Wit - Wit Poster 2000

Thursday, October 26, 2017


New musical - needs producer(s)

  Hank Stinson — the man who for decades has acted in and developed shows for the Charlottetown Festival — has created a musical adaptation of LM Montgomery’s Rainbow Valley.  We think ACT will stage it at The Guild a year from now, in November 2018.  ACT has been directly involved as the show developed, in sort-of ‘testing’ and refining the script.  We know it’s a really good musical.
  The music setting is by Dean Burry, and the orchestration is being done by Natalie Williams-Calhoun.
  Hank himself will be the Director.  Marti Hopson will be Music Director.  Sharon MacDonald will be Stage Manager.  What a team!

  What we need now, in order to complete the proposal and get the go-ahead, is a producer.

  The producer is the co-ordinator of a theatre piece, the person who oversees the organization and manages the finances.  It can be a big job, but we have three ways of making it easier, even for someone with little experience.
• We hope to have an assistant or co-producer, to share the responsibilities.
• ACT has a comprehensive ‘Producer’s Handbook’ which gives detailed guidance about what the tasks are and how to do them.
• An experienced producer (Rob Thomson) has volunteered to provide active mentorship.

  So this is the pitch: can you suggest to us anyone who might be a good prospect as a producer? … or would you be interested yourself?

  We’d be happy to talk about it — no strings attached — with anyone who would like to investigate the idea.
  This is a very good project, and we want to make it happen.

ACT’s Directors of Theatre:
  Sharon MacDonald - 1-902-432-2317, sheamacd @ gmail.com
  Grace Kimpinski - 902-388-4372, kimpinski_g @ yahoo.ca

Posted by RobAdmin on 10/26 at 01:42 PM
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Plays Wanted!

Time to think about the Community Theatre Festival 2018

  Prince Edward Island’s annual celebration of World Theatre Day is the PEI Community Theatre Festival, which will again be held in March, on Saturday the 17th.
  It will be at the Carrefour in Charlottetown, filling the Saturday afternoon with a play running every ¾ of an hour or so, with a social time in-between performances.  Refreshments will be provided to the players.  Performers will be given helpful adjudication; previous mentors have been helpful people like Wade Lynch, Monique Lafontaine, Richard Haines and Laura Bird.  Participants will be presented with participation award mementoes.
  The Community Theatre Festival is a showcase for true community theatre—a great chance for scores of 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 Festival has grown in popularity since its resurgence in 2010.  Last year the audience tended to drop in to watch two or three of the six performances—a fine mix of slapstick, intense drama, legend, classic satire, even some improv.  Photos can be seen on ACT’s website — www.actpei.ca … click on “Gallery” (upper-right corner) and scroll down to click on the “Community Theatre Festival” sections.
  Here’s what Adjudicator Wade Lynch has said about the Festival:
“The PEI Community Theatre Festival reminds me of why I went into theatre in the first place.  It is an inclusive, nurturing community experience … 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.  I can’t wait for next year!”
  Now is the time organizers are inviting amateur (for-the-love-of-it) theatre groups to express interest and get working on a play.  What’s wanted are short plays or excerpts—no more than a half-hour—of any kind: comedy, quasi-improv, gripping drama, mystery, slice-of-life, political satire, romance, family-friendly or avant-garde/mature.
  It can also be a fine opportunity for a group to preview or reprise a show they’ve developed for another presentation.
  So let the creative juices flow.  There’s plenty of time over the coming few months to get into performance mode.  Mentoring guidance is available on request.
  To get information and to express interest, contact Kim Johnston 902-569-8563, johnstonk @ hotmail.com; Kate Martin 902-892-4384, eslkatie1 @ gmail.com; or Rob Thomson 902-628-6778, robthomson @ pei.sympatico.ca.
  A group should signify its intention to participate by December 15th; then definite confirmation is needed by January 31st.

