Highlands Little Theatre to host one-act festival
|By Mark Arike - Staff Writer | November 4, 2015
Talent from near and far will make their way to Haliburton for the Eastern Ontario Drama League’s One-Act Festival, taking place Nov. 6-8 at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion.
“I think it will be a fun weekend of theatre,” said Amy Brohm, member of the organizing committee.
Brohm explained the festival rotates through communities in eastern Ontario. Each year, a call is put out to the EODL’s membership. The local application to host the event was spearheaded by John Neving, past chair of Highlands Little Theatre.
Preparations for the festival began about a year ago, said Brohm. The committee, which is made up of local residents, was tasked with organizing the theatre space, setting up the technical crew, finding volunteers, marketing and selling tickets.
Nine plays will be presented over the three days including the local production of Oh Annie!
“It’s a nice event because it’s bringing a lot of people in from around the province, which is kind of exciting,” she Brohm.
“We weren’t sure when we started if people would want to come to Haliburton to do this. They’re all really excited about it and sending lots of people.”
Theatre groups participating in the festival will be coming from Peterborough, Belleville, Perth, Kingston, Ottawa, Brockville and Cornwall.
Brohm says audiences can expect plenty of variety on the stage.
“It looks like a pretty good mix. There’s at least one other original script in addition to ours,” she said, referring to Oh Annie!
Directed by David McGill and written by Fay Martin, Oh Annie! is set in 1922 in a well-to-do home in Minden. It features three women, one of whom, Annie Angus, is president of the local Women’s Institute. The group is asked to fundraise for the installation of a stone wall to prevent the deceased from being washed out of the Minden cemetery. The group normally hosts roast beef dinners to raise funds, but Annie is determined to not only do things differently, but also change her group’s focus from learning how to be good housewives to women’s rights and civic responsibilities.
The play is based on real-life events which Martin learned about from old meeting minutes.
Discussions about birth control and homosexuality are included in the piece.
“It’s not the issues that are important; it’s how each of the three women first sees the issue and then responds to the issue,” explained McGill. “Over the course of the play you see some shifting and changing of attitudes.”
The play stars Lauren Forbes as Annie, April Martin as Mable Hartel and Sue Tiffin as Rose Baker (the only fictional character of the three).
The play recently made its debut at The Dominion Hotel in Minden as part of a dinner and show fundraiser for Places for People.
Oh Annie! will hit the stage at the festival on Friday.
The festival will be adjudicated by Carey Nicholson and awards will be handed out on Sunday.
Each play at the festival will be under one hour in length. Refreshments will be made available in the lobby.
Tickets are $20 per performance or $70 for a pass, which includes brunch at Bonnie View Inn Sunday at 10 a.m. Sunday. For tickets call Jim Frost at 705-457-4031 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about the EODL is available at eodl.org
MARK ARIKE is a reporter for The Highlander.