Evita - P3252817
Photographer -

Elaine Schuller

ACT Productions

Monday, March 29, 2010

World Theatre Day on PEI - What a Festival!

  Saturday, March 27th—World Theatre Day ... and did PEI ever have a good celebration of it!  At the Playhouse in Victoria-by-the-Sea, it was standing-room-only—literally.  Well, almost literally: actually people had to sit on the floor in the aisles.  Besides the 30 or so players and back-stagers, 175 people packed the cozy theatre.  They had a fine time.
  First the Bonshaw Young Players—a cast of sixteen youngsters including cats and a parrot!—presented “Heir Repair”, written and directed and narrated by 16-year-old Rachel Horrocks.  It wasn’t just cute—it was good ... and the players were rewarded with a lot of audience chuckles and adjudicator praise.
  With “The Worker” by Walter Wykes, Sheep for Wheat Productions startled the house.  There was laughter at some of the delightful absurdities ... but dark-theme moments of man/woman relationship and corporate wickedness had people holding their breath.  Ben Rayner and Rebecca Ford delivered superb acting.
  Relief from that tension came with the belly-laughs the Harbourfront Theatre Company gave us with their half-hour segment of Norm Foster’s “Opening Night”.  Imagine a sort of triptych spread across the stage: in the centre the wonderfully bad acting of a silly play; on one side the frustrated director and his carping wife; on the other side as audience, a would-be sophisticate and her bored paint-store-manager husband—the often double-entendre repartee hopped back-and-forth.
  Between the mini-shows adjudicator Wade Lynch interacted with the actors and their directors, and even the audience, to give compliments and helpful observations.  He presented an award to each group.  At the second break the audience trouped out into the lobby for refreshments (highlight: decadent cinnamon rolls) served up by the Bonshaw Women’s Institute.
  ACT (a community theatre) can feel very pleased and proud for having made this Festival night happen.
  World Theatre Day has been celebrated in plays, workshops and happenings around the globe for 49 years now.  A scan of the Web shows 2010 events in places like Vancouver, Ghana, Indonesia, New York, Mexico, Argentina, India, Mongolia ... and now, in Victoria-by-the-Sea, Prince Edward Island.  This year’s official WTD message came from Dame Judi Dench; among other things she said this:
“Theatre has the ability to make us smile, to make us cry, but should also make us think and reflect.  All it needs is a space and an audience.”  We certainly had all those things in the 2010 PEI Community Theatre Festival.
  To see photos, click on Gallery (top-right of this page) and choose ‘Productions ... Community Theatre Festival’

Posted by RobAdmin on 03/29 at 09:59 AM
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Community Theatre Festival a Success!!

There was a wonderfully enthusistic, turn-away crowd in Victoria last night for PEI’s Community Theatre Festival and they weren’t disappointed. The three shows on the bill had something for everyone. Bravo. What a treat to see such a wide selection of ages participating in and/or attending the performances. Congatulations to everyone involved in the Festival, on stage and off. I am looking forward to next year!!!!

- Gerry

Posted by webmaster on 03/28 at 12:19 PM
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Saturday, March 06, 2010

PEI COMMUNITY THEATRE FESTIVAL

ACT is sponsoring the PEI Community Theatre Festival - on World Theatre Day, 2010

  People around the world will be celebrating UNESCO’s World Theatre Day on March 27th, and here on the Island that Saturday evening is the occasion for the PEI Community Theatre Festival.  The place is the Playhouse in Victoria, and the curtain goes up at 7:00 pm.

  It’s an evening of short plays presented by some of the Island’s most dynamic amateur theatre groups.  This is a showcase for true community theatre—a time when for-the-fun-of-it actors and back-stage production crew get to perform beyond their usual home audience, to rub shoulders and learn from one another and get constructive feedback.
  Popular theatre-man Wade Lynch will be the adjudicator, providing observations and tips.  The participants will have the opportunity to socialize and discuss their experiences.  Each acting group will go home with a Community Theatre Festival award.

