Wednesday, 18 May 2016

ONstage Tonight at Festival: Gateway Theatre Guild

Hosting Festival seems to be good fortune—for the second year in a row, Theatre Ontario Festival opens with a presentation by our Festival hosts. Gateway Theatre Guild of North Bay will represents QUONTA  (the northeastern Ontario community theatre region) as they present Curved by Kristin Shepherd.
Gateway Theatre Guild's production of Curved

Gateway Theatre Guild has been producing theatre in North Bay since 1948. They most recently represented QUONTA at Festival in 2014 in Sarnia, with their production of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. Twice they have won Outstanding Festival Production—in 2010 for their production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot and in 1974 for their production of David French’s Leaving Home.

Curved is a play about an eleven year old girl growing up in an extended family of strong and broken women, all of whom struggle with freedom, love, sexuality, and dying. The play is darkly comic, intelligent, and challenging. Kristin Shepherd hopes that it adds to the conversation on stage about what it is to live a curved nature.

Of note—this marks the latest performance of this world premiere production.  Past world premieres that were presented at Festival include Staff Room by Joan Burrows (Festival 2004 in Sault Ste. Marie) and The Mouse House by Robert Ainsworth (Festival 2012, also in Sault Ste. Marie.) Kristin’s first play $38,000 for a Friendly Face was published by Playwrights Canada Press in Grassroots: Original Plays from Ontario Community Theatres, edited by Theatre Ontario.

At QUONTA Festival 2016, Gateway Theatre Guild won Outstanding Production, Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role (Tanya Webb as Del), Outstanding Technical Achievement (Brian Nettlefold, Sound Designer & Dillip Patel, Lighting Designer), and an Adjudicator’s “Sing to Me Award” for Heather Gardner & Choir, with nominations for Outstanding Director (Maureen Cassidy), Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role (Patsy McVicars as Wavy), Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role (June Keevil as Granny Wave), and Outstanding Visual Presentation.

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