Swift Current hosting Sask. full-length play Festival April 21-26

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The “180 Theatre Festival” will be hosted by Swift Current Little Theatre  at Beatty Playhouse at Great Plains College from April 21-26.

The annual community theatre  festival is held in a different location around the province each year. As this is the city’s 100th anniversary year and the provincial festival’s 80th anniversary, the event provides a unique opportunity for people in the southwest to see other theatre clubs from around the province perform.

Swift Current Little Theatre will reprise its spring production, a locally-written comedic drama by Wendy Lockman called  “Willow Road” as the April 21 festival opener. This three-character play involves eager nurse Kimberly providing care for her literary idol: caustic, alcoholic  Lee who is climbing the list for a liver transplant. As Lee deteriorates physically and mentally, and as feisty housekeeper Martha struggles to keep the whole situation in order, Lee and Kimberly discover unexpected truths about each other and themselves.

The cast features the author Wendy Lockman, SCCHS drama teacher Stefan Rumpel (making his SCLT debut) and Nancy Bridal Richards returning to SCLT after her last appearance here in the late 90s. The play contains adult content and some coarse language.  

Tuesday April 22nd Kyle’s "That Critical Stage" troupe presents “Homecoming” a comedy by Saskatchewan author Leeann Minogue which premiered in Rosthern in 2009. The cast includes five characters  played by area actors Danny Hannouch, Trudee Smith, Doug Hodgins, Becky Walker and Paulette Thompson (who also directs). Retiring is tricky for a lifelong farmer like Jerry. Everyone soon discovers that retirement isn't quite as idyllic as it looks in the commercials. Jerry harasses his son Greg and daughter-in-law so much after they try to take over the farm that they leave town and  Jerry's back on the land. And hiding the truth from the rest of the town.

Moose Jaw’s Community Players present Norm Foster’s “Here on the Flight Path” on Wednesday, April 23. This four person comedy may be familiar to Swift Current audiences as it was performed by SCLT in 2006. John Cummings is a lonely and divorced back-porch philosopher. Over three and a half years, three very different women occupy the apartment next door. As John reflects on his relationships with neighbours Fay, Angel and Gwen, he shares his unique views on everything from poets to sex.

Another play which may be familiar to theatre-goers from  its recent runs at both Globe Theatre and Persephone Theatre is  the Thursday, April 24th offering by Battlefords’ Community Players: the two-person comedy “Sexy Laundry” by Michele Rimi. After 25 years of marriage, the emergence of love handles and receding hairlines, Alice and Henry have hit a physical plateau. With a "Sex for Dummies" guidebook in hand, Alice convinces Henry into a weekend of alone time in the hopes of seducing him and unearthing her inner vixen. Henry, however, wants to keep things the way they are - comfortable and easy. This play contains adult content and language.

Originally an Edmonton Fringe Festival production, “The Drowning Girls” by Beth Graham, Charlie Tomlinson and Daniela Vlaskalicis  is Yorkton’s Paper Bag Players presentation on the evening of Friday, April 25. The drama involves three blushing brides who emerge from their daily baths, to tell the tale of a whirlwind romance with the same suitor. Charming, seductive, he rescues all three from the life of a spinster – but at what price?

The festival ends on Saturday April 26th when Melfort Amateur Dramatics presents “Snapshots” by Cynthia Mercati. This dramatic comedy with adult themes is the story of three women from their teens to their middle years, each journeying both together and alone. They're each  faced with a final decision - go on as they have been, or find their own center.

Festival awards will be presented on stage immediately after the Saturday performance. Professional adjudications will be held at Days Inn Banquet Room each morning at 10 a.m. from Tuesday through Sunday and are open to the public. There will be a themed after-party at the Days Inn each night after the show. These are also open to the public for a $5 charge and include entertainment, food, and a cash bar. Costumes are encouraged on the following nightly themes:

Monday – Moustache Mania

Tuesday – Anti-Social (unleash your inner nerd)

Wednesday  -Dr, Seuss’s Wacky Wednesday

Thursday – Casino Royale

Friday – Make Your Own Superhero

Saturday – Moulin Rouge

Tickets for the festival are $10 in advance per show available at Pharmasave, or $12 rush at the door. A festival pass for $50 includes tickets for all shows and is available at Pharmasave until the festival begins. Doors open at 7 p.m. nightly with row seating and table seating available each night and a cash bar and food available. For more information see https://www.facebook.com/SwiftCurrentLittleTheatre  or http://www.theatresaskatchewan.com.

Organizations: Swift Current Little Theatre, Theatre Saskatchewan

Geographic location: Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Willow Road Moose Jaw Yorkton Battleford Kyle Melfort

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