  The Festival play-bill has comedy in common, but the participating groups and their stage-works are delightfully varied.

• Sheep for Wheat Productions has a ‘dark comedy’ with an absurdist touch—“The Worker” by Walter Wykes.  A young woman fashions a pretend child to cope with her loneliness; her husband is furious, and perhaps with good reason—what does this mean for his life ... literally?!  The show offers the bonuses of original music and a recreation of the painting which inspired the writing of the play.  With their playful name from a card-trading board game, Sheep for Wheat is a fresh and enthusiastic group—known for their all-participant collaborative approach in bringing to life the provocative drama of the mid-20th century, such as Harold Pinter’s “The Dumb Waiter” and Eugene Ionesco’s “The Lesson”.

• The Bonshaw Young Players have been honing their skills in a fun way with Ruth Lacey for four years now—learning Improv, doing workshops with professional actors, writing, directing, and presenting their own material.  Their ages range from 5 to 16; interestingly, half of them are home-schooled.  Their play is “Heir Repair”, written and directed by one of their members, Rachel Horrocks.  It entangles an elderly spinster in a series of hilarious misunderstandings.

• The Harbourfront Theatre Company offers a half-hour excerpt from a typical Norm Foster comedy, “Opening Night”.  How do you celebrate the 25th anniversary of a now-stale marriage? ... by going to the theatre, of course!  Here’s a play-within-a-play, and it’s a toss-up as to which one causes more laughter.  Islanders know this troupe from their days as the Jubilee Players, which they became on their move from Kensington.  They have almost two decades of comedy experience.

  This is an evening of live, and lively, theatre.  The public is welcome for the fun of the performances and for refreshments served up by the Bonshaw Women’s Institute.  Admission (to somewhat defray the costs) is by donation.

  The Community Theatre Festival—previously a successful project of Theatre PEI—is being mounted this year with the sponsorship and support of ACT (a community theatre).
  The contact for further information is jshields932 @ gmail.com, 675-3672.

Posted by Rob T on 03/06 at 03:25 PM
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

PEI COMMUNITY THEATRE FESTIVAL

March 27 ... For World Theatre Day, an evening of lively comedy

  “The Play’s the thing!”  Drama is as old as civilization ... and it keeps revitalizing itself in every time period, in every culture.  No wonder UNESCO celebrates it annually with World Theatre Day.
  To join in the observation, PEI has its own Community Theatre Festival.  This year it’s Saturday, March 27th.  The place is the Victoria Playhouse, and the curtain goes up at 7:00 pm.
  It’s an evening of short plays or excerpts presented by some of the Island’s most dynamic amateur theatre groups.  This is a showcase for true community theatre—a time when for-the-fun-of-it actors and back-stage production crew get to perform beyond their usual home audience, to rub shoulders and learn from one another and get constructive feedback.
  ACT (a community theatre) is offering a visit by an experienced director to any group who may want some friendly guidance as they prepare their play.  Then on Festival night a professional theatre adjudicator will provide observations and tips, and the participants will have the opportunity to socialize and discuss their experiences.  Each group will go home with a Community Theatre Festival award.
  The Festival play-bill:
• The Bonshaw Players present “Heir Repair”, written and directed by Rachel Horrocks—An elderly spinster gets entangled in hilarious misunderstandings.
• Sheep for Wheat has a ‘dark comedy’, “The Worker” by Walter Wykes—A young woman fashions a fake child to cope with her loneliness; her husband is furious, and perhaps with good reason—the child’s existence may put him in grave danger.
• The Tignish Drama Club is preparing “Grandpa’s Twin Sister”, a good-old-standby farce.
• The Jubilee Players offer a typical Norm Foster comedy, “Opening Night”—How do you treat a stale marriage? ... by going to the theatre, of course!
  It’s an evening of live—and lively—comedy.
  The public is welcome to join the audience for the fun of the performances and refreshments.  Admission is by donation.
  The Community Theatre Festival—previously a successful project of Theatre PEI—is being mounted this year by an organizing committee of community-theatre enthusiasts with the support of ACT (a community theatre).  The contact for further information is jshields932 @ gmail.com

