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Grand Bank Regional Theatre gearing up for gala opening


The Grand Bank Regional Theatre is going back to community this summer.

Levi Curtis is the new artistic director for the Grand Bank Regional Theatre. The 2016 season kicks off with a gala opening on July 6.

And that’s a good thing, according to new artistic director Levi Curtis.

A retired teacher who has actively worked and created in theatre for more than 30 years, Curtis is well known around the Burin Peninsula.

Late last year, the theatre’s board of directors inquired if he would consider coming on board for the upcoming season and he agreed.

“I was asked to give it a different flavor, you know, play with it,” he said. “That is not to disparage anybody of the past because it wasn’t about that. It was about trying a little bit different.”

Curtis said he chose to go mainly local – meaning the Burin Peninsula region – with a lot of this year’s talent.

To do that, he said he had to have an extremely talented crew, while the cast is comprised of several professionals who will mentor a number of younger local actors.

“The whole process is about learning and, in my opinion, trying to move into the shoulder season a bit more, so we get into September and October. Who knows? At some point in the future going year round would be awesome,” he said.

Curtis said he decided to stage mainly comedies this summer. Though there are exceptions, for the most part people will come out for a comedy before a drama, he said.

“What I’ve done is I have put up four comedies, one drama and then a music show,” he said.

Curtis and Klein worked together to create the latter, “Strutting the Boards – The Music of Broadway.”

This year’s schedule will include dinner theatre shows on both Wednesdays and Saturdays starting in July, the cost of which has been dropped from last year, Curtis said.

The popular ladies night promotion will be held on back-to-back evenings. A gentlemen’s night out has also been added. As well, there’s a tribute to James Taylor.

The season will kickoff with a gala opening on July 6, Curtis said.

“You look at anything when it premieres – a movie comes out or a new stage show – it’s a big deal. This should be a big deal,” he said.

“The theatre’s opening again for the new season. So that’s what we’re doing. The road will be closed. We’re going to put up some tents. We’re going to have stuff out. We’re just going to make it a special evening.”

The jam-packed scheduled will make for a hectic summer for the cast and crew, but that’s normal for theatre, Curtis said. Most importantly, theatre is about trying to give people a break from the tedium of life, he said.

“You walk through those doors, the lights go down and you forget about anything that went on in your day. It’s all about having a great experience.”

pherridge@southerngazette.ca

2016 Grand Bank Regional Theatre cast and crew:

Levi Curtis – artistic director

Amanda Klein – stage/production manager

Shane Johnson-Hartley – Wardrobe/props

Stephen Perdue – audio/lighting

John D’Eon – actor

Angela Blackwood – actor

Stephanie Eveleigh – actor

Cody Harvey – actor

Mahalia Legge – actor

Kathleen Hollett – actor

Damian Stacey – actor

Zachery Peach – actor

Sue Smith – actor

Robyn Vivian – actor

Judy Parsons – actor

Noah Sheppard – actor

 

 

What Levi Curtis says about the plays:

 N.A.P.S. by Levi Curtis

“It’s about a young couple and their friends who are dealing with a haunted apartment and then the hilarity that comes from that.”

 The Incidents at Dusty Falls by Levi Curtis

In the style of an English pantomime – boo the villain and cheer the hero.

 Murder at the Howard Johnson’s by Samuel French

“The wife and the lover are plotting to kill the husband. They’re just not good at it.”

 Queen of Bingo by Jeanne Michels and Phyllis Murphy

A play about two sisters on the other side of 50 who are looking for excitement and fun in their life and dealing with life issues along the way … at bingo.

 Over There/Here by Levi Curtis

“Most story that have been told about the war have been told about the men and the trials and tribulations that they have at war, and the damage that this does. This is a story about the women of Little Hopes Cove, Newfoundland, and what happens to them and what happens in their lives when the men are over there. It’s about the familyies and the people who are left behind.”

 

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