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