PEI’s Community Theatre Festival is coming back. Planning is already under way for the weekend of March 25/26th 2011, and the Festival folks are now inviting amateur theatre groups to participate.
Last March it was standing-room-only at the Victoria Playhouse as community-theatre troupes put on an evening of short plays to observe World Theatre Day. Besides the 30 or so players and back-stagers, 175 people packed the cozy theatre. Adjudicator Wade Lynch gave helpful appraisals of the plays and presented awards. The Bonshaw Women’s Institute served up cinnamon rolls and other delectables. It was a grand time! (You can see the photos by clicking on ‘Gallery’ at the top-right of this home page and choosing ‘Community Theatre Festival 2010’)
The Community Theatre Festival is an evening or set of evenings in late March when short plays or excerpts get presented by the Island’s amateur theatre groups. The 2011 Festival will be a celebration of the 50th annual celebration of UNESCO’s World Theatre Day. The Island Festival 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.
The organizing committee is recruiting groups to contribute a play to the Festival. This is for any group—big or small, young or old—which does theatre in an amateur (not-for-profit, for-the-fun-of-it) way.
Short plays or excerpts (40 minutes maximum) are what’s wanted, plays of any type—comedy, serious drama, avant-garde, whatever. There is 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. Location and arrangement of the plays will depend on numbers and nature of the pieces, but a performance evening will probably have 3 plays, with a 10-or 15-minute set-up gap between them.
Each participating group is responsible for all aspects of its play—rights, costumes, props, light/sound design, special effects, transportation, etc., but there is no charge for taking part. A technician will be provided for each evening, with whom the player-group can make specific plans. Each group will be offered (if it’s wanted) directorial/production advice by a visiting mentor, and there will likely be a general-purpose workshop for all during the preparation period.
An experienced adjudicator will give constructive feedback, and there will be awards to recognize achievements.
An interested theatre group should express its intent before December 15th, and confirm participation by January 15th. Contact can be made with any one of the Festival organizing committee:
• Rob Reddin robbie_reddin @ hotmail.com
• Ruth Lacey 675-4282
• Rob Thomson robthomson @ pei.sympatico.ca 628-6778