The Elizabeth Boardmore One Act Play Festival returns to Cape Breton University March 21-25. The annual celebration will feature five plays over five nights, highlighting the accomplishments of theatre students, teachers, professionals and community aficionados who gather to produce live theatre.
This year, four new original works will be showcased: The Voice of Metal, written and directed by Darren MacQueen; Earth’s Last Days, written by Kristen Woodford, directed by Kimberely Charron; Her Body, written and directed by Kyle Capstick; and Black Jack 4: The Homecoming, written and directed by James FW Thompson. Winner of the 1991 Chalmers Canadian Play Award, House-written by Daniel MacIvor and directed by Todd Hiscock, will also be presented.
The festival is an innovative way of developing local talent notes Playhouse Manager, Todd Hiscock. “The festival provides new and experienced writers, directors and actors an opportunity to showcase their talent, and gives the public a chance to see several quality productions from numerous theatrical styles. The festival continues to delight audiences year after year,” he says.
Marguerite McNeil returns to adjudicate the 2011 festival. McNeil has had a long and varied theatre and film career, and is still active in the local Nova Scotian and Canadian theatrical scenes. Her early studies were in New York and London including drama work with Vera Soloviova of the Moscow Art Theatre, dance with Valerie Bettis, Savilla Forte and Kathrine Litz, and voice workshops with Marian Rich and Alice Hermes of the Herbert Bergh of Studios. Following the nightly performances, McNeil will lead a public discussion of the plays and the festival awards ceremony will take place following the final show on Friday.
Evening shows begin at 7pm. Tickets to the One Act Play Festival are $8 General, $5 Students and Seniors and are available at the Box Office or by calling 902-563-1652. An adjudication will follow each evening’s plays. Join the cast and crew as Marguerite McNeil leads a fun and enlightening discussion about theatre.
Monday, March 21 – 7:00pm
The Voice of Metal
written and directed by Darren MacQueen
Embark on a surreal, heavy metal journey into the mind of a guitarist. Experience firsthand the transition of pain into art as he struggles with the pressures of his past and present and discovers his voice. Featuring music written and performed by local artist Steven “Baz” Pace.
written by Daniel MacIvor
directed by Todd Hiscock
Winner of the 1991 Chalmers Canadian Play Award, this stand–up-sit-down comedy nightmare introduces one of the most original creations in recent Canadian theatre– a character who develops his mesmerizing hold of the audience by foregrounding his own performance.
Wednesday, March 23-7:00pm
Earth’s Last Days
written by Kristen Woodford
directed by Kimberely Charron
“Earth’s Last Days” is a romantic comedy following the exploits of an inept alien invasion, a mysterious criminal mastermind, and the twenty-something brother-sister team of Marvin and Martha who hold our future in their inexperienced hands. Death, destruction, mayhem, love, and laughs ensue as Earth approaches its final days.
written and directed by Kyle Capstick
Once upon a time there was a princess who lived in a kingdom with a sprawling meadow, a running river and a mile-high gorge. The princess would dream of the ocean every night. This may be a play about her. Mostly it’s a play about the sun, the moon, and the stars. Secretly it’s all about the princess and the ocean she longs to find. Join the cast of this original work on a lovely journey of attractions, contemplations and self-discoveries.
Friday, March 25 – 7:00pm
Black Jack 4: The Homecoming
written and directed by James FW Thompson
Black Jack Smith, the most terrifying killer Cape Breton has ever known, returns! Stalking and slashing through the woods where it all began, Black Jack is seeking revenge and he’s leaving no survivors… or is he? The origins of this evil force – forged in the darkest regions of the home of our (freshly torn out) hearts – will finally be revealed! Watch in terror as the secrets of Black Jack’s past and family are cast out for all to see alongside his freshest victims. If you enjoyed ‘Black Jack 1’ and ‘Black Jack 3: The Final Slaughter’, or even if you’re new to the series, you’ll love ‘Black Jack 4: The Homecoming’!
Spotlight Snapshots: Excerpts from New Work by CBU’s Playwriting II Students
These one-hour sessions showcase new writing in an informal, staged reading context. The audience’s written feedback will help playwriting students to improve their craft. Admission is free.
Monday, March 21 (12pm-1pm)
“Who Wants to Thaw Antarctica” by Michael Taylor
“The Bloodletting” by Nicole MacDougall
“Nine Hundred Eleven Novenas” by Mary-Jean Doyle
Tuesday, March 22 (12pm-1pm)
“I Miss, Not Just, Your Eyes” by Kyle Capstick
“Pipe Dreams” by Amy Grant
New Work by Daniel Dobson
Wednesday, March 23 (12pm-1pm)
“Emily” by Kristen Woodford
“CONvince Me” by Lauren Hardy
New Work by Guy LeLievre
New Work by Heidi MacLellan
Thursday, March 24 (12pm-1pm)
“Black” by Brittany Fagan-Steele
“Love Spice” by Janine Christmas
New Work by David Hutchinson
For more information and a complete schedule please visit www.cbu.ca/boardmore.