Red Deer Players’ next ‘Breaking Cover’ runs Jan. 13th

Focus will be on a war-themed drama, Where Heroes Lie, written by David Haas

Red Deer Players’ next installment of ‘Breaking Cover’ runs Jan. 13th and will focus on Where Heroes Lie, penned by St. Albert-based playwright David Haas.

Breaking Cover offers an engaging afternoon of taking in a staged reading of a play by an Alberta author, followed by an opportunity to chat directly with the playwright about the project.

Things get underway at 1:45 p.m. in the Red Deer Public Library’s Snell Auditorium (downtown branch).

This edition of Breaking Cover is being directed by Erna Soderberg, a gifted and very experienced local actor and director in her own right.

Breaking Cover, which is run in partnership with Friends of the Library and kicked off last Fall, offers a terrific means for folks to explore the inner workings of how a play really takes shape. As mentioned, audiences have the opportunity to watch the plays and to also offer feedback on the productions as well.

Soderberg took part in the December Breaking Cover event as an actor, and said it was a really fun way to explore the process of how a play comes together.

“The playwright is there, so you want to do it right,” she explained, adding that the audience in turn also provides terrific feedback. “After the play, we interview the author and then we ask the audience what they thought, and if they have questions or pointers or anything like that for the playwright,” she said.

During the December event, the playwright also asked the actors what they thought of the show as well, Soderberg said.

In terms of directing the upcoming session, Soderberg said its a quick process compared to a conventional play which can require several weeks of rehearsal.

That’s part of the appeal in that it’s not a huge time commitment for anyone involved, but it’s certainly a blast to get together with like-minded folks for a fun afternoon of theatrical exploration.

With Breaking Cover, there are only a couple of run-throughs before the performance, but that adds to the freshness and vitality of the show. And while the play is essentially ‘finished’, the process can give the playwright some valuable ideas for further tweaks, said Soderberg.

Where Heroes Lie focuses on a girl who wins a nation-wide essay contest that enables her to travel to France. She takes her grandmother with her in an effort to locate a loved one’s grave. “At the cemetery, they meet Andrew who was a soldier in World War Two.

“It’s neat, because they talk about what happened in the War,” said Soderberg, adding there are also flashbacks which further flesh out the story.

Meanwhile, the Breaking Cover series is also a means of further reaching out to the community and broadening the awareness of what Red Deer Players is all about, organizers say.

Additional sessions are slated to run March 10th and June 10th.

The shows don’t come with full staging – there’s no costuming, no props, no set, no special effects – it’s just the ‘read’ which makes for a really unique experience for all involved.

That includes local actors, who have lots of fun delving into the shows which of course, as mentioned, don’t require a lengthy rehearsal process.

There is no admission charge for Breaking Cover performances, but support via a silver donation at the door is appreciated.

For more information about Red Deer Players, check out www.reddeerplayers.com.

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