STAG AND DOE
by Mark Crawford
(January 10 to February 1, 2020)
Director: Meg Gibson
Producers: Bridget Jankowski and Diane Kuipers
Production photos by Thomas Kowal
“Meg Gibson is one busy lady and director these last several months as she has staged theatrical productions all around the GTA. I’ve had the opportunity to see several of them and have been entertained by her clear vision established by solid casts that have embodied how Ms. Gibson intended to tell a story.
“Melinda Jordan is a sassy Dee who does her best to keep her best friend, Bonnie, calm. Ms. Jordan hones in on the ‘take no crap’ attitude from anyone, and it shows especially as her past becomes revealed.
“As Bonnie, Jenna Dotzert is meticulously organized and wants to make sure everything goes to plan especially in wanting to keep the secret of the price of her wedding dress from Brad.
“Maxwell Lantz gives an affable performance as Brad, the young groom who truly loves Bonnie while being scared out of his wits that the two of them are just shy of possibly declaring bankruptcy.
” As sparring wedding couple Mandy and Rob, T.C. Gibbs and Daryl Ledwon, are everything in a couple that Bonnie and Brad must not become. Ms. Gibbs is wonderful as the petulant, whiny and bitchy bridezilla who bullies and belittles her mouse of a husband, steadily played by Mr. Ledwon.
“Ethan Ryckman has some perfect one line zingers he gives as he watches the fracas play out before him.
“I really liked Julie Rush‘s set design as it truly looks like the kitchen of a building that would probably not pass any safety inspection especially if food is prepared there.
“Tons of props are used for this production right down to dishes and cutlery in cupboards and other paraphernalia that would be found in a musty smelling community hall. Kudos to the many members of the props team for the work involved.
“Theresa Arneaud’s costume designs reflected nicely these people are not urbane, chic individuals.
“FINAL COMMENTS: Sometimes, during the cold winter months, audiences simply want a chance to laugh and smile. Spring still hasn’t arrived yet so if audiences do venture out, they want to make sure it is worth their while. Judging from the laughter around me and the smiles on the faces of the audience, the Village Players were having a delightful afternoon at this ‘Stag and Doe’.”
Full review by Joe Szekeres: HERE
About the play….
Bonnie and Brad are having a party to raise money for their upcoming wedding—the cost of which has secretly gotten out of control. Their wisecracking Maid of Honour, Dee, is still getting over being left at the altar seven years ago—and now she has to come face-to-face with the guy who did it. Bridezilla Mandy and her doting groom Rob are getting married today—even though their big white tent blew away in last night’s storm. And oh yeah…single dad Jay just found out his entire catering staff is in jail! It’s all happening at the same time, in the same community hall kitchen, in the same small town.
Taking place over one eventful Saturday in June, the two couples strike a deal to share the local reception hall for their Stag and Doe and wedding. Among the unset Jell-o shots, a missing wedding cake, and a disastrous first dance, past relationships are examined, current couples are put to the test, and new romance blossoms.
About Mark Crawford, the playwright….
As an actor, Mark has performed on stages across the country with companies such as Canadian Stage, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Theatre New Brunswick, Centaur Theatre, Belfry Theatre, Theatre Aquarius, Blyth Festival, Young People’s Theatre, Studio 180 Theatre, Groundling Theatre Company, and many others.
Stag and Doe, his first play, premiered at Ontario’s Blyth Festival in 2014. It has gone on to receive several professional productions at theatres across Canada, including Neptune Theatre, Theatre Orangeville, and Lighthouse Festival Theatre.
His more recent plays have played theatres such as Montreal’s Centaur, Toronto’s Soulpepper, and Victoria’s Belfry, and include Bed and Breakfast, The Birds and the Bees, Boys, Girls, and Other Mythological Creatures (young audiences), and The New Canadian Curling Club.
A graduate of the University of Toronto and Sheridan College, Mark grew up on his family’s farm near Glencoe, Ontario. He now lives in Stratford.
What’s a Stag and Doe?
“No one really knows the origins of the tradition, but one thing is clear: it’s a quintessentially Ontario thing.” Playwright Mark Crawford explains…HERE
About Meg Gibson, the director…
Meg got an early start in community theatre doing backstage “tech stuff” in Scarborough when she was 13. She says of those days: “I’m a theatre brat, so I came around to rehearsals because it was cheaper than a babysitter. I would do my homework but I was also paying attention.” She started acting soon after and hasn’t stopped since. Village Players’ audiences will remember her from recent appearances on-stage as Germaine Lauzon in Les Belles Soeurs (2016) and Kim in The Willow Quartet (2014).
Now she’s directing for the first time with us, but elsewhere, Meg has directed comedy (Caught in the Net), suspense (Death Trap), and musicals (You’ll Get Used to It: War Show, and Oklahoma!) She was nominated at last year’s ACT-CO awards as best director and also shared the award for best set design for the latter show. Her resume shows how her early interests continued to expand; it includes a BFA degree in drama from University of Calgary, and experience in choreography, fight coordination, sound design, stage management, and teaching drama and dance.