Posted by RobAdmin on 10/19 at 01:44 PM
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Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Audition Call for Family Violence Prevention Videos

Want to have a role in a unique-in-Canada video series aimed to help recognize signs of family violence in everyday settings – and to take action to safely intervene?

This comes from Charlottetown’s Purple Ribbon Task Force ...
Mugisha Enterprises, in collaboration with the City of Charlottetown’s Mayor’s Purple Ribbon Task Force on Family Violence Prevention, will be holding auditions on Sunday, September 17, and Monday, September 18, 2017, to fill the roles listed below in a workplace training and public education video — entitled “Make It Your Business” — that will emphasize small, straightforward actions people can take in everyday life to notice and to help when they see signs of possible family violence.
To book an audition time, please email lindsay@fvps.ca.
Auditions will take place at the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women office (Sherwood Business Centre, 161 St. Peters Road, see directions below*).
Scripts will be provided on the day.
All ethnicities, genders, ages, and abilities are encouraged to book an audition.
Parts for Men (9 roles)
• 1 man, any background, 65+
• 1 man, Asian or Middle Eastern, middle-aged
• 1 man, any background, “hipster” look
• 1 man, white-presenting, expensive-looking hair, 40s
• 1 man, brown or Black, 20s
• 1 man, white-presenting, professional look, any age
• 1 man, edgy/alternative/punk look, teens to early 20s
• 1 man, white-presenting, over 65 (preference for 75+)
• 1 man, Indigenous, 40s
Parts for Women (9 roles)
• 1 woman, hijab-wearing, brown, any age
• 1 woman, white-presenting, 20-45
• 1 woman, white-presenting, “soccer mom” type, 40s
• 1 woman, white-presenting, expensive-looking hair, 40s
• 1 woman, Indigenous, any age
• 1 woman, any background, 65+
• 1 woman, white-presenting, mid-20s
• 1 woman, Asian or Latina, 30s
• 1 woman, any background, any age
Parts for Either Gender (2 roles)
• 1 person, any background, natural non-English/non-French accent, 30s
• 1 person who uses a wheelchair, any age
Parts for Non-Binary (1 role)
• 1 non-binary person, 20s
Extras, diverse backgrounds and ages
* Directions: Please enter the Sherwood Business Centre (Ellis Brothers) through the Public Health door at the back of the building. The Advisory Council on the Status of Women office is down the ramp, past the café, and on the right just beyond a big orange fridge that says “Cool Books for Kids.”

Payment will be by honorarium

Info: 894-3354, ext 22

Posted by RobAdmin on 09/05 at 03:01 PM
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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

President’s Report 2017

President’s Report
AGM August 20, 2017

It somehow seems ages since our last AGM at Ashley Clark’s home - much has transpired in our lives since then. And there has been significant activity for ACT as well. In my report I will summarize our achievements over the past 12 months and some proposed considerations for next year. I will also provide my personal perspective re challenges and considerations for the future.

ACT mounted three productions this year. That in itself is an enormous accomplishment. These included:
• In October, Little Shop of Horrors in Florence Simmons Performance Hall, Holland College. This was a delightful musical directed by Peter Krauskopf and produced by Rob Thomson and Grace Kimpinski, with Sharon MacDonald as stage manager.
• In November at The Guild, The Laramie Project - a provocative drama directed by Paul Whelan, produced by Marla Haines; with Wallena Higgins as stage manager.
• In February, The Dining Room at Theatre Carrefour and private homes. Featuring a cast of 6 who played approx. 55 roles, the play was directed by Terry Pratt and produced by Bunty Albert, with Sharon MacDonald as stage manager.

All three productions received critical acclaim from reviewers and audience members alike and involved many ACT newcomers. They featured a wonderful group of actors and capable, dedicated production teams. Many of these people gave up their ‘regular’ lives for several months or, in the case of producers and directors and stage managers, for more than a year. I cannot overstate the dimensions of their collective contribution. And collectively, these three productions netted approximately $11,000 for ACT’s coffers. This enabled us to have a surplus of a bit more than $7000 for our financial year.

