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					Curtain Up!
ACt Newsletter
spring 2010

ActFest                                     6th summer of
2010                                        theatre in Gimli
                                            14 - 16 May
                                            Gimli Theater Association presents
                                            The Lost Weekend by Norm Foster
                                            23 May
                                            Der Geist Theatre presents
                                            The Sound of you eyes closing
                                            sponsored by NunaNow Festival.
                                            One show only at 3pm
                                            25 - 27 June
                                            Shoestring Theatre comes to town again
                                            with their play Who’s Life is it Anyway
                                            by Brian Clark
                                            16 - 18 July
Everything is coming along beautifully
                                            The weekend is reserved for another
for ACTFest, 2010 here in Virden.
                                            member of our group who has plans.
It looks like we may have full blown
spring by then as well. We have nine        6 - 8 august
groups performing and representation        We welcome Tumbleweed from Virden who
from a total of nineteen groups. We         will present Squabbles by Marshall Karp         this Issue’s Quote
are thrilled to welcome all to our pretty
little prairie town and our beautiful Aud   13 - 15 august                                  of the Day
theatre. Plans have been made to keep       7 ages Productions from Brandon will
                                            offer Tuesdays with Morrie by Mich Albom                             I love acting.
everyone laughing and having as much
fun as possible. The first performance
                                                                                                                 It‘s so much more
                                            20 - 22 august
will be Friday night at 7pm, then a         NewStage Manitoba offers two shows                                   real than life.
full day Saturday, banquet Saturday         on the same program More Sudoku Fever                                Oscar Wilde
night, and concluding with Sunday           Written by Ron Blicq and four, short, one-
morning performances and lunch. Our         act comedies under the umbrella title of
adjudicators this year are Jill Radwansky   Four On The Floor Written by Dale Watts.
from Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, a
                                            27 - 29 august
former Virden resident, Jon Ted Wynne
from Winnipeg, and returning this year      Gimli Theatre Association’s own
is Jim Forsyth from Brandon. We are         resident playwright Mary Kapitan will
hoping to work a time into the schedule     offer Slices of Life to close out the season.
when you could be able to visit our         All shows run at 8pm.
Costume Closet and art gallery in the       Saturday and Sunday
renovated CP Station. We are still open     and 2:30 pm on Sunday.
to day visitors and session passes are                                                        Inside this Issue
                                            Tickets are available by reservations or
available at the door for anyone who
                                            at Tergesen’s store in Gimli.                     President’s Message       1
would like to take in just a part of the
festival. Our committee is excited to       More information will follow through              Regional Reports          1-2
welcome everyone. Remember; ‘HATS           the ACT website on our reservation
                                                                                              Act Executive Listing     Back
OFF TO THEATRE’.                            process.
Greg Tough, Committee Chairperson           Welcome one and all…
                                                                                                       r e g i o n a l       r e p o r t s

                        President’s                                                                    southwest

