You are here: Home Drama Beat Latest Drama News Hootenanny explores friendship and acceptance in There’s a Turtle in my Tub
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

L.A. Beat

Hootenanny explores friendship and acceptance in There’s a Turtle in my Tub

E-mail Print

Get ready to have a hoot in Galt Gardens with New West Theatre’s summer production of Hootenanny — There’s A Turtle in my Tub, running at 10:30 a.m. every Wednesday through Saturday , in the shade across the street from Park Place Mall until the end of July.

Hootenanny’s July production There’s a Turtle in My Tub opened this week. Photo by Richard Amery


Instead of creating a devised theatre production from scratch like usual, the cast, crew and directors expanded on Nicola Elson’s script “There’s a Turtle In my Tub.” She produced it for a theatre company in Calgary.


“ It’s the skeleton. I had this script and it has never been done here,” said Elson.


Assistant director Ahona Saynal, who has been involved with the past four of  the five productions of Hootenanny, mostly on stage, is helping direct.


 The half hour show is about Mabel, a non binary kid with a vivid imagination, who is always panicking after hearing noises in their room, until one day they discover a turtle named Seymour in their bathtub and decides to help him return home.


“There is a mailman, submarine captain and a hot air balloon pilot, but really the turtle is just looking for a friend. It is a play about worry, imagination, acceptance and friendship,” Elson summarized adding the show includes lots of puppets, colour and action.


Because Hootenanny is under the New West Theatre Banner, which allows them access to  more grants to hire university students for the summer, this show features live music for the first time from Nis Sherman who provides a live soundtrack to the antics and puppetry of Achilles Friessen, Parker Hickerty and Mirielle Nieuwenhuis.


“Usually  it’s canned music. Nis will also be part of New West Theatre’s summer show,” Elson said.


Elson observed Hootenanny’s focus is on theatre for young people, but it also gives up and coming actors and directors from the university to get their foot in the proverbial stage door.


“ We wanted to do something a little different and alternate between  devised theatre and scripted theatre,” Elson said .


Hootenanny’s new production There’s a Turtle in My Tub opened this week. Photo by Richard Amery

“ And we wanted the show to be inclusive.” 


 Ahona Saynal is excited to take on a different role with Hootenanny as assistant director rather than on stage.


“I’ve been in three of the past four as an actor. It’s been great preparation for it. I hope to work my way up to director,” she said, adding she is enjoying performing the show outside in the sunshine, which lends a different feel to theatre than inside.


“ We worked off the words in the script rather than  creating the show,” Saynal said.


“ I love the puppets,” Saynal enthused about her favourite part of the show.


 The show runs Wednesday through Saturday at 10:30 a.m. until the end of July.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

The ONLY Gig Guide that matters


Music Beat

Lights. Camera. Action.
Inside L.A. Inside

CD Reviews


Music Beat News

Art Beat News

Drama Beat News

Museum Beat News