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L.A. Beat

One Act Play festival brings female perspectives to stage

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A sold out One Act play festival at Casa, April 6 had a strongly female perspective.Helen won Playgoers of Lethbridge’s  One Act play competition at Casa, April 6. Photo by Richard Amery
 So much so that there was only one male actor in a minor role in the whole evening.

In addition to being all female actors, the evening featured all original scripts as well.
 The first and longest play, “Helen” by University of Lethbridge student and playwright Megan Couch explored the Sack of Troy from a female perspective.

Love‘s Best By at the one Act Play Festival. Photo by Richard Amery
The actors all played multiple roles, both male and females utilizing masks and various hand props. They also featured the one male actor, making a jarring entrance at the end as Agamemnon looking for his wife “Helen” who had disfigured herself to avoid being recognized after telling her story and trying to defend herself against a group of angry residents blaming her for the attack.

The result was equally moving, disturbing and thought provoking, and ended up winning best script and best play with good reason.
It will be eligible to compete in the Provincial competition on Fort McMurray in May.

Playgoers of Lethbridge, who host the annual event, brought their entry next.
 Elaine Jagielski penned her the script “Love’s Best By” exploring a  group of friends meeting over a glass of wine to discuss their lives and focusing on their friend , Cathy, played by Jocelyn Steinborn, who made the tough decision of telling her friends about dating a younger man, who had once baby sat her children. It played like an episode of the Golden Girls on stage. There were a lot of heartwarming moments and lots of humour which the audience really appreciated after the heaviness of the first play. Steinborn ended up winning the best actress award for this year.
The festival ended on another sad and disturbing note.

Madeline Smith in If there’s one Thing I Know is True. Photo by Richard Amery
“If There’s One Thing I Know is True” was the one woman show about a young university student negotiating the perils of young adulthood including room mates, depression, frenemies, frats and eventually a date rape.

 Madeline Smith, who I barely recognized since I last saw her in last year’s Shakespeare in the Park’s production of A Comedy of Errors, did an outstanding job exploring a numerous facets of her character, not to mention learning all of her lines. Though, I like  adjudicator Greg McArthur, had a little trouble determining the meaning of voice over dialogue.

— By Richard Amery, L.a. Beat Editor

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