                        Message                                                                        A big “HELLO” from the Southwest
                                                                                                       Region, who at the time of this report,
                                                                                                       are enjoying beautiful above normal
                        The days are lengthening. As I sit at my computer at 7.30pm it is              temperatures! I am a member of
                        still daylight outside. Spring is here and summer is approaching.              Tumbleweed Productions of Virden and
                        For many of our member groups the spring performances are                      we are busy with the final preparations
                        currently taking place and when the curtain falls our theatre                  for ACTFest 2010. The entries are slowly
                        talents will be put away for a period. We can pursue the more                  trickling in, but early response has led us
                        energetic, outdoor pleasures of summer.                                        to believe that we will have 10 plus groups
                                                                                                       performing. We, as a group, are also busy
Hold on! We still have ACT’s premier showcase, ACTFest, to attend.                                     preparing for an April 10th and 17th dinner
Did you know that this tradition started in 1979 as the Community Theatre Festival? Many               theatre with our new play Squabbles by
groups have joined ACT for the insurance that we provide for their group. Others enjoy                 Marshall Karp. These are fund-raisers,
the education that is provided in workshops. Some just like to know what other groups                  April 10th for Learning Disabilities,
around the province are doing. Whatever our reasons for joining ACT many of us look                    Brandon branch at Knox United Church,
to ACTFest as the real “proof of the pudding”. It epitomizes what ACT is all about. We                 and the 17th is in Virden for the Elks Royal
perform. We learn. We network with other community theatre people. We soak up the                      Purple Ladies. The first act of this play will
atmosphere of theatre. We love it! Hopefully we will all enjoy the 32nd ACTFest in Virden.             also be performed at ACTFest. We are also
                                                                                                       booked to perform at the Gimli summer
Some of us will not even abandon our beloved theatre during the summer. My own
                                                                                                       festival, August 6th - 8th with the same play.
theatre group, Tumbleweed Productions, along with a few other groups, are off to
Gimli Summer Theatre in August to get the true feeling of performing for a totally                     The Outcasts from Brandon have confirmed
unknown audience. If you are in the Gimli area over the summer on a weekend check                      their participation at ACTFest with the self
to see if there is a production at the Aspire Theatre. It will be well worth your while.               written play, I Was Just Thinking…. They are
                                                                                                       always very entertaining!!!
Getting back to Board matters we welcome David Johnston back to the fold. At the
AGM we were unable to elect a Vice-President as we had no-one prepared to stand                        Phoenix Players of Virden also plan to
for the position. David kindly agreed to accept our invitation to rejoin the Board until               attend with two short plays written by local
we fill the vacancy. The Board encourages you to search for educational opportunities                  George Baker. They are entitled The Martin
for the future. Remember ACT will help you with some financial assistance under                        Skweebish Show and The Johnson Funeral.
the Scholarship Fund. Perhaps we can help your group overcome some problems of                         Ad Lib from Boissevain recently
production. Use our Theatre Development Fund to ease the expense of work-shopping                      performed Dry Streak by LeAnn Minogue
problem areas. Check this all out on the website at                              as a fund-raiser for their community
Whatever you do please let us know what we can do for your group. We really want to                    theatre. Unfortunately, this theatre has
help you all make the best community theatre in Manitoba. So have a good summer and                    been closed due to structural concerns. We
come back to theatre refreshed and ready to go in the Fall.                                            wish them luck in finding another venue
                                                                                                       for their performances. A few of them
“Life is better with a little drama in it.” Scott Nilsson said it but I certainly agree with him.
                                                                                                       hope to attend ACTFest as spectators.
 It is now 8.30pm and almost dark. It is time to quit my musings.
                                                                                                       7Ages Productions from Brandon
Hazel Lamont, p r e s i d e n t
                                                                                                       recently completed three days of the
                                                                                                       familiar Broadway hit West Side Story.
northwest                                         southeast                                            Their next production slated for May,
                                                                                                       2010 is the ever popular Mitch Albom
                                                                                                       story, Tuesday’s With Morrie.
Mosey river Drama Club                            tHAt
On Saturday, February 20, 2010, my wife           Unfortunately, THAT had to cancel its
and I had the honour of attending a sold          spring production. We have, however,
out performance of Mossey River Drama             enlisted a new director for the fall and we
Club’s production Hillbilly Weddin’. We were      will likely be doing Waiting For the Parade
given the royal treatment; complimentary          to coincide with Remembrance Day.
tickets, assigned seats, after production
refreshments, and a personal meeting and
conversation with the cast and crew. With                        HERE: Flatlands Theatre Company,
treatment like this, who wouldn’t love being                         The Pink Panther Strikes Again;
on the ACT board. Jerry Joss                             OPPOSITE: Flatlands Theatre Company, Pith

