Central Alberta Theatre presents the one-act play festival CATnips from June 7 -15. (Advocate file photo).

Red Deer’s CATnips One-Act Play Festival taps into the human condition through dramas, comedies

Central Alberta Theatre festival starts Friday at Nickle Studio

Stories of wedding disaster, blind-date-like male friendship, and the accidental meeting of ex-lovers will be told in the upcoming CATnips One-Act Play Festival.

Two different sets of short plays will be shown in each week of the festival that runs Friday and Saturday, June 7 and 8, as well as June 14 and 15 at the Nickle Studio, upstairs at the Memorial Centre.

This year’s novelty will be a choreographed musical number: The Innkeeper’s Song from Les Miserables (also known as Master of the House). It will be sung by an ensemble cast to piano accompaniment and directed/choreographed by Glorene Ellis.

Two original one-act comedies, written and directed by Red Deer playwright Albert Azzara, will also be premiered — On Golden Porch and Does my Bus Stop Here?

Stuart Old, production manager of Central Alberta Theatre, says CATnips provides an audience for local playwrights, actors and directors who want to try something new or different, wherever their theatrical passions lie. “We’d like people to see what the possibilities are with a community theatre like CAT.”

When it comes to stretching acting or directing skills, “everyone has to start out somewhere,” he adds, and CAT has the resources to help people improve. “We’re a very accessible place.”

The festival’s second week will be made up of short plays helmed by directors studying under former Red Deer College theatre instructor Tanya Ryga, who’s now teaching classes at CAT.

Old promises “something for everyone” in this year’s lineup. All of the scripts tap into the human condition: “They are very relatable.”

Plots run the gamut from a spousal abuse drama to the comic tale of a bride who gets locked on the roof of a building across from where her wedding is supposed to be.

Week 1 plays are:

Will Someone Please Tell Me What’s Going On Here? by Jim Lee, directed by Erna Soderberg

– Alberta Azzara wrote and directs On Golden Porch, as well as Does My Bus Stop Here?

The Innkeeper’s Song (from the musical Les Miserables), is directed/choreographed by Glorene Ellis

September Call Up by Steven Dietz, directed by Craig Scott

Wandering by Lanford Wilson, directed by Tanya Ryga

Week 2 plays are:

Sorry by Timothy Mason, directed by Jayden Baldry

– Suzanne Hermary directs Unprimed by John McKinney, and Speak Now by Seth Kramer

– Ash Mercier directs My Body by Rachel Bublitz, as well as Mandate by Kelly Younger

Dolores by Edward Allan Baker, directed by Cynthia Edwards

For more information, please visit centralalbertatheatrereddeer.com.


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