Posted by Rob T on 02/11 at 04:40 PM
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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Theatre Festival Deadline

Hi folks,
  I’ve just heard from Jennifer Shields, who is chairing the committee that is getting the theatre festival resurrected and rolling for this year.
  She wanted me to let everyone know that the deadline for submissions for the festival has been extended to February 7th.
  If you are interested in entering a show into the festival Jennifer will need the following information by that deadline;

-name of the group
-title of their submission and a few sentences of a description
-approximate running time
-contact email and phone number
-the fee (will be 50$ or less)(I’ll confirm the exact amount for you guys within the week)

You can contact Jennifer by email at jennifer932@gmail.com

This is going to be a terrific festival, and I’m so looking forward to seeing all of our Island’s wonderful talent.

Richard Haines
ACT President

Posted by RH_Admin on 02/02 at 12:16 PM
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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rocky On!!!

Rocky Horror played to packed and pumped houses

Brenda and I were in the house last night and what an experience it was. You folks must have had a blast. The energy was fabulous—as was seeing so many young people clearly having a great time. Congratulations to you all. Adam, I’m afraid I will never be able to look at you the same again. You really really look good in fish net stockings and a bustier!!

- Gerry

Posted by Gerry Gray on 10/31 at 07:15 AM
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Rocky Horror Show

You probably know already that ACT is staging the cult classic ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ at the end of October—the 29th, 30th and 31st (Hallowe’en!), at the Carrefour.  The curtain opens at 8:00 o’clock .
  You can find a description of the famous show at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rocky_Horror_Show
  It’s a hoot ... a fun-filled absurdity of a musical take-off on 1950s sci-fi horror flicks ... think space aliens who abandoned their original mission of galactic research in order to engage in kinky sex with earthlings and work on creating a bionic man!
  Imagine these characters in a Frankensteinesque castle:
• Brad (Nick Whelan) and Janet (Helen Killorn) - naive fiancés stranded on a dark-and-stormy night
• Frank N. Furter (Adam Gauthier) - a madcap hedonist who introduces himself as “just a Sweet Transvestite from Trans-sexual Transylvania”
• Rocky Horror (Jeremy Doucette) - Frank’s creation, the “beautiful to behold” muscle-man
• Columbia (Carolyn Campbell) - conflicted groupy
• Riff Raff (Ashley Clark) - the castle’s freaky handyman
• Magenta - Riff’s sensuous, if somewhat spacey, sister
• Eddie - the biker rebel who “went to pieces” for the cause of Frank’s brand of science
• The Phantoms (Morgan Varis, Bethany Mayne, Lana MacAusland, Ashley MacLeod) - who float sinuously in and out of the action
• Dr. Everett Scott (Rob Thomson) - the wheelchair-bound scientist with a questionable past
• The Narrator (Ken Gay) - pontificatory commentator on the action and the meaning of life
The production is directed by the irrepressible Richard Haines.
  The rock-and-roll music (led by Ian Toms) is a gas.  The dancing (prepared by Savannah Belsher-MacLean) is amazing.  The costumes (and their sometimes skimpiness!) are ... well, engaging.
  Tickets are $15 (general seating)—from the Confederation Centre Box Office or at the door.  Remember that there is a $2 advance-purchase discount for anyone on Sophia’s list of paid-up (2009/10) ACT members.

