HOMEGROWN PLAY- James Popoff stars at Todd Williams in the burnt thicket theatre production of Hockey Dad: A Play in Three Periods. Shows run Oct. 27-30 at the Scott Block in downtown Red Deer.

Hockey Dad hits the stage at the Scott Block

After proving a hit with folks at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and several summer festival stints, Hockey Dad: A Play in Three Periods returns to Alberta Oct. 27-30 at the Scott Block.

Presented by the Calgary-based burnt thicket theatre, curtain is 7:30 p.m.

Burnt thicket theatre artistic director James Popoff co-created the show and also stars as its sole performer Todd Williams.

Popoff said he would describe the production as a drama with comic bits surfacing throughout. “It’s not just a story for hockey families – beyond that, it’s a play about family.”

Looking back to his younger days, Todd Williams was a guy apparently hooked on hockey and submerged in hockey culture. He wore ‘bob’ skates before he could walk, and had daily hockey drills with his dad on the backyard rink. But it didn’t click with him quite like his hockey-loving father would perhaps have liked.

Jump ahead a few years and now Todd is living his worst nightmare – his young daughter is clearly hooked on hockey. So he finds himself trapped in a rink side dressing room with his childhood demons. Loads of memories come flooding back in that environment, and audiences get a firsthand glimpse into Todd’s views on the sport and the intricacies of relationship within a family.

“I wanted to honour my dad and emphasize the relationships of dads with their kids – that’s how it began to emerge,” he explains of the story’s conception. He wrote Hockey Dad with Stephen Waldschmidt and it was first staged in Calgary back in the early winter of 2008.

“It’s surprising to see how much of my own story is finding its way into the script, from my sons’ recent romance with the game to my dad’s years with the Lloydminster Border Kings.”

In his own life, he dropped hockey for a while but his interest was kind of reignited in the past few years. Also, his own boys have shown an avid interest in the game as well.

Still, it’s not strictly biographical by any means although he has borrowed elements from his own life. “People often feel that when you give a solo performance, you are telling your story.”

Audiences garner plenty from the engaging show, some telling Popoff they’ve relished the play for its sheer charm as entertainment to those who have really enjoyed observing the powerful and perhaps more subtle layers of the script.

For Popoff, hitting the stage as the sole performer brings its own set of challenges and rewards. His passion for acting, and for telling stories is ultimately what fuels performances.

“In lots of way, the audience becomes your scene partner – that’s how I’ve always felt.”

Tickets are $12 in advance dream and $15 at the door. Those who attend wearing a hockey jersey pay the advance ticket price.

To reserve tickets, call 403-274-8847 or go online at www.burntthicket.com.

mweber@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Gord Bamford Foundation Charity Gala brings the stars to Central Alberta

The Gala raises money for various children’s charities throughout Canada

The Dragonfly Children’s Healing Centre set to open next month

Expanded programming will broaden scope of The Outreach Centre’s work

Special air quality statement in effect for Central Alberta

Wildfire smoke from B.C. covering 95 per cent of the province

Blackfalds RCMP warn of attempts to steal property

This week two males attempted to steal a utility vehicle from a rural property

Tools for Schools program in need of school supplies for students

Supplies will be donated to students across Central Alberta

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

‘Billion-piece jigsaw puzzle:’ Canadians key to 1st complete map of wheat genome

The paper has 202 authors from 73 research agencies in 20 countries.

Airbnb’s federal budget proposal tells Liberals, ‘we want to be regulated’

Submission says ‘we want to be regulated’ and asks the government to avoid forcing existing rules

Ponoka RCMP arrest man after setting shed on fire

The man used an axe to destroy a shed before setting it on fire

UPDATED: B.C. RCMP dismantle Kinder Morgan protest camp

RCMP say they will enforce a court injunction today and remove Trans Mountain pipeline protesters who have been camped outside a Kinder Morgan terminal in Burnaby.

Italy says death toll will mount in Genoa bridge collapse

Authorities worried about the stability of remaining large sections of a partially collapsed bridge evacuated about 630 people from nearby apartments.

Former CIA Director: Trump worked with Russians and now he’s desperate

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, John Brennan cites press reports and Trump’s own goading of Russia during the campaign to find Democrat Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.

Church sex scandal: Abuse victims want a full reckoning

Since the crisis exploded in Boston in 2002, dioceses around the country have dealt with similar revelations of widespread sexual abuse.

Baloney Meter: is flow of asylum seekers at Canada-U.S. border a ‘crisis’?

“I think any time you have a government that allows 30,000 people over the course of a short period of time to come into Canada illegally, the impact that that has, that is a crisis,” said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.

Most Read