Tree House Youth Theatre’s first hands-on, in-person One-Act Play Festival kicks off in Red Deer this week.
Artistic director Albertus Koett said he wanted to take a grassroots approach by creating new theatre pieces from scratch to celebrate the first time the festival is playing to a live audience.
(First- and second-year performances of the one-act festival in 2020 and 2021 had to be videotaped because of COVID restrictions).
Every task that’s needed to put on a show — from lighting and sound, to set and prop design, to costuming — was done by the young Tree House members, under the guidance of the Koett, association artistic director Nicole Leal, and their technical team.
The writing process began in January with Tree House members aged nine to 17 working together to determine heme (rebuilding from anxiety) and tone (light, honest and zany).
The young participants then wrote two one-act plays, with the assistance of Koett and Leal.
One play, featuring 9-12-year-olds, is Not Again! It takes place in a counsellor’s office and deals with bullying in a realistic way, said Koett.
The festival will also feature a movement piece created by young Tree House member, Ryan Walsh, as well as a one-act tentatively titled Backstage Play, written by 13-17-year-old Tree House members.
Some improvisation, as taught by local improv and sketch comedy troupe Improv Jelly, will also be presented as part of the festival, said Koett.
Opening night on Thursday is already sold out. But tickets are still available for performances on Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11, and June 16-18 in the Nickle Studio, upstairs at the Memorial Centre.
Please visit www.treehouseyouththeatre.ca for more information.
The festival is sponsored in part by The City of Red Deer, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and Central Alberta Theatre.