Theatre Preview: Only one act plays, but so much goodness

By Sherri Shergill

When most people go to a theatre, they expect a certain kind of bourgeoise style–dressing up to politely clap at mimes for an exorbitant amount of money. But when the 22nd Annual One Act Play Festival starts up, it’ll blow those fanciful thoughts out of your mind. A chance for local theatre companies to battle for a coveted opportunity at the Provincials. Come watch theatre, in all its gritty glory, and you can win three performances and free beer for a year for only $10.

Audiences can expect a wide-range of community theatre and entertainment by a diverse and interesting array of performers. This popular competition gives theatre groups a chance to exhibit their talent and get compared to other companies by the public. This year’s adjudicator, Ryan Luhning will also remark on the performances each night.

He publicly reflects upon the presented plays’ strengths and weaknesses before announcing his decision on the last evening of the festival. Proven in the past to be a success in entertaining countless Calgarians, this year’s festival is directed towards a more adult audience.

“The choice of plays runs the gamut,” explains the Pumphouse’s Executive Director Scott McTavish about the festival. “It’s a free-for-all of one act plays.”

The festival’s nine performances range from drama to comedy to farce.

“The festival demonstrates the vibrancy of Calgary’s theatre community,” McTavish explains. “This year’s festival is especially exciting for us as we will be greeting our one millionth patron sometime during the festival.”

Predictions point to March 12 as the day the one-millionth audience member will walk through their doors. “This is a monumental occasion for us,” an excited McTavish exclaims. “The Pumphouse is the grandfather in the community.”

For over 30 years the Pumphouse Theatre has welcomed patrons through its doors to watch and support the city’s diverse performing groups.

“We’re a tiny little theatre and we push through one-fifth of the city’s population each year,” McTavish boasts.

Founded in 1977 by two University of Calgary professors, Joyce Doolittle and Victor Mitchell, the Pumphouse Theatre is one of the oldest theatres in Calgary.

In addition to the chance to be known as the Pumphouse Theatre’s one-millionth patron, one lucky audience member will collect a year of free theatre from the Pumphouse, two flight certificates valued at $500 each, a letter from the Mayor and a year of free beer compliments of Big Rock Breweries.

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