George is Dead at the Legion next month
By Jenn Watt
Oct. 25, 2016
“George is dead.”
Those are the first words to be spoken in the upcoming play staged at the Legion by Highlands Little Theatre. The one-act play features five local actors and a small crew who have been busy rehearsing since September to bring the comedy to life.
First-time director Guy Pritchard said the 30-minute play involves the complicated and hilarious world of the main character, Doreen, played by Sue Black, a self-centred, irresponsible, childlike adult who is dealing with the death of her husband.
“Although her husband has died, she’s made no preparations for the funeral. She’s assumed because of her pampered upbringing that it would be taken care of by others,” he says.
George has died in a “double snowplow accident” skiing in Aspen. The play is set in New York City. It opens with Doreen in conversation with her friend Carla, played by Hannah Klose, and quickly the tension between the characters unfolds.
“Carla’s mother was Doreen’s nanny and the undercurrent in the play is whether it’s true that Nanny preferred Doreen to her own daughter Carla,” Pritchard says.
Other cast members include April Martin as Nanny, Stephen Thayer as Michael, Carla’s husband, and Barry Wilhelm as the funeral director.
Besides being staged in Haliburton, the play will also be featured in the Eastern Ontario Drama League’s One Act Play Festival in Perth. Last year, Haliburton hosted the festival, which is an opportunity for like-minded performing artists to meet each other and share notes while enjoying theatre.
Although he’s never directed before, Pritchard was a high school drama teacher and has acted in four plays: HMS Pinafore, Pirates of Penzance, Oliver and his own play in 1997 at the Toronto Fringe Festival.
He says this play has brought some challenges as there’s not much online to draw from. Often, videos of performances will be posted online, but all Pritchard has been able to find is a two-minute clip.
“It’s wide open,” he says, noting that he has a strong cast to work with. “It’s a very co-operative, supportive atmosphere.”
Crew members include Kait Perecko, stage manager; Adam Perecko, sound and lighting; Jane Johnson, producer; April Martin, costumes and promotion; and Amy Brohm, producer.
The Haliburton performance will be taking place Sunday, Nov. 6 at the Haliburton Legion starting at 2 p.m. The afternoon includes three musical acts: the Sheagles (Eagles cover band); Loney and Love featuring Linda “Slinky” Love; and Steve, Alicia, Scott and Mike, a folk/rock group. The afternoon includes a break in between the music and performance. Tickets are $10 at the door or can be purchased from any of the cast or crew.
George is Dead includes mature themes and strong language and is not suitable for children.