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U of L re-examines medieval mysteries in A Barne in Bedlam

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The University of Lethbridge is exploring a pair of medieval “mysteries” but that doesn’t mean the actors are discovering ‘whodunnit” in “A Barne In Bedlam: Two Approaches to Medieval plays,” running in the David Spinks Theatre, March 20-24.Olusryi Dada, Kaitlyn Olfert and Jordan Payne, rehearse the Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve. photo by Richard Amery
“It’s not a mystery, it’s a retelling of Biblical tales,” said Mia Van Leeuwen, who is directing “ The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve.”

 There are two different interpretations of the plays by two different directors, working with the same cast for both of them.

“The Rise and Fall of Adam And Eve” is similar to what might have been seen 500 years ago when it debuted.

 On the other hand, “Second Shepherd’s Play” is a satirical and contemporized interpretation of the nativity, where a couple pretend a lamb is their baby. It includes multi-media components of a video montage and soundscapes.

“It‘s the same cast in both,” said Jordan Payne, who is joined on stage by Kaitlyn Olfert and Olusryi Dada.
“The second play, Three Shepherds (directed by Gabrielle Houle,)  is about three shepherds talking about who stole a sheep when the angel Gabriel comes downs and tells them Jesus is being born  in Bethlehem, they decide ‘we’d better go to see that,’” Payne summarized.    
Van Leeuwen noted creating the Rise and Fall  of Adam and Eve was a collaborative process with the cast, which they appreciated being able to do.
“ Collaborating with the students was really important. We started with the themes form the play and started creating,” Van Leeuwen said.


Deadline this week for Chinook One Act Drama Festival

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The deadline is approaching to enter the  Chinook One Act Drama festival, an annual event sponsored by Playgoers of Lethbridge.Kate Connolly, performing in a Christmas Carol, is excited about the Chinook One Act play Festival. Photo by Ricxhard Amery
 It takes place at the ATB Community Room in Casa, Friday, April 6.

So far, there are four entries in this year’s festival including one written by Playgoers of Lethbridge veteran Elaine Jagielski and three from University of Lethbridge students.
 Original scripts are welcome as well as existing scripts. Submissions can be no longer than 60 minutes and no shorter than 10 minutes.

 Registration is $25 with a cheque made out to Playgoers of Lethbridge.

Playgoers of Lethbridge covers the entry fee for Playgoers members.

The plays will be adjudicated by theatre professionals. Previous adjudicators have included New West Artistic Director and drama teacher Sharon Peat and U of L professor and playwright Ron Chambers. Awards will be given for best actor, best actress, best original script and best play. The best play chosen will be able to compete at the Provincial One Act Play Competition in Fort McMurray, May 25-27.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Comedy in The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine to appeal to couples

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Local theatre company Espresso Theatre bring back familiar faces, real life couple Devon Brayne and Jocelyn Haub to play a quarrelling couple in the comedy “The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine.”Jocelyn Haub and Devon Brayne rehearse The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine.  Photo by Richard Amery
 The show runs at the Dr. Foster  James Penny Building, March 7-11 at 8 p.m. each night.

Espresso Theatre has  previously produced the Cotton patch Gospel, Dickens and Mein Hump.
 They are working with the U of l drama department for the Leah Cherniak, Robert Morgan and Martha Ross written “ The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine.”

“It’s about a young couple who fall in love and get married and start living together and discover deeper truths about themselves,” summarized director Andrew Legg adding It’s about the experience of choosing the person you want to be with out of the thousands available.

“It’s about the expectations you have when you move in together, and they all come together to comic effect,” he continued, noting Devon Brayne and Jocelyn Haub were his first choices to be in the production.

“As soon as I learned these two were back in town, I knew I had to have them in the play and it was like Christmas when they said yes,” Legg chuckled.

 Legg , who is married with three kids recognized himself in the play as did Brayne and Haub, who immediately recognized themselves in the characters‘ dialogue.


U of L revisits Agatha Christie classic the Mousetrap

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The University of Lethbridge is excited to present Agatha Christie’s classic whodunnit “ The Mousetrap,” Feb. 13-17 at University Theatre.
“ That’s exactly why we’re doing it— it’s a classic,” said director Dr. Shelley Scott.Cole Fetting and Colin Bluekens rehearse a scene from the Mousetrap, running at the University of Lethbridge, Feb. 13-17. Photo by Richard Amery
“ And it’s a contrast from the more experimental and avant-garde theatre that we have done in the past,” she continued.

“We’ve tried to respect Agatha Christie’s work. Each of these characters have their own unique stories,” she noted.

“ It’s a classic whodunnit where you try to guess who the murderer is,” she continued.

 She noted her cast has gone beyond and above the call of duty.
“We‘ve got a couple of actors who have never been involved in a main-stage theatre production and others who are veterans. They are all a very dedicated  and committed cast. They’ve spent a lot of time outside of rehearsals working with each other. And Cole (Fetting) has to do an Italian accent, so he‘s been working with Doug MacArthur as a dialogue coach,” she said.

The cast includes some familiar faces including Cole Fetting who has been involved in numerous community theatre productions as well as university productions including “Nothing left to Burn” last year.
“Playgoers of Lethbridge did the Mousetrap eight years ago and I was assistant stage manager for it,” observed Cole Fetting, who plays Paravicini.

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