A Theatrical Smorgasbord

PEI Community Theatre Festival 2019

  PEI will mark the 58th celebration of World Theatre Day on the afternoon of Saturday, March 30th, at the Carrefour in Charlottetown.  It’s the annual Community Theatre Festival.  And it’s sure to be fun.
  Eight short plays (30 minutes or less) will run every three-quarters of an hour or so throughout the afternoon.  It’s a smorgasbord of provocative drama, legends-telling, adaptations from Homeric epic and the Tower of Babel, on-the-edge stand-up and improv, and plenty of belly-laugh comedy for all ages.
  PEI is full of theatre.  There are several dozen local drama groups, and literally hundreds of amateur actors and backstage workers who make plays happen.  It’s an important part of the fabric of the Island’s community life.  And the Community Theatre Festival is a great chance for participants to strut their stuff and get good feedback.
  This year performers will get that feedback from Adam Brazier, the highly respected Artistic Director of the Charlottetown Festival.
  It’s great for the audience, too.  People drop in for a particular play or two, or stay for the whole afternoon.  It’s good-fun entertainment ... and it’s a bargain: pay-what-you-will admission to help defray the costs.  There’s a social time with refreshments in-between performances.
  This year’s Festival has a fine array of participants.
• For ever-reliable belly-laugh humour, the Tracadie Players’ skit will pose what a person would do if they did “Rrrrrrrroll up the Rim” and actually won!
• The Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors will drum and dance through new tellings of colourful First-Nation legends handed down through the generations.
• The Malcolm Murray Group will present a comic-absurdist piece, “Chop Wood, Carry Water”, by the UPEI philosophy professor — with gripping highlights such as the moving of a wood-pile!
• The Side Hustle improv crew will offer a half-hour of spontaneously hilarious long-form drama.
• The Shamrock Players’ play is “Babel Rap”, in which two people working high up on the biblical Tower of Babel comically contemplate life, work and the hereafter.
• There’ll be stand-up comedy — original solo routines by humorists from Charlottetown ALL Comedy Open Mic.
• A band of Birchwood Intermediate students called 9-F Theatre Troupe have themselves written and developed a drama, “The Tipping Point”, which follows a teenager hounded by her anxiety as she goes through her school day to a gripping crisis.
• “Homeward” is a play by Louise Burley which is an imaginative set of episodes from the Homeric epic The Odyssey.  We’ll see a staged reading of scenes of the nymph Calypso and her captive lover Odysseus, with the goddess Athena looking on.
  A schedule of the plays in order, with roughly specific times, will later be available on ACT’s website and Facebook page.
  The annual Festival is backed by ACT (a community theatre) and sponsored by several community businesses which have a commitment to the arts — The Buzz, Bluefield Realty, and a well-known dental clinic — and support (for refreshments) also comes from Sobeys, Superstore and Foodland .  As well, the Watermark Theatre, Victoria Playhouse and Spotlight School of Arts have all donated tickets to be raffled.
  The Carrefour’s doors open at 12:30 on Saturday, March 30th; the plays begin at 1:00 and run till about 5:30.  There’ll be a 15-minute break between plays to provide for Adam Brazier’s adjudication and set-up of the next play ... and also to give the audience a chance to socialize, get raffle tickets and sample the refreshments.
For information: Rob Thomson - robthomson @ pei.sympatico.ca, 628-6778.

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