Gallery 7 presents half a dozen short plays during festival Sept 19-22
Caleb Vanderleek and James Lam star in Suspension of Disbelief, a comedy by James Lam. Below, Emmet Hanley performs in Lucille Fletcher’s classic mystery, Sorry, Wrong Number.
KEN HILDEBRANDT—SUBMITTED PHOTOS
allery 7 Theatre is thrilled to launch their 28th annual theatre season with a festival of short plays called Abby Theatre Fest, formally known as the One Act Play Showcase. This year’s exciting and entertaining mix of plays will feature 2 international plays and 4 Canadian works, of which 2 are plays written by local Fraser Valley playwrights receiving their world premiere production.
“If you’re looking for something a little different, something a little more edgy in your theatre experience, Abby Theatre Fest is the place to be,” explains Ken Hildebrandt, Gallery 7 Theatre’s executive artistic director. “This year’s festival will feature an eclectic mix of plays that dive in to a myriad of topics and themes, from exploring the experience of the less fortunate to flat out silly comedy, and from romantic relationships to important questions related to our faith expression. This year’s festival really promises to be a fun and engaging experience!”
Abby Theatre Fest is one way in which Gallery 7 Theatre is able to showcase the work of emerging and established artists from through-out the Fraser Valley, to present lesser known, more risky work that wouldn’t necessarily be seen on the theatre’s mainstage, to give local playwrights the opportunity to have their plays produced, and to provide audiences the opportunity to experience a very special and exciting theatrical form that is the one-act, short play.
Plays featured in this year’s festival include the following:
Mail Order Annie by Canadian playwright, Carl C. Cashin and directed by Danielle Milette. It's August, 1929 and Annie O'Ryan, a nanny from Toronto, has traveled hundreds of miles to rural Saskatchewan to marry John Proctor, whom she only knows through the letters they have exchanged. She's banking on her personal creed, "Carpe Diem," to give her courage, but is it enough? Will John be all of what she expects him to be? Will Annie be what John is expecting? A heartwarming and entertaining drama featuring two head-strong characters searching for common ground. Running time: 50 minutes.
Suspension of Disbelief, an original work written and directed by James Lam. Life has never been normal for Owen and Pepper. It’s about to get a whole lot weirder. Job dissatisfaction. Crushed dreams. Kinder Egg trafficking. Brick Cats. Beer for Bears. Self-Awareness. A little too much shouting. Crime. Free Cake. This play has everything you’ve never asked for. A riotous and silly comedy just for laughs. Running Time: 30 minutes. World Premier!
Man of God, an original work by Eldon Letkeman and Nick Lucky and directed by Eldon Letkeman. Ryan Everett is a man who seemingly wants for nothing. He's a successful pastor of a successful church. But underneath it all, the shame and guilt of hidden things brings nothing but doubt. On the eve of his rise to greater power, he encounters Mary Winston, an unlikely voice that could potentially change everything he holds of value and challenge his faith and world view. A compelling drama that asks important questions about faith. Running Time: 30 minutes. World Premier!
Harlequin Rhapsody, a play by Dave Hudson and directed by Chris Taylor. A Harlequin street performer's life is turned upside down after discovering that their ex is dying and is asking to be forgotten. A show filled with love, humor, and pathos; Harlequin Rhapsody is sure to please any audience and answer the question: how do you want to be remembered? And do you want to be remembered? Running Time: 20 minutes.
Reflections by Canadian playwright Jennifer Kersley and directed by Rebecca Laurenti. Three characters attempt to unravel their hopes, insecurities, and fears whilst facing the humbling realities of homelessness. A sobering cry for help against the stereotypes that silence hurting people, when in reality, the messiness of life is not picky with who she chooses. Based on true stories, the authentic and raw nature of this monologue-driven play will leave you surprised at who is staring back. Running Time: 30 minutes.
Sorry, Wrong Number by Lucille Fletcher and directed by Sue Backs. Mystery, suspense, chills. Who was on the other end of the line? Who will help? Will anyone listen? Time ticks by ever so quickly leading to a destiny impossible to guess. Set in New York, this 1943 thriller was described by Orson Welles as, "the greatest radio script ever written". Running Time: 30 minutes
Abby Theatre Fest will be presented at the Yale Secondary School Theatre, 34620 Old Yale Road, Abbotsford. “We’re very excited to be partnering with Yale Secondary School in presenting this year’s festival and we’re very thankful for their student and staff support,” says Hildebrandt. “Our partnership will provide us with some crucial assistance to ensure the festival runs smoothly, and it will provide young theatre artists the opportunity to work with professional theatre artists and technicians in a unique mentorship experience.”
Tickets for Abby Theatre Fest are just $15/show or $40 for a festival pass that includes admission to all six shows. For more information on each play and for a complete performance schedule, please visit www.gallery7theatre.com.
ABOUT GALLERY 7 THEATRE
Gallery 7 Theatre exists to produce entertaining and thought-provoking theatre that explores the spiritual, relational and social aspects of the human experience with a vision towards hope, reconciliation and redemption. Founded in 1991, Gallery 7’s season features main-stage productions, as well as guest performances and workshops. To date, they have produced over 90 productions ranging from sketch revues, touring productions and full-length plays.
Fore more information call 604 504 5940 | Box Office – House of James: 604 852 3701 or via e-mail here. gallery7theatre.com
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