r e g i o n a l       r e p o r t s


Gimli                                              She recruited her cast and they have targeted      Council, The Burntwood Regional Heath
                                                   ACTFest for the first presentation. Mary is        Authority, and a fund-raising group for A
Our group has been concerned for the
                                                   very apprehensive about the whole deal and         Port In The Storm. The chili was delicious
welfare of our senior member (Pierre
                                                   hopes that all goes well with the performance.     and so was the wine and beer; it was a fun
Brandelius) who for months now has been
                                                   Meanwhile Pat Thulner revived her                  time for all.
on a waiting list for a heart operation. He
got the call last week and came out with           interest in directing and chose Norm               Early in March auditions were held for
flying colors. After a five day stay in the        Foster’s The Lost Weekend for our group’s          Thompson Playhouse’s next production,
hospital he is now back home recuperating          next major play.                                   Peter Gordon’s Murdered to Death.
and was told to take it easy for a least six       They chose the May 14 - 16 weekend to              Rehearsals for this play will begin early in
months. For those who know this ex-biker,          open our summer season in Gimli.                   April and the performances will take place
you can expect that this is not going to                                                              at the Letkeman Theatre in Thompson
happen. He’s quite stubborn you know.              thompson Playhouse                                 on November 26th and 27th. This will
                                                                                                      be Thompson Playhouse’s first major
On another front, our members shook                Thompson Playhouse hosted their annual             production since the resignation of their
the tree and a whole bunch of initiatives          Beer ‘n Skits on February 20th to a sold-out       previous, long-time director, Maria Hughes.
cropped out.                                       audience at the Juniper Centre. In addition
Our resident playwright Mary Kapitan was           to the skits performed by Thompson
encouraged by Ron Blicq to combine her             Playhouse members, there were skits
three recently written plays into one with         performed by several groups from the
the catchy title of Slices of Life.                community including Thompson City


shoestring Players                                 order to cast this play which required the         Newstage Manitoba
                                                   services of 18 actors apart from a competent
Shoestring once again was a partner                                                                   NewStage Manitoba comprises two
                                                   crew and other off-stage help, Shoestring
with MTC in staging a festival of Caryl                                                               companies, both of which have
                                                   welcomed several new members, who along
Churchill’s plays January 21 - February 7,                                                            productions coming up this summer:
                                                   with some of our veterans, and Maureen
2010. Shoestring’s contribution was The                                                               Run Ragged Company will be staging four,
                                                   Taggart’s always inspiring direction, rose to
After Dinner Joke; a brilliant satire on the                                                          one-act, short comedies at the Winnipeg
                                                   the challenges of their various and sometimes
charity “business”. Churchill’s belief in the                                                         Fringe Festival from July 14 - 25. The plays are
                                                   multiple roles.
flaws in philanthropy, in recent decades                                                              entitled Herschel’s Big Sale, Julio and Ronabette,
touted as an alternative to state sponsored        We are just about to begin rehearsals for
                                                                                                      Sibling Ribaldry and The Good Old Days. This
social programs, is depicted through a series      Whose Life is it Anyway, by Brian Clark,
                                                                                                      production will also be at Summer Theatre in
of short vignettes featuring some bizarre          co-directed by Kathy McLennan and Carol
                                                                                                      Gimli from August 20 - 22.
characters, and situations. An example is          Stephens. This is a two act play concerning
a child being pressured by his mother into         a quadriplegic who wishes to die, but his          Run Ragged Productions will be staging
doing a fund-raising run which would have          doctors won’t let him. This tension is present     two productions at four events:
raised an estimated 10 quid for the charity.       throughout the play which ends in a way            1. A new two-act play, Shades of Gray,
Apart from a lot of stress on the parent-child     which has brought audiences spontaneously          June 2 - 6 at Manitoba Centre for the Deaf,
relationship, and the consuming of the             to their feet. The play is more than a drama. It   285 Pembina Highway.
child’s afternoon perhaps better spent on          is tender and even funny in places, but above
                                                   all forcing everyone in the audience to identify   2. The play we took to the Festival in the UK
other activities (like watching TV according to
                                                   with the different viewpoints depicted, and        last May, Sudoku Fever, at the ACT Festival
the child – “why can’t people sponsor me to
                                                   confront them for themselves. The plan is          in Virden, at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival
watch TV? I’d raise a lot more money.”), the
                                                   to present a segment at ActFest, stage the         July 14 - 25, and at the Gimli Summer
parent is persuaded by the child to buy him a
                                                   full play at the Gimli Summer Festival at          Theatre August 20 - 22 (the latter is a co-
new pair of runners costing exactly what the
                                                   the end of June and hopefully show it in the       production with Run Ragged Company).
child’s run would raise for the charity. Despite
a lukewarm review in Winnipeg’s major daily,       Winnipeg Fringe Festival in July for which we
audience reception was enthusiastic. Word of       are currently on the wait list. Finally, another
mouth as well as perhaps a couple of kinder        very large cast will begin preparing in late
(and of course more accurate) reviews in           summer for a November 3 - 7 production of A
other media kept the fans coming. Success          Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Peter
was not just in the box office however. In         Spencer at the Forrest Nickerson Theatre.

