Central Alberta Theatre is launching its annual one act festival – Anything Goes On – this week at the Nickle Studio.
Organizers say it’s an eclectic and engaging mix of plays spread over two weeks – one set runs June 13-15; the second set runs June 20-22. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m.
There will also be musical entertainment featuring Olivia Smith and Konstantin Vorosmarty.
“The one acts are a vehicle for all of our members and volunteers to have a go (at theatre),” said Carole Forhan, producer of Anything Goes On. It’s a great opportunity for those who perhaps haven’t had the chance to get involved in other CAT shows to experience certain aspects of production.
Plays to be showcased the first week include Death Takes the Train by D.M. Larson; Roller Coaster by Pam Miller; Where is Gwendolyn March? by Sharon Lightbown; Chicks by Grace McKeaney and Hitting on Women 101 by Bruce Kane.
Other highlights include Cinderella Dances with the Stars (Christmas Pantomime) by Albert Azzara. This will feature an introduction and excerpts from the main production set to hit the stage this Christmas season. Cinderella Dances with the Stars runs both weeks of Anything Goes On.
Produced in the style of a traditional English Pantomime, Cinderella is a modern day version of the classic love story crammed with songs, dances and hilarious references to Red Deer’s landmarks, people, businesses and popular culture.
“I like to say it’s like a cartoon with humans playing the characters,” said Azzara. Plus it involves audience participation. “Audience members will sing and dance. They can also boo, hiss, cheer and help Cinderella tell time.” The samples shown during the one acts will give audiences a vivid taste of what pantomime productions are all about, he said.
As to the others plays, variety is the defining term.
In Death Takes the Train, directed by Raegan Alemann, three commuters board a train and death walks in. The three talk about the implications and what this means philosophically and spiritually. Roller Coaster, directed by Pam Miller, is a described as a dark story about substance abuse and one family’s experiences with a suicidal alcoholic. Organizers said the intent is to build awareness and shed light on the stereotypes given to loved ones who have an illness.
Where is Gwendolyn Marsh? focuses on a story of unrequited love in a theatre community company.
For the second week, Anything Goes On continues with At the Orgy by Rich Orloff. Forhan describes it as a lively parody of Abbott and Costello’s classic ‘Who’s on First’. Murder By the Book, by Laurie Hodges Humble and directed by Sue Humphreys, is about a library worker by the name of Susan. She finds out the woman she’s replaced died in a freak workplace accident. Things aren’t quite right at the library and Susan starts to wonder if it was an accident. Or murder.
How About Me Dumpling?, by Elena Rousseau and directed by Judith Moody, follows the story of 40-something Dimitris and his marriage to a much younger woman named Darla. He does absolutely everything to make her happy, to the point that his ex-fiancée decides to look into Darla’s past.
Moody is thrilled with the opportunity to direct the play, and said that in just 20 minutes, “We evolve from an older gentleman who marries a young bride who is quite ambitious to where she is emasculating him bit by bit. Then his ex-girlfriend begins to investigate (the new wife). It’s a psychological drama with a very dramatic ending.”
Still Life, by Seth Kramer and directed by Nicole Leal, asks what do you do when your purpose has been stolen from you? Michelle lost her artwork and the use of her hands in an apartment fire, and David must help her find an answer to this overriding question.
Finally, Axed Files, written and directed by Robert Van Der Linden, offers audiences a witty spoof of the popular TV series The X Files.
Tickets for Anything Goes On ($20) are available at the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre or by calling 403-755-6626 or visiting www.blackknightinn.ca. They can also be purchased at the door.