Centre of the Arts, 145 Richmond St.
Stage Make-up Workshop: April 28th-12pm @ Savannah’s Studio, 162 Richmond Street, Suite #19
Price of individual workshops: $10 General/$8 for ACT members.  Bundle Price for both workshops: $18 General/ $15 for ACT members.
Sign-up is required to attend these workshops and you can email or call Ranee Weselak @ 902-316-1596 or

Posted by RH_Admin on 02/20 at 09:45 AM
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Proposal Form for an ACT production

Here is the general format you should follow when proposing a production to ACT (a community theatre)

Proposal for ACT Production

Proposer’s Name:

Name of Intended Production:

When do you propose to mount this?

Where [Venue(s)]?

How many performances?

Have you checked re availability of the venue(s)?

What is the seating capacity?

Do you have a producer / production coordinator?

Are there other members of the production team in place? Please identify.
What is the cast breakdown M / F? Age range?

Do rights need to be secured?

If so, have you made preliminary inquiries about securing the rights?

What motivated you to choose this play? (5 or 6 lines)

What will motivate folks to attend? (e.g., hit musical-JCSS, chance to beat the
winter blahs- Tenor, focus on ovarian cancer-Wit)

What do you foresee that the challenges might be? (e.g., only 50 seats available
in venue, 25 males in cast, costume heavy)

Have you read (and perhaps discussed with those involved) the ‘post-mortem’ reports from one or more previous ACT productions ... so as to get a sense of some of the factors of success and difficulty experienced in shows comparable to the one you are proposing?

What is the ball-park budget – what are some of the estimated expenses for rights?  theatre costs? Costumes? Lighting? Sets and props? Music?

Budget Estimates
Theatre Rental (inc. tech time/costs)

Total Costs        

Revenue Estimates

Contact Information:

Posted by RH_Admin on 02/20 at 09:41 AM
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Friday, January 11, 2013

An Evening of Fairy Tales

This February ACT (a community theatre) is proud to present Mirror Mirror by Bruce Kane, and Not-So-Grimm Tales by Kevin Bean. These two short plays re-introduce some of the classic fairy tales to us in fresh new ways, producing a night of theatre fit for the whole family.

Not-So-Grimm Tales is about a mother who hearing her daughter playing with her dolls, realizes that the lessons that have been learned by her daughter from Fairy Tales are not necessarily the ones that she would want her daughter to learn. In the mother’s eyes, the daughter should learn that princesses can save themselves, and not always have to wait helplessly for a prince to come.

Through several hilarious re-tellings of classic Fairy Tales, Not-So-Grimm delivers a new take on the classics, with a much more politically correct and empowering message. Not-So-Grimm Tales is presented by a talent cast of young people, all still students in various middle and high schools around Charlottetown! Not-So-Grimm Tales is directed by Marly Haines and Frances Ann Squire, and Stage Managed by Virginia Harris.

Mirror Mirror is directed by Keir Malone and Stage Managed by Alex Johnston. In a land where “beauty is only skin deep - thank God” a “woman of a certain age” takes drastic action when she learns that she’s been surpassed in the looks department by her sexy stepdaughter as the tales of “Sleeping Beauty” and “Snow White” get rolled into a 90210 facelift in this funny one act play.

Mirror Mirror was a Finalist in the Macra National Drama Festival in Ireland and the winner of the East Division All England Theatre Festival for “Best Comedy”.

This evening of theatre will be presented at 7:00 pm at The Guild on February 7th, 8th and 9th with an afternoon matinee performance on the 9th at 2:00 pm. Tickets are 12$, or 10$ for students and seniors.

Tickets are available from the Box Office of The Guild.

For more information contact us at, or follow us on Twitter @notsogrimm

Posted by RH_Admin on 01/11 at 01:14 PM
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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

2013 PEI Community Theatre Festival

Now’s the time to be thinking about your play!