Be Proud!
Get in on the next issue!
Deadline: July 9

Act Executive
Hazel Lamont P r e s i d e n t
Box 405, Virden, MB R0M 2C0
T 748-3580                                    regions

David Johnson V i c e P r e s i d e n t       north-east
2108 Rosser Avenue,                           Gimli Theatre Association             Gimli
Brandon, MB R7B 0C9                           Haystack Productions                  Beausejour
                                              Holy Hams (Selkirk United Church)     Selkirk
Donna Cuddy s e c r e t a r y                 Pinawa Players                        Pinawa
Box 105, Holland, MB R0G 0X0                  Prairie Players                       Portage la Prairie
T 526-2379 (H)
                                              Stage Right Portage Alliance Church   Portage la Prairie
Caren Dundas t r e a s u r e r                Thompson Playhouse Inc.               Thompson
P.O. Box 2081,                                winniPeg
Swan River, MB ROL 1Z0
                                              Merlyn Productions                    Winnipeg
T 734-3958
                                              New Stage Productions                 Winnipeg
Maureen Taggart P a s t P r e s i d e n t     Shoestring Players                    Winnipeg
1151 Wellington Cres.,                        Winnipeg Mennonite Theatre            Winnipeg
Winnipeg, MB R3N 0A2
T 487-0936
                                              Mossey River Drama Club               Fork River
r e g i o n a l r e P r e s e n tat i V e s   Rapid City Drama Club                 Rapid City
                                              Theatre 53                            The Pas
northwest                                     Theatre Amisk                         Dauphin
Jerry Joss                                    Vagabond Theatre Co.                  Russell
155 Park Crescent, Dauphin                    Valley Stage Players                  Swan River
MB R7N 2W5                                    Whitemud Comedy Co.                   Neepawa
T 638-9061 (H)
northeast                                     Candlewick Players                    La Riviere
Liz Driedger                                  flatlands Theatre Co.                 Winkler
156 Wilkinson Cres., Portage La Prairie       Mariapolis Drama Club                 Mariapolis
MB R1N 1A8                                    Tiger Hills Amateur Theatre (THAT)    Holland
T 239-0699 (H)
                                              7 Ages Productions                    Brandon
Ainsley Rintoul
                                              Ad Lib                                Boissevain
Box 539, Carman, MB R0G oJo
                                              The Outcasts                          Brandon
T 745-2596 (H)
                                              Phoenix Players                       Virden
southeast MB                                  Spotlight on Shilo Theatre Co.        Shilo
Darren Klassen                                Tumbleweed                            Virden
Morden MB R6M 1P8
T 770-6060

southwest MB
                                              Visit us on the world wide web at:
Cathy Tough
General Delivery
Hargrave, MB R0M 0W0
T 748-3136