Comedies, Musicals and Drama

The Link, Autumn 2017
| by Joanne Culley |

Northumberland Players bring the best in musicals, comedies and drama to theatre lovers in Northumberland County and beyond. This community theatre company has grown over the past 41 years from a small group of dedicated volunteers staging musicals in high school gymnasia to over 300 enthusiastic volunteers doing everything from acting to painting sets.

“Our region is a hotbed of talent and we’ve managed to balance staging shows that are interesting for our cast and also hits with our audiences,” says Jack Boyagian, President and Artistic Director. “This season we are presenting 10 productions in four venues – from comedies to musicals to drama and dinner theatre – something for every taste.”

This provincially recognized company has won 19 awards at theatre festivals across Ontario, including best play in Eastern Ontario for the past two years. Their shows are staged at the Firehall Theatre, Best Western and Victoria Hall in Cobourg, and The Capitol Theatre in Port Hope. Over the years, they have built up the largest costume bank in the area which is often drawn on by movie and theatre productions.

“This year being Canada’s 150th anniversary, we’re featuring some Canadian playwrights, with Leaving Home by the amazing David French, the first in a series of five plays about the Mercer family, presented in the intimacy of the Firehall Theatre,” says Boyagian. “Our holiday plays are Bob’s Your Elf by the ever-popular Norm Foster and How to Eat Like a Child by Delia Ephron. This family show is our second-highest seller which we produce with our youth theatre.”

“Our region is a hotbed of talent…interesting for our cast and also hits with our audiences.”

The season begins with Quartet by Ronal Harwood, made popular in the movie featuring Maggie Smith, which tells the story of world-renowned performers coming to grips with their aging selves. The season wraps up with Romeo and Juliet, a co-production with Shakespeare Street Theatre, which runs in May, and An Evening of One Acts in June. Boyagian says this will be a unique theatrical evening of three one-act plays by three directors where audiences will vote on their favourite play at the end of the evening.

“With our dinner-theatre productions at the Best Western, you’re sure to get a good meal along with a funny show,” says Boyagian. The company is performing three dinner-theatres at the Best Western Plus Cobourg Inn & Convention Centre. The 39 Steps adapted by Patrick Barlow is a spoof of the classic Alfred Hitchcock film. This fast-paced comedy features four actors playing 80 different parts. Play On is a farce by Rick Abbot, a play within a play where everything goes wrong. A Comedy of Tenors by Ken Ludwig is a sequel to Lend me a Tenor, which was performed previously.

“We’ve had some great shows at The Capitol Theatre,” continues Boyagian. “We’ve staged Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Les Miz, both sell-outs. This year we were lucky to get the rights at the last minute to Sister Act, after its successful run on Broadway and in Toronto.” Based on the movie starring Whoopi Goldberg, Sister Act will be performed at the Cameco Capitol Arts Centre Theatre, with music by Alan Menken.

“We hope everyone comes out to see our high-quality shows at affordable prices in your own backyard,” says Boyagian. “And best of all – there are no traffic jams!”

To purchase tickets contact the venue directly for your chosen performance: the Victoria Hall Box Office at 1-855-372-2210; the Best Western in Cobourg at 905-372-2105 and the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope at 905-885-1071. More information is available at www.northumberlandplayers.ca

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