Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival – Week three program

Week three was the strongest program of the festival – with sold-out houses for the end of the week and weekend. My pal Kerri MacDonald (one of the NIF co-founders) and I went to the Saturday matinée and had a blast.

Worms for Sale (by Stacy Gardner, dir. by Janina Kowalski) brings another tale from the Rock, set five years after Newfoundland’s Ocean Ranger disaster. Fiona (Tajanna Penney) is 17, smart and longing to get out of her small town to Toronto with her mother Rachel (Jennifer Neales), who is still in mourning over the loss of her brother. Fi’s plans for the summer – and her relationship with her young high school teacher Matthew (William MacGregor) come into conflict with Rachel’s plans to leave when school is finished. Lovely work by the cast, which also includes Deborah Perry (Principal Hiller) and Bruce Williamson (Uncle Bernie). A touching, funny story of a family trying to move on.

It All Leads to the Lemon Scene (by Pamela Winfrey, dir. by Lynn Zeelenberg) is a darkly comic two-hander. Set in a laundromat at 3 a.m., Violet’s (Stefannie Flannigan) laundry chores take a dramatic turn when she meets Betty (Sheila Russel). Brilliant work from both actors and an edgy, gripping script.

Everything Blows Away (by Kelly DuMar, dir. by Chelsea Ferrando) is a lyrical movement-based piece. A man attempts reconciliation with a woman raking photographs after a storm. Beautiful, poetic script, and nice work from actors Gail Vanstone and Alex Bortoluzzi.

Finishing up the afternoon was Gloria’s Guy – Act II (by Joan Burrows, dir. by Anne Harper). A group of middle-aged friends catch up at a small town lodge when they come for their high school reunion, forcing Guy (Andrew Batten) and Gloria (Kim Sprenger) to deal with their teenage relationship history – and pushed together by lodge mom Jessie (Pat McCarthy). A very fun, sweet romantic comedy with a great ensemble cast, also featuring Krista Patton, Therese Arneaud and Bonnie Gray.

I was back at Alumnae Theatre this afternoon, this time in the main stage space for the cue-to-cue for Così. Mainly, I was there for the producers lunch for the cast and crew, and to see if the set needed any work – but since I hadn’t been able to make it out to a run, it was a good chance to get a sneak peek at the play. Big fun in store with this production. I took some pics of the set while I was there – and Ed and I will be back there Tuesday to do some final painting work. More on that soon…

Till then, have a lovely evening – and for all you Lost Girl fans, enjoy the pre-show and season two finale tonight!

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Author: life with more cowbell

Arts/culture social bloggerfly & Elwood P. Dowd disciple. Likes playing with words. A lot. Toronto

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