Stephenville Theatre Festival will celebrate its 38th season in 2016, from July 15 to August 14. Thom Currie is returning at the Festival’s Artistic Director, and there will be many opportunities for area residents and visitors to enjoy unparalleled live entertainment.
The major production this summer is the comedy-musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Lawrence Jameson makes his lavish living by talking rich ladies out of their money. Freddy Benson more humbly swindles women by waking their compassion with fabricated stories about his grand-mother’s failing health. After meeting on a train, they attempt to work together only to find that this small French town isn’t big enough for the two of them. They agree on a settlement: the first one to extract $50,000 from a young female target, heiress Christine Colgate, wins and the other must leave town. A hilarious battle of cons ensues that will keep audiences laughing, humming and guessing to the end! With music and lyrics by David Yazbek, and book by Jeffrey Lane, this show is based on the 1988 film of the same name. This show is recommended for ages 16+.
You are cordially invited to attend Perfect Wedding, a boisterous romantic comedy by Robin Hawdon. A bridegroom wakes on his wedding morning in his own bridal suite and finds a strange girl in bed beside him. In the depths of his post stag-night hangover, he can’t remotely remember her. Worse - during the ensuing panic to get the stranger dressed and out of the way, the bride arrives and the girl is trapped in the bathroom. The only way out of the dilemma is to persuade the best man to pretend that the hidden girl is his girlfriend. Then the problem is that the best man’s real girlfriend has to be kept ignorant of the fact. By the time the bride’s parents and half the hotel staff get in on the act, the chaos reaches epic proportions! This show is recommended for ages 14+.
A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline is a stunning tribute to one of the all-time legends of country music. This show tells the life story of Patsy Cline while providing a wonderful opportunity to blend theatre and music into a magical evening that audiences of all ages will enjoy. Twenty of her best-known songs, played by a live band, make this show a treat for the young and old alike. The songs are performed in their entirety with arrangements, back-up vocals and a band structure all providing an accurate re-creation of this legendary life. The show was written by Dean Regan.
Hold onto your seats as we take a trip back to the big band era! Blue Champagne is a high-energy musical flashback to the 1940s. Four young, energetic performers jump, jive and wail through the biggest swing hits of all time. Conceived and written by Ken John Grant, this show’s setting is a radio station in the late ’40s, where four young singer-dancers scramble to perform over 65 of the most popular songs of the mid-twentieth century.
Rock ‘N’ Fables is a wonderful musical for the whole family that has thrilled audiences across Canada. Using an electric mix of music, dance, comedy and puppetry, three energetic performers perform Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and The Frog Prince. Created by the team behind 2015’s smash hit, Tales of Ti-Jean, and completely set to music as a rock opera, Rock ‘N’ Fables is guaranteed to thrill audiences of all ages. Libretto by the Festival’s Artistic Director Thom Currie and score by Craig Wingrove.
Stephenville Theatre Festival’s 38th season runs from July 15 to August 14, 2016. Other season highlights include the crowd-pleasing A Night With… series (see below for more information), Theatre Talk Back sessions, Reading the Future series, and the always-popular Gala finale.
“Stephenville Theatre Festival provides local residents and visitors with some of the finest talent this province and country has to offer,” said Elizabeth Brown, Chair of the Festival’s Board of Directors. “We are always excited to see past audience members join us for our shows, and we absolutely welcome anybody who has yet to take in one of our performances.”
Stephenville Theatre Festival is a not-for-profit charitable organization, registered through the Canada Revenue Agency. Founded in 1979 by Maxim Mazumdar, the Festival has continually enriched the economic and cultural fabric of the Bay St. George area while becoming a major tourism draw.
An Evening With… Series
July 27 – Look gold, LUH MOOSE: An Evening With… The Dunphy Brothers and Smugglers Cove
Presented by ABCD Productions, this show by Don and Kevin Dunphy marks the brothers’ third season with Stephenville Theatre Festival.
Being billed as their final production, the brothers have decided it’s time to pack it in. In addition to the famously-funny shenanigans of the Dunphys, the show will also feature Smugglers Cove (Brad AuCoin, Donovan Conran, Ben Dunphy and Tyler Klassen) performing the music.
The Dunphys have been involved for many decades in amateur theatre productions. In the past 10 years or so, they have made their focus homegrown comedy. Look gold, LUH MOOSE won’t be any exception, and it’s going to be a blast!
August 3 – The Fire Inside: An Evening With… Jennifer Dawson Hobbs
Jennifer Dawson Hobbs is one of the most beautiful singers to have graced the Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre stage, and Stephenville Theatre Festival is very delighted to have her returning this summer for a special one-night-only performance.
A native of St. George’s, Jennifer comes from a musical family and has been singing since the age of two. She previously spent nine seasons with Stephenville Theatre Festival in such productions as Blackbird, British Invasion, America Strikes Back, Woodstock, and ABBA the Music.
She looks forward to performing again this summer with the wonderful Stephenville Theatre Festival Band.
August 10 – Between Breaths: An Evening With… Artistic Fraud
Presented by Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, a play by Robert Chafe and directed by Jillian Keiley. Featuring Steve O’Connell, Berni Stapleton, and Darryl Hopkins. Music composed and arranged by The Once and performed by Steve Maloney, Brianna Gosse and Kevin Woolridge.
Well known in Newfoundland as the Whale Man, Dr. Jon Lien during the course of his work pioneered techniques for rescuing whales entrapped in fishing nets. Often risking his very life in the water with the formidable and frightened animals, Dr. Lien would seek to earn their trust as much as the fishermen’s. He looked for the best way to free whales while doing as little damage to the fishing gear as possible. His efforts saved the lives of over 500 animals, and earned him the hard-won respect of the island’s fishermen. Despite his risky work, Lien’s biggest fight came at the hands of a lengthy illness, the suspected long-term result of a random highway accident. He passed away in 2010, but not before his body was slowly conquered over 8 years by a progressing immobility and dementia.
Between Breaths jumps time backwards, from the final moments of Lien’s life – in a wheelchair and dealing with brain damage – to his very first whale intervention. As his life becomes further and further confined, his mind stretches itself in memories of release and salvation.
Theatre Talkback Sessions and Reading the Future Series
Stephenville Theatre Festival is hosting Theatre Talkback sessions this summer! Audiences will be invited to stay and ask questions of the cast/ production team immediately following specific shows:
– Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – July 30, following the 7:30 performance;
– Perfect Wedding – July 31, following the 7:30 performance;
– A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline – July 28, following the 7:30 performance;
– Blue Champagne – July 17, following the 7:30 performance;
– Rock ‘N’ Fables – July 24, following the 2:00 PM performance.
Reading the Future Series will be on Tuesday, August 2 and Tuesday, August 9 at 10 pm. Plays TBA.