In addition, the Community Theatre Festival in March, supported by ACT, was very successful. A special highlight of the afternoon was the presentation of ACT’s Community Theatre Appreciation Award to Sean McQuaid. Kudos to organizers Rob Thomson, Kim Johnston and Kate Martin, all three of whom are willing to do it again in 2018.

At present, the one production that is confirmed for next season is Shop Around the Corner, scheduled for The Guild in November. It will be directed by Marieve MacGregor, produced by Grace Kimpinski, and Gillian Gallivan will be the stage manager.

Now I will identify a number of initiatives and highlights for our year that are not directly related to productions. These are the things of which most people who have never been on the Board are largely unaware, but which are very much part of what ACT is and that ensure the health of our organization.

Beach House
The exterior painting finished, work was done inside with reorganizing the props and costume storage. Pam repainted the back costume room. Garbage sorting and disposal was addressed. There were NO floods (paving in the fall of 2015 has made a huge improvement). Portable shelving was purchased to be stored at the Beach House and will available for use by productions. Recently, Terry very recently purchased a dehumidifier which will improve the dampness issue in the back costume and props rooms. An outstanding issue is the completion of a costume inventory. Much work has already been done (photographing and cataloguing more than 300 costume pieces, preparation of a template for each item, culling of unwanted items) but we have yet to complete the inventory, either in print or electronic form. With a strong and determined arm, Kate Martin kept the knotweed at bay this summer. I would like to give credit and kudos to Kat Nazim, Cyril Armstrong, Pam Jewell, and Kate Martin for their Beach House stewardship throughout the year. A special thanks to Cyril, who will be stepping back from set design and building but who will continue to provide advice for producers and set builders re our set pieces and who has volunteered to do a free workshop to share what he has learned about set design and construction over the years.

Our Producer’s Handbook was completed (with significant contribution by Bunty Albert, Noah Nazim and Rob Thomson) and, in partnership with SoPA, a Producer’s Workshop was held in the Board Room of the Confederation Centre in March that was attended by several prospective producers. Workshop leaders - Rob Thomson, Bunty Albert, Kim Johnston and Brenda Porter - shared their experience as ACT producers. Ellen Carol, workshops coordinator, retired from the Board at the end of December and Kim Johnston ably assumed the role for the remainder of the year. A large amount of preparation was done for a Stage Combat workshop but the required number of participants was not confirmed so it was cancelled. Kim also worked hard to arrange for the Dustin Hoffman acting workshop to be held in the Fall of 2017, again in partnership with SoPA, but a date that works for all has yet to be be confirmed.

Noah Nazim organized four readings for the year - The Dining Room, The Importance of Being Earnest, Rainbow Valley, and a shared event with Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre of excerpts from 8 plays. The Board is considering the purchase of a number of e-readers that could be used for readings, thus eliminating the cost of photocopying for these events.

Adam Gauthier ensured that the ACT Newsletter, Facebook page and website provided information to members and the public of our activities this year.

I would also like to note that vital community partnerships were developed, maintained and strengthened throughout the year - I mention especially The Guild, the Haviland Club and Holland College School of Performing Arts. We also acknowledge and celebrate media support from The Buzz, the Guardian and CBC.

