Tree House wraps season with one-act plays

Tree House Youth Theatre’s young actors are honing their singing and acting talents for the year-end show.

Tree House Youth Theatre’s young actors are honing their singing and acting talents for the year-end show.

Acting artistic director Matt Gould has been working with associate director Nicole Leal on Full House — A Festival of One-Act Plays. The production that runs Wednesday to Sunday, May 11-15, at the Scott Block in downtown Red Deer, consists of poems, songs and four one-act plays that will alternate, with two presented each night.

Gould and Leal are co-directing Full House as part of a mentoring arrangement geared towards having Leal possibly taking over as artistic director for the youth theatre company in the fall.

“We have a great working relationship… I feel super pumped,” said Gould who’s been with Tree House for more than a decade. This time he’s opting to make a slower exit from the company to pursue other projects, after having to step back into the leadership role last fall when things didn’t work out with a former replacement.

So far, Gould is appreciating Leal’s collaborative approach. As a Red Deer College theatre graduate, she has links to many local groups she has previously worked with, including Bull Skit and Central Alberta Theatre. And Gould feels these community connections could help the company grow.

For Full House, Leal is directed two of the Canadian one-act plays: Night Light, by John Lazarus, and Elfin Knight by Christine Foster. The first is about overcoming bullies, monsters and fractions, while the second play is about a quest to get a human baby back from the fairy world.

The plays that involve some younger cast members will be staged on Wednesday and Friday nights and Saturday afternoon.

Gould will direct Mella Mella, an African folk tale about a tribal power struggle, by Gail Nyoka, and Crusade of the World, by Arthur Milner. The latter is about a young girl who has her eyes opened while on a humanitarian mission to the developing world.

These one-acts lean towards having older cast members, and will be presented on Thursday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon.

All of the Full House performances will also include African and Scottish folk stories, poems and songs that were previously presented at the Red Deer Performing Arts Festival.

“It will be a nice variety pack,” giving both the young actors and the audience a diversity of music, comedy and drama, said Gould.

Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. shows on Wednesday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday, are $15 ($12 children) from or at the door.

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