During the pandemic, Village Players has featured a number of PWYC Zoom productions. In the latter half of the current season, we are focusing on unpublished plays by local playwrights. Our last one was…
OLD COOTS COMMUNE
A comedy by Kristine Greenaway
May 6-7, 2022 at 8pm; May 7 also at 2pm. PWYC
Director: Anne Harper
Producers: John Spataro and John Acuna
About the play.
MJ and Alice have found the ideal house for the commune they want to create for elderly progressive feminist vegan ecologists (aka “old coots”), but they need at least three people to cover the rent. When a stranger named Sylvia appears saying she is broke and looking for a place to stay, it seems their prayers have been answered. Then they discover a Cartier brooch in Sylvia’s purse. Clearly Sylvia is not who she pretends to be. The arrival of Bill the handyman only complicates matters. How will MJ and Alice ever create a community from this motley crew?
Doug Tindal as Bill, Candi Zell as MJ, Paula Wilkie as Alice, Nan Stewart as Sylvia
About Kristine Greenaway, the playwright
Kristine is a Canadian playwright and translator whose plays have been produced in Switzerland, France and Canada. She enjoys creating site-specific plays for all ages. As the English-language translator for Swiss playwright, Emanuelle delle Piane, she translates plays for children and adults. Kristine is a member of the Playwrights’ Guild of Canada, the Société suisse des auteurs, the Geneva Writers’ Group, and Alumnae Theatre where she is active in the New Play Development group. The idea for Old Coots Commune comes out of her own experience of wondering how and where she will live as she grows ever older.
About Anne Harper, the director
Among the plays Anne has directed at Village Players are The Impossibility of Now, Anybody for Murder, Perfect Wedding, Powers and Gloria, Murder in Green Meadows, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Dangerous Obsession, Tartuffe, Cyprienne, Humble Boy, The Winslow Boy, Private Lives, An Ideal Husband, Cause Célèbre, All My Sons, The Real Inspector Hound/After Magritte, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Sea Marks, Bus Stop, My Three Angel, The Odd Couple. Recent directing gigs elsewhere include Omission and Gloria’s Guy (Alumnae), A Lion in Winter (Amicus) and Speaking in Tongues (East Side).
by R.J. Downes
April 8, 9, 2022 at 8pm; April 10 at 2pm
Director: Meg Gibson
Producer: Barnabas Simende
Note: R.J.Downes has donated the use of Without Whom to the Village Playhouse in order to support the organisation that has also supported his work on many occasions.
Anne Shepherd as Marguerite Monarch
Lorne Fortune as Ray Monarch
Audrey Amar as Susan
Rod Cook as Harlan
About the play:
What happens when we leave this life? Does the world really go on without us? What if we could make death wait…even if only for a little while? What would you say to that one important person in your life – given the chance? Based in part on the lives of late writer Ray Bradbury and his wife Marguerite. Without Whom is a play about love, loss, and the inability to let go of those we hold close to our hearts…even in death.
About R.J. Downes, the playwright:
Rob is a seasoned playwright, producer, stage manager and director. As a playwright his works have been performed all across the GTA and beyond. As a producer, director and stage manager he has worked with a wide and eclectic range of production companies in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver. His plays have regularly been staged in the Fringe and New Ideas festivals, and Village regulars may recall his one-act plays featured in our No Sweetheart Required valentine’s shows: Nostalgia (2004) and By Any Other Name (2005) . . . and Without Whom in our Two Plays and a Slice of Pie in 2006.
About Meg Gibson, the director:
Meg Gibson has been around theatre since her days as a 13-year old “theatre brat” and is becoming one of Toronto community theatre’s most experienced directors (see her full bio on the webpage for our upcoming show Gloria’s Guy). She has also been a Village Players mainstay online for the past two years: teaching workshops on Monologues and on Advanced Audition and Acting and both acting in and directing Zoom play-readings.
written and directed by Liz Best
February 18, 19, 2022 at 8pm; February 20 at 2pm
CAST (clockwise from top left)
Alex Saul as Lorie Richardson
Daryl Ledwon as David Richardson
Alex Stamp as Michael Richardson
Céline Gunton as Blaine Richardson
Carol McLennan as Rose Robinson
Jen Monteith as Elaine Richardson
with John Acuna and Sebastien Lee on sound
About the play
It’s been a long time coming but Elaine and David have sold the family home and are moments away from becoming empty nesters. Their three children are almost settled, Grandma Rose is moving to a retirement home and they’re about to start the next chapter of their lives. But what happens when one parent is more ready to move than the other? What happens when the kids want to remain kids? And where does Grandma Rose keep disappearing to? Nested begs to ask – Do kids ever really grow up and is parenting ever really finished?
About Liz Best, playwright and director
Liz describes herself as “actor, playwright, director, producer, observer, chocolate cake baker.” Her recent directing credits are: Love Is A Virus, Toronto Fringe Festival 2021, Outward, Toronto Queer Festival. Recent acting roles: Pigeon, FireWorks Festival, 2018, Producing Credits: FireWorks Festival, 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons. Writing Credits: Surrender, Dorothy. FireWorks Festival 2018, Procunier Hall, London, Ontario 2019 and a planned production at Curtain Club 2022. The Bay Big Ideas Festival, PAL (Reading), Target Theatre Group (Reading)
by Joan Burrows
December 5 & 8, 2021
Steve Switzman – Ben
Jane Hunter – Marjorie
Meg Gibson – Kim
Clive Lacey – Jim
About the play:
A violinist inadvertently helps a family, divided by discord, to achieve the measure of self-knowledge they need to bring harmony into their lives. A poignant drama that will pluck at your heart strings.
Village Players staged Joan’s Willow Quartet in 2014; it was remembered so fondly that we did it again as a zoom play-reading . . . with the same cast. Joan’s musical adaptation of Willow Quartet with Ron Cameron-Lewis and Jason Saunders was nominated for the Tom Hendry Award in 2018.
About Joan Burrows, the playwright:
Joan Burrows is a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and has won several ACT-CO and Theatre Ontario awards for her work as a stage manager, director, and playwright. She has been a long-time member of the Curtain Club in Richmond Hill and of the Alumnae Theatre, in Toronto, specifically working with their New Play Development Program. Her other plays include Staff Room (for which she won several awards), The Photograph (ACT-CO Award for Best New Canadian Play), Fourteen Hours and a new play, Persons of Interest.