Board Goals for 2016-17
The Board made excellent progress with goals set for the year.
(a) Long term planning: We followed up on a suggestion from last year’s AGM and held a long-term planning session in February to which approximately 20 ACT members were invited. The main recommendations that emerged from the sessions were:
1. for ACT to establish a season of plays that would be advertised as such and for which there would be seasonal sponsorships
2. to find a new ‘home’ which could be a base for meetings, workshops, productions, storage of archives, etc. In that regard, I am delighted to report that we have an agreement with The Guild for 2017-18 that will see 1-2 productions held there, space at The Guild for meetings, workshops and archival storage, and that will actively foster the concept of The Guild being “the home of ACT (a community theatre)”. The agreement is a flexible one and will involve close communication throughout the year to address any issues and further explore possibilities. Thanks to Adam Gauthier and Sharon MacDonald for their able assistance as we shaped our agreement with The Guild.
3. for ACT to be more ‘approachable’ within the community
4. to stage more plays with strong female roles and female directors

Considerable discussion has taken place on how best to implement these suggestions and I anticipate that they will be followed up by the new Board.

(b) Revision of our constitution and bylaws. As you know, this has been completed and will be voted on later today. Commendation for a task well and thoroughly done goes to committee chair Rob Thomson and to committee members Keir Malone, Kat Nazim and Noah Nazim.

(c) Archival Reorganization and Storage. Done. Special thanks to Sharon MacDonald for her tireless work on this project. The records are now organized and housed in large plastic tubs near the furnace in the Beach House. We hope to move them to a storage space at The Guild this fall.

(d) Website Renewal. Kat Nazim spent considerable time analyzing the present site, exploring various possibilities and experimenting with designing a new website. She has created an excellent brainstorming web of necessary components of a new site and has recommended that the Board engage a professional website developer to design the site for us. The existing Board gave tentative approval to this strategy.

(e) Recruitment of Productions Action on this goal will be explained in the Director of Theatre report.

So I am very pleased with the progress that the Board made on our goals for the year.

I am also very proud to report that ACT has continued to “give back’ to the community. We have supported the Fringe festival, PEI Symphony, and the PEI Chapter of Huntington’s Society, and we have loaned costume and set items to non-profit groups.

It has been a very successful year, I think. From my perspective, the two big challenges for next year’s Board and for ACT as a vital and revitalized community organization are:
(1) bringing in people who are willing and able to be involved on an ongoing basis in ACT activities. The people who have for years been mainstays in this regard are not getting any younger - when you examine the list of people who have given their time to key production roles, there is a predominant hair colour. Enough said. In order for ACT to stay vibrant and maintain the ‘infrastructure’ that has ensured its longevity as a respected community theatre, we very much need volunteers who are passionate about the organization and who can donate time, energy and talents to the ongoing work of the Board.
(2) finding ways to broaden our traditional offerings and reach out into the community, thereby ‘freshening’ our image and, hopefully, increasing our audience numbers as well. Suggestions such as dinner theatre and pop-up events have been explored but, to date, noone has expressed the willingness to assume leadership for such a project.

Finally, I have some words of thanks. First, I would like to thank all members of the Board (four of whom were at the table for the first time) for their invaluable contribution during a very busy year - and for their wonderful spirit as we worked together. I especially want to recognize the extent to which Board members made adjustments in their communication style in order for me, as a Hard of Hearing person, to fully participate in the meetings. All of these volunteers deserve our heartfelt appreciation for their contribution. Special thanks and recognition go to departing Board members - Ashley Clark, Adam Gauthier, Kim Johnston, Kate Martin, Gillian Oakley, and Rob Thomson. Collectively they have given more than 30 years to the ACT Board and their contribution has been ever so valuable. Bravo!

In conclusion, as I step down from the presidency and take a back seat on the ACT bus, I want to say that it has been a privilege to work with such a creative team of Board members. Without them, and volunteers like them, ACT would not be celebrating its 22th anniversary. Thank you all.



Posted by BrendaPorter on 08/22 at 03:18 PM

Friday, June 30, 2017

Rum Running and such!

Hank & Rowena Stinson at the Haviland Club

Our friends Hank & Rowena have a dandy show—about Rum Running!—at the Haviland Club ...
Tickets are available at ticketwizard.ca
Phone 902 360 2024
Or at the Haviland Club, corner of Haviland & Water Streets.
Phone 902 894 4421

Posted by RobAdmin on 06/30 at 01:51 PM
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Stage Combat Workshop Being Offered in June

We know what you’re thinking.  And, yes, this is going to be as cool as it sounds.

