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One Act Play Festival back for two nights of fun and original scripts

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Playgoers of Lethbridge is pleased to host the Chinook One Act Play Festival April 8 and 9 at the Sterndale Bennett Theatre.Andrew Legg brings back the Duck Variations to the stage during the One Act Play Festival. Photo by Richard Amery

The One Act Play Festival, sponsored by volunteer, non profit organization the Alberta Drama Festival Association, is held annually in nine zones all over Alberta. The best play in each zone competes at the provincial one act play festival, which is in Fort McMurray, May 26 and 27 this year.
“All of the festivals are adjudicated by theatre professionals or educators,” said organizer Kate Connolly, who is excited University of Lethbridge professor and prolific playwright Ron Chambers will be adjudicating  the local festival this year.

“He’s written 15 plays and his last one ‘Of Least Concern’ was at the University of Lethbridge in March,” Connolly observed.

“We are fortunate we have a committed and interested adjudicator who understands the agony and ecstasy of play writing,” she said, adding the adjudicator provides their thoughts, feedback and suggestions to the playwrights and performers.

 Awards are presented for best original script, best male actor, best female actor,  best original script and best play overall. The best overall play is eligible to compete at this year’s provincials.

 She is excited that most of this year’s local entries are original scripts. There is also an exhibition entry from Medicine Hat.
“Their festival didn’t happen this year so they are coming here,” Connolly said.


Connolly said there are enough entries this year for two nights of great entertainment.
“There is a nice mix of more serious plays and comedies,” she said.


Subjects this year include women in prison, witchcraft, the end of the world and ducks.

Lethbridge Theatregoers will recognize a lot of familiar faces from Playgoers of Lethbridge, Hatrix Theatre, Shakespeare in the Park and the University of Lethbridge.

  Garrett Bishoff, who was in Playgoers of Lethbridge’s Februrary production of ‘Boeing Boeing,’ wrote two scripts. Bishoff and and Monique Prusky who was also in ‘Boeing Boeing’ and numerous other productions over the past two years, will be performing in one of them.

Friday night features “Tripping the Light Fantastic”— a more serious work by Garrett Bishoff.
If you missed it during the first Lethbridge Fringe Festival last summer, Espresso Theatre aka Andrew Legg and Mike Thiessen bring back “The Duck Variations,” which was written by popular American playwright David Mamet. It was a highlight of the fringe festival last year. It is also on Friday night.

 Saturday night begins with  “Nine” a drama and an exhibition play from Medicine Hat  group Fancy Trash Productions. As an exhibition play they aren’t eligible for the awards.

 First time playwright and stand up comic Audrey Gartner’s drama “ Crumbs” is also on Saturday night.
Saturday night ends on a comedic note with Garrett Bishoff’s comedy “The Last Thing I Did,” based on an idea from Stephen Graham and Justin Masson.
 Connolly is excited to see this year’s submissions. A few of them were submitted right on the March 18 deadline.

“The playwrights sent their scripts directly to Ron, so I haven’t even seen them,” she said.

Admission to the One Act Play festival is six dollars each night. The plays begin at 7:15 each night.
In addition, as part of the One Act  Play Festival, Playgoers of Lethbridge is hosting a workshop on stage management with Rebecca Miller, Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Sterndale-Bennett Theatre. Admission to the workshop is $10 for members, $20 for non-members (includes refreshments and a one year membership in Playgoers).  To register contact Shelly at   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Tentative One Act Play schedule
Friday April 8
7:15 p.m.  TBA
7:45 p.m.   Prairie Bear  Theatre “Tripping the Light Fantastic” (drama) by  Garrett Bishoff Actors: Monique Prusky  Lauren Copp director Cassandra Watson
8:30 - 8.45 p.m.  Intermission
8:50 p.m.  Espresso Theatre “Duck Variations” by David Mamet  Actors:  Andrew Legg and  Mike Thiessen (comedy)
9:15 p.m. Comments by Adjudicator
9:30 p.m.  Private meetings with Adjudicator

Saturday April 9
7.15 p.m.  TBA
7:30 p.m. Fancy Trash Productions (Medicine Hat 'Exhibition play')  “Nine” (drama)
8:30 p.m.  Triple Moon Productions  (Audrey Gartner)  “Crumbs” (drama)  Actors Audrey Gartner
8:45  p.m. Drama Insidis  “The Last Thing I Did ” (comedy) by Garrett Bishoff based on an idea by Stephen Graham and Justin Masson
8:55 p.m. Intermission with food + Adjudicator's thinking time
9:15 p.m.  Adjudication and awards
9:30-10 p.m. Private meetings with Adjudicator

A version of this story appears in the April 6, 2016 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times
— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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