Posted by Rob T on 10/17 at 09:19 AM
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

COMMUNITY THEATRE FESTIVAL

  The PEI Community Theatre Festival is back.  It lapsed with the demise of Theatre PEI ... but now ACT (a community theatre) has spear-headed its revival.
  It is a series of several evenings in late March 2010 when short plays get presented in several locations by about a dozen of the Island’s amateur theatre groups.  The conclusion is a gala awards evening.  In celebration of UNESCO’s World Theatre Day, it is a showcase for true community theatre—a chance for scores of amateur 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.
Dates: March 25th to 28th, 2010
Venues: three or four small theatres or community halls in different parts of the Island
Who should participate: any group—big or small, young or old—which does theatre in an amateur (not-for-profit, for-the-fun-of-it) way
What kind of show: short (45 minutes maximum) ... comedy, serious drama, avant-garde, whatever.  There’s no pre-screening to assess appropriateness, although a group should be conscious of potential offensiveness. (Even so, it may be possible to have a special performance evening for more ‘mature’ or ‘cutting-edge’ plays).  Choice of play could be affected by technical limitations of the performance space and the limited set-up time between plays.
Programming: arrangement depends on numbers and nature of the plays ... but each evening will probably have 3 plays, with a 20-minute set-up gap between plays.
A group is responsible for all aspects of its play—rights, costumes, props, light/sound design, special effects, transportation, etc.  A technician will be provided for each evening, with whom the player-group can make specific plans.  It is possible that workshops or mentoring may be offered if groups feel they need such support as they prepare.
Adjudication: an experienced off-Island professional will give constructive feedback ... and there will be awards for such categories as overall production, lead and supporting actors, costuming, set, and audience choice.
Wrap-up Gala: Sunday evening - presentation of awards, entertainment, refreshments
Finances: mostly covered by sponsors and program advertisers + ticket sales ... but it is necessary to have each group contribute an entry fee (probably $50)
Timelines: expression of intent before Christmas ... confirmation by the end of January
Organization: by the Festival Committee—9 community-theatre enthusiasts with the sponsorship and support of ACT (a community theatre)
Contact: Jennifer Shields jshields932 @ gmail.com

Posted by Rob T on 10/15 at 09:08 PM
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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This is theatre worth applauding

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (Guardian)
Editor:

I have just returned home from one of the best nights of theatre I’ve seen on this Island in 10 years.

Anyone else who had the pleasure of taking in tonight’s (Friday) performance of Evita by ACT knows exactly what I’m talking about. From the moment the first actor arrived on stage to the final curtain two and a half hours later, I was taken in by the entire production. Every element, from staging to costumes to the orchestra, was absolutely bang on. Not to mention the totally convincing performances from every single cast member.

I hope each of the 100-plus people involved in this production takes another bow when they read this. You certainly deserve it. Three cheers for community theatre. We have many, many talented storytellers amongst us.

Kelly Mullaly,

Posted by webmaster on 03/31 at 11:16 AM
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Monday, March 30, 2009

Evita left our spirits soaring

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (Guardian)

Editor:

Congratulations to ACT on their truly magnificent production of Evita. The principals were simply superb with immaculate timing and mellifluous voices. The company gave us delightfully detailed and concentrated work which brought out all aspects of the emotion, turmoil and public fascination with the amazing life of Eva Peron.

Mark Ramsay, Shirley Anne Cameron and Julia Sauve deserve our gratitude for setting a standard to which all productions should aspire.

The very clever settings, lighting choreography and costumes delighted the eye.

Altogether a wonderful evening reminding us of the magic of musical theatre, after a steady diet of musical revues on the mainstage.

The production left our spirits soaring with Eva and the angel.

M. Raymond Moore

Posted by webmaster on 03/30 at 11:04 AM
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Friday, March 27, 2009

EVITA Sells Out Closing night

Evita played to a sell out crowd on Saturday night. Total for the three nights was 2,930 which was 92.7% of the tickets available.

For a hint of what you missed, please check out our Evita production pictures the the gallery!

- Gerry

Posted by Gerry Gray on 03/27 at 08:06 AM
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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Viva Eva!