  PEl’s Community Theatre Festival is putting the call out for plays for April 6th, 2013.  Because of UNESCO World Theatre Day landing on the Easter weekend, the Festival is moving to the following Saturday, April 6th.
  The invitation is for short plays and/or excerpts with a 40-minute maximum running time.  All age groups are encouraged; there are usually seniors groups, children and young people, university students, and community groups participating.
  This is a showcase for true community theatre—a chance to rub shoulders with other amateur actors and volunteers and to perform beyond the usual home audience.  This is for any group, young or old, large or small doing amateur theatre (not-for-profit, for the fun of it).
  Constructive feedback will be offered after each performance by Adjudicator Wade Lynch and there will be awards to recognize achievement.  During rehearsal time each group is offered directorial and production advice by a visiting mentor if desired.
  Each participating group is responsible for all aspects of its play: rights, costumes, props, light/sound design, special effects, transportation, etc.  A technician will be available for the technical rehearsal early on the day of performance for each player-group to make specific plans.  There is no charge for taking part.
  The Festival Committee, with the support of ACT (a community theatre), invites those interested to make contact for further information or to express intent.  The contacts are: Ruth Lacey -, 675-4282 or Kate Martin -, 892-4384.
Participation needs to be confirmed by January 15th.

Posted by RobAdmin on 12/04 at 10:11 AM
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Theatre Instructor Required

The Hunter River Community school is looking for an instructor to guide aspiring actors this year. The community school runs from 7-9 one night a week for 9 weeks, and it is hoped that the instructor can guide aspiring actors to create a skit or short scene to be presented at the final banquet at the end of the course.

Interested parties may contact Sue Ward at or call 963-3427 with any questions they may have.

Posted by RH_Admin on 11/28 at 01:38 PM
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Audition Call - One Act Plays!

This upcoming February ACT will present two one act plays with a theme suitable for all ages; Fairy Tales. Or to be more precise, they will be funny modern interpretations of some of the classic stories.

Auditions for these plays will be held on Oct. 29 & 30, in the evening. Monologues are optional for actors, as if they would like they may simply come in and read from the script.

One of these plays will cast actors aged 18 and up, while the other play will cast exclusively for younger actors, ages 12-17.

Interested parties may email and follow us on Twitter at @notsogrimm

Posted by RH_Admin on 10/16 at 09:30 AM
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Improv Training Workshop

ACT, in collaboration with THE FORTKNIGHTS!, will host an IMPROV TRAINING WORKSHOP coordinated by Justin Shaw and Cameron MacDonald.

Where: Faculty Lounge, Room 100, Main Building, UPEI Campus
Time: 7:00-9:00pm
When: October 20, November 3, November 17

Cost: FREE! (open to all ages and no experience is nessessary)

This is a great opportunity to broaden your acting skills and help in situations where blank lines can become a stage success. This fun training group will practice listening skills, as well as methods of constructing characters, scenes, and environments. The goal of the workshop is to show people that performing improv is more than just being funny in front of an audience. Rather, it is an art form that can increase confidence, and strengthen creativity. For performers, these are vital skills! The motto of the Fortknights: “We don’t improv. We improve.”

Justin Shaw has recently appeared in Vagabond Productions’ Taming of the Shrew, Popalopalots and Shakespeare’s Macbeth in addition to coordinating various events for the UPEI Theatre Society. Cameron MacDonald was also the coordinator of the Colonel Grey High School Improv Group and performed in comedy nights at the Solid Rock Cafe and Popalopalots.

**If you are unfamiliar with the UPEI grounds, here is a link to their campus map. The faculty lounge is in building #5: **

For further information on the workshop, contact Ranee Weselak at 902-316-1596 or

Posted by RH_Admin on 10/10 at 12:47 PM
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Theatre Youth Worshop Poster

Theatre-Youth-Workshop.gif width=350

Posted by webmaster on 08/20 at 02:37 PM
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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Acting up ~ Then and Now Drama Workshop

ACT (a community theatre), in cooperation with Beaconsfield Historic House, will hold a workshop Acting Up ~ Then and Now for youth ages 8 -14 on Saturday, September 29, at Beaconsfield’s Carriage House. The underlying theme of the workshop will be life in Charlottetown in the late 1800s.

The morning session (9:30 – 12:30) will be for children ages 8-11; the afternoon session (1:30 - 4:30pm) for youth ages 12-14. Cost is $10 per participant and there is a maximum of 24 per session.

