PEI Community Theatre Festival 2017
March 11 2017 - an afternoon of good entertainment fun
PEI will mark the 56th celebration of World Theatre Day on the afternoon of Saturday, March 11th, at the Carrefour in Charlottetown. It’s the annual Community Theatre Festival.
Six short plays (30 minutes or less) will run every three-quarters of an hour or so throughout the afternoon. It’s a smorgasbord of comedy both classical and farcical, charming drama, legend-telling and improv.
PEI is full of theatre. There are about two 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. Performers will be given constructive tips by adjudicator Laura K. Bird.
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 at least six confirmed participants. For belly-laugh humour, the Tracadie Players will take “A Trip to the Dentist,” and the Murray Players will show a widow trying to marry off her daughter in a twist on “A Partridge in a Pear Tree.” ACT (a community theatre) offers scenes from “The Dining Room”, A.R. Gurney’s portrayal of the family life of the privileged. The Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors will act out several new tellings of imaginative legends built around Glooscap, creation, an oak tree and a berry patch. The Kings Players have chosen an excerpt from George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”, the foundation for My Fair Lady. And the Spotlight School of Arts will provide the fun of theatre-game improv.
The annual event is backed by ACT (a community theatre) and sponsored by several community businesses which have a commitment to the arts, including The Buzz, Bluefield Realty, and Academy of Learning. A well-known dental clinic is pitching in this year; its staff should especially enjoy Tracadie’s “A Trip to the Dentist”! As well, the Watermark Theatre, Victoria Playhouse and Spotlight School of Arts have all donated tickets to be raffled.
Here’s what Wade Lynch, adjudicator of several Festivals, has said about the experience: “The PEI Community Theatre Festival reminds me of why I went into theatre ... It is a celebration of life expressed through theatre ... 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.”
The Carrefour’s doors open at 12:30 on Saturday, March 11th; the plays begin at 1:00 and run till about 5:30. There’ll be a 15-minute break between plays to provide for 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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