ACT (a community theatre), in partnership with Phil Stewart from the PEI Fencing Association, will be offering a two-day stage combat workshop Father’s Day weekend, Saturday, June 17th and Sunday, June 18th.
The workshop is for beginners and up, so no previous experience is required and equipment will be provided.
Stewart, who is an experienced fencing coach and stage combat director, will be demonstrating basic footwork, attacks, and defence. He will be using a mixture of old school sword play and modern fencing techniques.
The workshop will take place over two afternoons,  June 17-18, 2017, from 1 pm to 6 pm, at the Kirk of St. James, on the corner of Fitzroy and Pownal streets in downtown Charlottetown (35 Fitzroy Street). Space is very limited but a waiting list will be created. To register, or for more details, email johnstonk @ hotmail.com or call Kim at 902 569 8563. Price for this two-day workshop is $45 for ACT members and $55 for non-ACT members.

See you there! En garde!

Posted by RobAdmin on 05/24 at 01:26 AM
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Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Job Opportunity at Victoria Playhouse

Theatre Carpenter/Stage Hand wanted

Start date: late May/early June
40 hours/wk: variable hours must be available weekends and evenings
This is a full-time seasonal position that offers the right individual an opportunity to work in a creative environment as part of a dynamic team. You will be working with the head scenic carpenter/stage technician.
Duties include, but are not limited to: building/painting sets; installing and striking sets on stage; backstage technical/maintenance work as assigned
Skills needed: Basic carpentry and painting — previous experience using power tools and working on ladders; ability to work independently as well as being a team player
Must have own transportation
Salary negotiable based on qualifications
Please submit applications to emily@victoriaplayhouse.com
Deadline for applications is April 13.
The Victoria Playhouse thanks all interested candidates but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Posted by RobAdmin on 04/05 at 10:11 AM
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Saturday, March 04, 2017


RAINBOW VALLEY - Sunday, 12 March, 7:00 pm

  ACT and Hank Stinson are hosting a reading of Hank’s new musical play Rainbow Valley at the Stinsons’ home - 14 Confederation Street (across from Ardgowan, the Parks Canada HQ) on Sunday evening, March 12th.
  Hank Stinson is the well-known actor who for years and years played several parts, including Matthew, in Anne of Green Gables - the Musical … as well as many other roles in various Charlottetown Festival productions.  He has been co-creator of several of the Main Stage music shows, and over the years has authored a number of plays.  He created one of ACT’s most delightful musical shows: The Blue Castle, based on the L.M. Montgomery novel.
  Now he has written (with composer Dean Burry) a musical derived from another LMM novel, Rainbow Valley.  Chronologically it was the seventh book in the series about Anne of GG.  Anne has been married to Gilbert for 15 years; they have six children.  However, the story is mainly about the family of the new neighbour, the widower-clergyman John Meredith … and there is a thread of love and marriage.
  Hank has connected with ACT to have a reading of the play, to hear how it sounds, with a view to possible adjustment and subsequent production.  We’ll be joining Hank himself and two of his well-known Festival colleagues, Charlotte Moore and Julain Molnar.

Want to take part in the reading?  Tell Noah Nazim, so that we’ll have an idea about numbers.  (902) 213-3798, noahnazim @ gmail.com.