Laura K. Bird, of Class Act Theatre Society, will lead the workshop team. With more than twenty-five years of experience working with young people in the theatre, Laura says,  “ Everyone is creative. Young people will have the opportunity to be imaginative and explore what it would be like to live in Charlottetown in the late 1800s.” Assisting Laura will be Justin Shaw, who coordinates various events for the UPEI Theatre Society and who recently appeared in Vagabond Productions’ Taming of the Shrew, Popalopalots improv troupe and Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

The workshop will be active and engaging. Stories will be springboards to explore a different time and era. Participants will have a chance to channel some of their creative energy in a dramatic way while developing skills of listening, cooperation and communicating as well as physical, vocal and improv skills. At the end of each session, there will be a culminating performance opportunity when participants can show their work to each other.

For further information or to register for the workshop, contact Kim Johnston at 569-8563 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Posted by webmaster on 08/12 at 08:09 AM
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Looking for actors

Anyone out there have an interest in performing in the fringe festival this summer?

They are seeking actors ( 1 male and 3 or 4 females) to perform in the Charlottetown Fringe Festival. There is a play that was entered into the festival but the theatre group that was originally asked to perform it can not. If they don’t come up with the actors by the end of day they have to pull out of the festival.

The actors and production assistants would receive 50% of the box office after expenses plus have a great time. It truly is a wonderful script!

The quick synopsis is: it is the story of nineteen women who were turned to stone as punishment for dancing and making merry on a solemn, holy day. Once a century, one soul is released to tell their stories and plead with a serpent (the male of course!), dispatched by the Otherworld, for safe passage to the heavenly realm. The women’s stories are sometimes light-hearted, sometimes serious but always relative to the lives of contemporary society. Each of the women encapsulates a different experience by a female, ancient or modern.

Any assistance that you can provide would be appreciated.

The contact information is email: Cheryl Dalziel Cell phone: 314-6010 or her work phone number is 566-6962.

Yes, it is short notice but opportunity is knocking, why not answer the door?

Posted by RH_Admin on 06/12 at 02:52 PM
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Monday, June 04, 2012

Acting Up - Then and Now

Acting up - Then and Now

Youth Workshop

ACT (a community theatre) in cooperation with Beaconsfield Historic House, will hold an exciting acting workshop.Using history as a theme, the workshop will focus on basic acting skills including…

* Physical Skills
* Vocal SkillsImprov Skills
* Storytelling Skills

Where:  Beaconsfield’s Carriage House
When:  Saturday, September 29
For:  Youth ages 8 - 14
Leader:  Laura Bird assisted by Justin Shaw

Laura K. Bird of Class Act Theatre Society has over twenty-five years of experience working with young people in theatre. She has worked with the Vancouver Youth Theatre, Arts Umbrella, Kaleidoscope Performing Arts School and Confederation Centre for the Arts Summer Camps.  Believing everyone is creative, she strives for young people to explore their abilities in a safe and supportive environment.

Justin Shaw of the UPEI Theatre Society will assist Laura. Justin appeared most recently in Vagabond Production’s acclaimed The Taming of the Shrew.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hone your acting skills and work with other young people who are passionate about theatre!
For further information or to register for the workshop, contact Kim Johnston at 569-8563 or

Posted by webmaster on 06/04 at 12:47 PM
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Monday, May 28, 2012

ACT AGM - Save the Date - August 18

ACT’s AGM and its traditional pot luck supper - following the meeting - will be held at Robert Cotton Park, Stratford, on Saturday, August 18 at 5:00 pm.

You are also invited to be part of the audience for a full rehearsal of Macbeth which will run from 2:00 to 5:00 pm in the park. 
The formalities of the meeting will begin at 5:00 with the presentation of ACT’s Community Appreciation Award, and will be followed by a short and efficient annual meeting.
The Cotton Centre has a kitchen where you can heat casseroles or the like, and store perishables and food in the refrigerator.  Depending on the weather we can eat inside or outside.  If you wish to eat outside, please take your own chair.
This event is NOT licensed.

Posted by Bunty Albert on 05/28 at 01:52 PM
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