  Some good seats are still available, but the‘Orchestra A’ section of the Confederation Centre has almost entirely been sold for the three performances of EVITA.  It plays the Main Stage on March 26, 27 and 28.
  This is the blockbuster musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice which most of us know from the Madonna movie and its signature hit “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina”.  It’s the story of Eva Peron.
  She pulled her way up through soap-opera and ‘B’ movies to political, social and spiritual power.  She burned out at 33.  Despite popular adoration, a military junta banned her name, and her preserved body disappeared for a decade and a half.  The elite dismissed her as a cheap opportunist ... the masses revered her as a saint.
  This is a come-to-life legend – pulsing with music and passionate dance, vibrant costume and the exotic setting of Buenos Aires.  Astonishing woman ... magnificent show.
  Tickets: $22 and $20 at the Confederation Centre Box Office 566-1267 1-800-565-0278 www.peipresents.com

Posted by Rob T on 03/08 at 02:05 PM
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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Building Buenos Aires

Stage set for ACT’s production of “EVITA” under construction

Designer Garnett Gallant gets a hand from Michelle Doucette of Home Hardware and Building Centre and Home Furniture Stratford

Buenos Aires is taking shape on Prince Edward Island as ACT, Island community theatre group, builds the stage-set for “EVITA”. The musical comes to the Mainstage of the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown on March 26, 27, 28.

Evita is the Broadway and London blockbuster by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, who produced a string of hits including “JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR”, “PHANTOM OF THE OPERA”, and “CATS”. It’s the story of Eva Peron—the woman who rose from poverty through love affairs, radio soap-operas and “B” movies to political and spiritual power in Argentina. Most people know the show’s chart-topping single “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” but the show’s drama pulses with much more music and dance—emotional solos, stirring orchestral and choral pieces, vibrant bass and Latin guitar.

Home Hardware Building Centre and Home Furniture Stratford has given a boost to the set for the PEI production of “EVITA” by furnishing materials worth over a thousand dollars from its stock of hardware, building supplies, furniture and home decor. ACT has been purchasing items for its theatre sets from the Stratford firm for most of its thirty productions over more than a decade.

Design for the “EVITA” set is the work of Garney Gallant. It creates the streets of Buenos Aires, the stately facade of Argentina’s government house, a majestic funeral chapel, even a revolving door which changes its features as a succession of Eva Peron’s boyfriends passes through. Moveable set-pieces will transform the stage continually as cast members roll them to fresh positions.

Construction is taking place in two locations: not just at ACT’s warehouse, but also at Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside, where construction leader (and teacher) Scott Harvey has engaged a team of students in the experience of building a theatrical set.

ACT’s production of “EVITA” will have almost 50 talented Islanders on stage, and a 15-piece orchestra in the pit. The director is Mark Ramsay, with music direction by Shirley Anne Cameron, choreography by Julia Sauvé, and costuming by Pam Jewell.

Posted by RobAdmin on 01/01 at 11:37 AM
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Auditions for Christmas Remembered

Beaconsfield Historic Properties, in association with ACT (a community theatre) will reprise its Christmas Remembered production on December 20-21. The show is a collage of “round the fireside” stories, poetry and Christmas songs, which originally played in December 2005.

Auditions will be held on Monday, November 10, 7-9 pm. Two adult females and one child are required to complete the cast. Those auditioning will be asked to present a short, prepared reading and a song.

To book an audition or for further information, contact Brenda Porter (tel: 569-5633,  or by e-mail: by clicking on Brenda Porter link found below.

Posted by BrendaPorter on 10/30 at 05:16 PM
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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

“Evita” Preview Evening

ACT (a community theatre) will stage the Andrew Lloyd Webber blockbuster “EVITA” at the Confederation Centre in March 2009. Auditions will be held in the first week of September. To give potential participants a taste of the show, ACT offers a Preview Evening. It’s Wednesday, August 20th, 7 - 9:30, at the St. Peter’s parish hall (corner of Rochford & Fitzroy in Charlottetown). There’ll be excerpts from the recording and the Madonna movie, a video about Eva Peron’s life, information about the show and auditions and a singing-and-acting workshop ... even a Tango demonstration!

Information: robthomson @ pei.sympatico.ca or 628-6778

Posted by RobAdmin on 08/05 at 07:47 AM
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