Posted by RobAdmin on 03/04 at 03:17 PM
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Sunday, February 12, 2017

“The Producers”

Workshop about producing a show - March 26

The Producers: Presentations and A Panel Discussion for People Interested in Spear-heading Community Theatre Shows
  When you watch a play, what you are seeing is a very small fraction of what is involved in mounting a show. There are people who manage and organize a team that involves directors, stage managers, costumers, set designers, prop makers and publicity people, to name a few.
These fearless leaders and logistical virtuosos are: The Producers.
  ACT (a community theatre), in partnership with Holland College School of Performing Arts (SOPA), will present a workshop that brings together four ACT producers (who together have produced over 30 plays) to provide information and insight about the challenging yet critical role of producer in community theatre productions.
  The goal of the workshop is to leave participants feeling informed about the role of a producer and perhaps feel inspired to mount their own shows.
Areas that will be touched on include: What is, and who should be, a producer?; Team building and the life of a show; Publicity, budget and ticketing; Considerations for front of house, managing a venue, the audition process, visual aspects of production, and props.
  This workshop will take place March 26th at the Confederation Centre boardroom (just off the Richmond Street entrance) between 1 pm and 5 pm. This workshop is free for ACT members and SOPA students, but there may be a small charge for other participants to help defray costs.
  For more information, email Kimberley Johnston - johnstonk @ hotmail.com

Posted by RobAdmin on 02/12 at 03:30 PM
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Community Theatre Festival - need some help

Volunteers needed for Front-of-House for Saturday 11 March

ACT needs you! 
To volunteer at the Community Theatre Festival
The Community Theatre Festival is March 11, 2017 at the Carrefour Theatre, from 1pm to 6pm-ish. The snow date is March 12, 2017 at the same location.
We are looking for volunteers to sit at a table and
• give out programs and oversee the donation money
• sell apples, cookies, coffee etc.
• sell raffle tickets
You can do this all afternoon, or just for a shift of an hour or so.
It gives you a chance to see a play or two.
If you would like to volunteer for the March 11th show, or the snow date of March 12th (or both!), please email Kimberley Johnston at johnstonk @ hotmail.com.

Posted by RobAdmin on 02/12 at 03:23 PM
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Saturday, February 11, 2017

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.

Posted by RobAdmin on 02/11 at 11:28 AM
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Monday, January 23, 2017

Wanted: directors with plays

ACT is looking for potential directors and play proposals for 2017/18

  The Directors of Theatre for ACT are looking for directors who might want to stage an ACT theatre piece.
  ACT likes staging three or four productions a year, and loves to have a good variety of different kinds of theatre.  We’re now looking for shows for autumn 2017 and for 2018, and possibly even this spring (2017).
  Have you considered directing or producing a show?  Perhaps you have a favourite play which has been rolling around in your mind for some time, or maybe one just popped into your head.  We’re open to all kinds of production — big/medium/small … comedy, musical, quasi-improv, gripping drama, mystery, slice-of-life, political satire, romance, family-friendly or avant-garde/mature.  We can help develop a formal proposal to get authorization from the Board of Directors of ACT, and can if necessary help to recruit key production team-members.
  So what do you say?  Would you give it some thought, and perhaps get together with us over a cup of coffee or glass of something to talk over some ideas?  Hope so!
Information/contact: robthomson @ pei.sympatico.ca; eslkatie1 @ gmail.com

Posted by RobAdmin on 01/23 at 10:48 AM
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Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Dining Room

Scores of scenes, dozens of characters portray a vanishing class

In February 2017, ACT (a community theatre) will offer a unique theatre experience. Directed by Terry Pratt, The Dining Room will take audience members on a journey through various decades of the 20th century and give them glimpses of upper-middle-class, North American WASP family life, as depicted in short scenes that share a common setting: a dining room.

A.R. Gurney’s play presents a perspective on a vanishing – or indeed, perhaps now completely vanished – social class. While privileged and pretentious, it is one that is also loyal and loving, placing great value on the rituals of eating and talking as a family and holding family councils. The audience will be welcomed into that intimate setting and will witness the intricacies of life in various eras throughout the 20th century.

