Hobson's Choice: Community theatres back in full force

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With the new year comes a new surge of community theatre productions.

StoryBook Theatre is presenting the young adult classic A Wrinkle in Time, while Workshop Theatre has Rule of Thumb, an evening of three Agatha Christie one-act plays. Morpheus Theatre is bringing back The Peacock Season, one of its most popular farces, and Night Ducks Theatre is resurrecting its award-winning production of Caryl Churchill’s Seagulls.

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StoryBook
The cast of A Wrinkle in Time. Courtesy, StoryBook Theatre. Courtesy, Tim Nguyen cal

Madeleine L’Engle’s fantasy novel A Wrinkle in Time has been a staple for young adults since it was published in 1962. It was the basis for both a 2003 television movie and a 2018 film. StoryBook Theatre is bringing it to the stage at the Beddington Arts Centre, Feb. 16 through March 16, using a 2010 stage adaptation which has adult actors play multiple roles so it can be performed by a cast of six.

In A Wrinkle in Time, Meg Murry, her younger brother Charlie, and their classmate Calvin go in search of Meg’s scientist father who has been kidnapped by an evil intergalactic force. They receive help and guidance from a trio of heavenly guides named Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Which.

In StoryBook’s version, directed by Shelby Reinitz, Caden Arsenault plays Meg, with Conor Thompson as Calvin and Hiro Kato-Scherer as Charlie Wallace. Chantal Palmer, Richelle Ho, Michelangelo Holt and Joey Gruszecki complete the cast.

A Wrinkle in Time is a two-act play that runs 120 minutes. Friday performances are at 7 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday performances at 2 p.m. On select Tuesdays and Wednesdays, there are 10 a.m. performances. Check storybooktheatre.org for dates and ticket availability.

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Workshop
Workshop Theatre’s Rule of Thumb with, from left,?Joel Weder, Lisette Allan, Anne Hodgson, and Tammy White. Courtesy, AJ Pearce cal

A TRIPLE TREAT FOR ARMCHAIR DETECTIVES

Workshop Theatre is presenting Rule of Thumb, a trio of one-act plays by Agatha Christie in the Pumphouse’s Joyce Doolittle Theatre from Feb. 23 to March 2.

Gino Savoia will play Hercule Poirot in The Wasp’s Nest which sees Christie’s famed Belgian detective try to prevent a crime before it happens as he comes between a bitter triangle of lovers. In The Rats, a pair of adulterous lovers find themselves lured to an abandoned flat, trapped like rats and framed for murder. Finally, in The Patient, a woman, played by Anne Hodgson, has been injured after a fall from her balcony. It’s not clear whether this was an accident, an attempted suicide or a botched murder, and the woman can no longer speak. An ingenious device will help her tell her relatives, medical staff, and Inspector Cray, played by Lisette Allan, exactly what happened.

Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. with 2:30 p.m. matinees on Feb. 24 and March 2. Tickets are available through eventbrite.ca.

Night Ducks
Night Ducks Theratre production of Seagulls with Logan Lawrence, Sarah Glubish, Nathan Crockett and, in front, Martina Laird-Westib. cal

SEAGULLS IS FLYING AGAIN

At the 2022 Calgary Adult One Act Play Festival, Night Duck’s production of British playwright Caryl Churchill’s absurdist comedy Seagulls won the festival’s outstanding play, director and technical awards and represented Calgary at the provincial festival.

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Night Ducks is reviving Seagulls with the same director, Sally Cacic, and technical crew, for eight performances in the Pumphouse’s Victor Mitchell Theatre Feb. 13-17. This time there will be a few new faces in the cast.

Seagulls is the story of a department store clerk with telekinetic powers. She becomes famous when she nabs a shoplifter by making the item he stole rise out of his bag. On her way to Harvard University for scientific testing, she agrees to meet an ardent fan, only to discover their meeting has caused her psychic abilities to wane.

This time around, Seagulls will feature Sarah Glubish, Nathan Crockett, Logan Lawrence and Martina Laird-Westib in a river-cruise-themed version of the play, which Cacic promises leans into the play’s absurdity even more.

Tuesday through Saturday performances are at 7 p.m. with an additional 1:30 p.m. matinee on Feb. 17.

Morpheus
Morpheus Theatre’s The Peacock Season with Adam Tulloch and Gillian Klassen .Courtesy, Dorin McIntosh Photo by Dorin McIntosh /cal

MORPHEUS PRESENTS MURDER MOST INEPT

There is still time to catch Morpheus Theatre’s production of The Peacock Season, Otis Bigelow’s murderously funny 1960 farce which has been playing to turn-away crowds since it opened Feb. 2. It runs in the Pumphouse’s Joyce Doolittle Theatre until Feb. 17.

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The Peacock Season is the story of Clarke and Cora Mariner who married for love. When they are invited to a Long Island social event years later, they see their former, now exceedingly wealthy, sweethearts, and are reminded of the privileges they gave up. Divorce may not be an option but murder is, so Clarke and Cora decide to murder one another, but they are positively inept and, instead, it’s the guests at the soiree who begin dropping like flies.

In Morpheus’ version of The Peacock Season, Gillian Klassen and Adam Tullock play the Mariners with a supporting cast of 12 actors that includes Stuart Bentley, Janos Zeller, Victoria Pilot, Marc Motiejunas, Terry Schmidt and Teresa Byrne.

Morpheus first produced The Peacock Season in 2006 and it quickly became one of their fastest-selling shows.

Tickets are at a premium for most remaining performances. tickets.morpheustheatre.ca

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