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Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society to revisit first production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society celebrates their tenth anniversary thius year by going back to the past to revisit their very first production of a Midsummer Night’s Dream.
 Auditions for the play, which is being directed by Andrew Legg who also directed it 10 years ago, are Thursday, April 1 at the Lethbridge Fish and Games Hut (946 9th Ave South Street,)
“We’re definitely really excited about this season,” said Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society artistic director Kate Connolly.

Andrew Legg performing in the Merry Wives of Windsor last year. Photo by Richard Amery
 They have booked rehearsal space at the Gate in May and June and have booked three outdoor shows at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens on July 9, 23 and Aug. 13 at 7:30 p.m..
“The audience can be socially distanced. It is easier or them to have the audience socially distanced and more easily control access to the facility,” Connolly said, adding The Mocha Cabana will provide charcuterie boards for the Nikka Yuko shows and there will be a bar.
And there are more outdoor shows in the works.

“We hope to be back at Galt Gardens, but we may have shows in other parks in town,” she said.
 There are also a couple of road trips this season.

“The Coutts Arts Centre has expressed a lot of interest in having us back and so has High River,” she said, adding unfortunately there will be no show at the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod this season.
“We’ll be moving around a lot this year,” Connolly observed, noting the Casa Plaza is a possibility as is Festival square by the Telegraph and the Gate.
“They might even have a small stage set up by July,” she continued.


U of L examines mental health issues in online production of 4:48 Psychosis

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The University of Lethbridge explores the timely issue of mental health in their online production of UK playwright Sarah Kane’s last play “4.48 Psychosis,” which runs March 17-20.The cast of 4:48 Psychosis. Photo Submitted
“ It’s one long soliloquy enhanced by movement and dance,” summarized Jay Whitehead, who directed the production with Mia VanLeeuwen.

 They worked with the the 11 cast members to develop and film the production with proper social distancing and health safety precautions in place.

“It’s a very abstract piece of theatre that explores mental health issues and self harm,” Whitehead continued,  noting the work is a soliloquy of the thoughts of the character as she wakes up at 4: 48 a.m.
“ It’s a play that has been on my mind for a while,” he said adding Covid 19 has got a lot of people thinking about and talking about mental health issues.
It was Kane’s last play before she committed suicide in February 1999. It was first staged in 2000.


New West Theatre continues online Alberta play reading series with story about dementia

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New West Theatre continues their mini online play reading series on March 4 with a reading of Calgary based , Lethbridge raised playwright  Col Cseke’s “Jim Forgetting.”Ashley Thomson will be part of New West Theatre‘s online play reading of Jim Forgetting, March 4. Photo by Richard Amery
Ashley Thomson and Calgary actor Mike Tan play Jim and Donna, a middle aged couple coping with Jim’s early onset dementia.
“Casting for this play is key,” said New West Theatre artistic director Kelly Reay, praising the actors.

“ It was challenging to cast a middle aged couple. But they really do the roles justice,” he said adding he has worked with both actors before.
“Jim Forgetting” is part of New West Theatre’s mandate to support Albertan and Canadian playwrights
 Reay has known Cseke for 15 years, so he is excited to  revisit  Csekes’s work.

“I saw this play a few years ago in Calgary and it stuck with me,” Reay said.


Quaint, Quirky and Queer festival going online

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The Quaint, Quirky and Queer Festival in Southern Alberta goes on online in less that two weeks.Jay Whitehead from Theatre Outre. Photo by Richard Amery
 Theatre Outré artistic director Jay Whitehead is excited to present three big events happening, Feb. 18 to20.
 “The Quaint, Quirky and Queer Cabaret is  an excellent opportunity for the community to gather in person, but obviously we can[t do that this year,” he said.
“But we have three  big events happening online.

Whitehead will premiere a play he penned called 333 via Zoom at 7 p.m. Feb. 18.
 Theatre Outré veterans Brett Dahl, Nick Bohle and Halifax actor  Garry Williamson will be reading Whitehead’s play.
“ 333 tells the story of three men at a bathhouse in Toronto which the police raided in 1981. It’s based on a real life event. It‘s an important part of queer history in Canada that isn’t often talked about,” Whitehead said, noting he wrote it last year.

“ It’s something that's been on my mind for a long time, but I banged it out over Christmas. It spurred the Canadian pride movement,’” he said.

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