Festival of one-act plays delights
By Angelica Ingram
An unexplained murder in a rural farm town, a peculiar secretary with an uncanny strength and a loveless husband and wife stuck on a deserted country road.
These were just some of the plot twists that captivated theatre goers this past weekend as Highlands Little Theatre hosted the Eastern Ontario Drama League Festival of One Act Plays for the first time in their history. Held on Nov. 6 to 8, the festival included nine performances acted out at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion.
Kicking off with local production Oh Annie!, written by Fay Martin, the festival included plays from the Peterborough Theatre Guild, Belleville Theatre Guild, Studio Theatre Perth (which had two productions), Domino Theatre (Kingston), Ottawa Little Theatre, Brockville Theatre Guild and Vagabond Theatre Cornwall.
The Perth productions included two first-time female directors.
Awards were presented in a variety of categories during the final day of the festival at Bonnie View Inn.
The winners are as follows:
Helen R. McGregor Award: Best Original Song, “Call Up a Storm,” Jen McLachlen, “Trifles,” Studio Theatre Perth (Trina West, “Oh Annie,” Highlands Little Theatre was nominated).
Penny Arril Award: Set / Transportation “False Neighbour,” Ottawa Little Theatre
Peterborough Theatre Guild Award: New Canadian Work, Step Taylor, “The False Neighbour,” Ottawa Little Theatre (Fay Martin, “Oh Annie,” Highlands Little Theatre was nominated).
Colin Mawson Award for Outstanding contribution by a Student: Sarah McEwen “The False Neightbour,” Ottawa Little Theatre.
Nancy Chajkowski Memorial Award For Costume Design: Joanna McAuley Treffers “The Way of All Fish” Studio Theatre Perth.
Peterborough Examiner Award for Best Visual Production: “Freud’s Last Session,” Peterborough Theatre Guild.
Belleville Theatre Guild - Supporting Male Actor: Marvin Tucker, “The Rosewood Arts Society: Established 1903,” Belleville Theatre Guild.
Mae Carmichael Award - Supporting Female Actor: Stephanie Carriere, “Relative Strangers” Vagabond Theatre, Cornwall (Sue Tiffin, “Oh Annie,” Highlands Little Theatre was nominated).
Pauline Grant Award - Best Female Actor: Sarah Beck, “Verona Revisited,” Domino Theatre (Kingston).
Nepean Little Theatre Award - Best Male Actor: Wyatt Lamoureux / Michael Valliant Saunders, “Freud’s Last Session,” Peterborough Theatre Guild.
Donald Endicott Award for Best Coordinated Production (as selected by the Festival Stage Manager):
“Freud’s Last Session,” Peterborough Theatre Guild.
Academy Theatre Foundation Award for Best Director: Jane Werger, “Freud’s Last Session,” Peterborough Theatre Guild.
Ottawa Little Theatre Award for Best Production: “Freud’s Last Session,” Peterborough Theatre Guild.
Brighton Barn Theatre Award - People’s Choice Award: “Freud’s Last Session,” Peterborough Theatre Guild.