Another exciting element about the play is the fact that six actors will play 55 characters – that’s eight to ten characters per actor. This poses both a challenge for the actors and a treat for audience members, as they watch familiar faces transform from scene to scene. For ACT newcomer Suzanne Wilkie, one such challenge is remembering that nothing we see is arbitrary and that each scene is “the most important, the most vibrant” in any given character’s life. “Otherwise,” she says, “why would we be showing this snapshot?” Every scene treats the audience to pivotal, intimate moments ordinarily hidden from view.

Performances will be at Le Carrefour Theatre, 2 Acadian Drive, Charlottetown on February 17 and 18 at 7:30pm and February 18 at 2:00 pm, as well as at the Haviland Club, 2 Haviland Street, Charlottetown, on February 4th for a matinee at 2pm   Tickets are available on www.ticketwizard.ca
ACT will also stage the play in individual homes in the style of “chamber” theatre – sure to be an immersive experience for those in attendance;  these performances have already sold out.
Visit the blog for backgrounders: http://thediningroomsite.wordpress.com/
For further information or follow up, please contact
Publicist: Kathryn Nazim: katnazim@gmail.com, or
Producer: Bunty Albert: bunty1948@gmail.com

Posted by RobAdmin on 01/19 at 09:23 AM
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Wednesday, October 26, 2016


LITTLE SHOP of HORRORS this weekend - two special features!

  Little Shop of Horrors is the perfect musical comedy for Hallowe’en-time — a total eclipse of the sun; the mysterious Audrey II, the plant with attitude and appetite; a Faustian deal with the devil; the plant’s diet of blood; a sadistic leather-jacketed dentist who dies of laughing gas.
  As a sort of Hallowe’en celebration, ACT (a community theatre) is offering two special features for the performances this Saturday and Sunday.
  There is a special family ticket bargain for the two matinees (2:30 on Saturday and Sunday).  The charge for children 14 and under will be just $10.  They need to be accompanied by an adult, since the show is considered to have a PG10 rating.  That special price is available only at-the-door (which is cash only).
  The second special feature is literally a treat: anyone who wears a Hallowe’en costume (without mask) to any one of the Saturday or Sunday performances (whether evening or matinee) will get a candy treat.
  Little Shop of Horrors plays this weekend, October 27th to 30th, at the Florence Simmons Performance Hall of Holland College (Weymouth Street in downtown Charlottetown).
  Tickets are $28 or $25 (senior, student, limited income), and are available in three ways: at www.ticketpro.ca; from the theatre’s box office (Weymouth St) 902-894-6885; or at the door (cash only).
  Information: 902-628-6778, robthomson@pei.sympatico.ca

Posted by RobAdmin on 10/26 at 03:06 PM
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Sunday, October 23, 2016

LITTLE SHOP of HORRORS - 4 days till Opening Night

Performance Week!

  This is it.  We’re moving into the theatre … the set gets assembled; the lights get focused; the sound gets checked; the props get placed … dress rehearsal Wednesday … then Thursday, 27 October: opening night!
  ACT is mounting an amazing production — a witty sci-fi spoof as musical comedy, with some serious under-themes of abuse and quiet desperation in the lives of ordinary people.  The acting is professionally strong; the singing and dancing are exciting and fun; the set literally blossoms … and Audrey II, the astonishing man-eating plant, will steal the show.  No wonder there’s such momentum in ticket sales.
  The theatre itself is a draw — this is the first big theatrical production in the beautiful new Florence Simmons Performance Hall at Holland College’s downtown campus (Weymouth Street in Charlottetown).
  Five performances: evenings (7:30) of Thursday, Friday and Saturday, plus matinees (2:30) on Saturday and Sunday.  It’s perfect entertainment for the Hallowe’en weekend.  In fact the Saturday and Sunday shows feature a fun bonus: wear a Hallowe’en costume (without mask) and you get a candy treat.
  Tickets are $28/25, at www.ticketpro.ca or at Holland College’s box office (weekdays 10 to 5) - 902-894-6885.  Info: call 902-628-6778

Posted by RobAdmin on 10/23 at 03:32 PM
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