Wednesday, 17 May 2017

ONstage Tonight at Festival: Northumberland Players

For the third consecutive year, last year’s Festival Elsie Award winner for Outstanding Production returns as their regional representative. Cobourg’s Northumberland Players—who won last year’s Festival with their performance of Boeing Boeing—represents the Eastern Ontario Drama League (EODL) again with their presentation of John Murrell’s Waiting for the Parade.

This year, Northumberland Players celebrates 40 years of bringing quality theatre to its growing audiences. Over the years, they have presented more than two hundred and fifty musical and dramatic productions at venues such as the Firehall Theatre, Victoria Hall Concert Hall, the Capital Theatre in Port Hope, and the Best Western Cobourg Inn and Convention Centre among others. Last year alone, over ten thousand ticket holders attended our productions. Northumberland Players is an entirely volunteer-run organization, with responsibility for managing their home, the Firehall Theatre, a Costume House with many thousands of costumes and vintage items, and a set building space, affectionately known as the ‘Third Space’. A committed Board of Directors, over 300 volunteers and 100 members, numerous sponsors and community supporters make it possible to offer award winning theatre as well as a thriving youth program and summer camp, educational workshops for actors, directors and producers, and opportunities for local playwrights to showcase their work.

Northumberland Players' production of Waiting for the Parade
Photo by Sherwood McLernon
Waiting for the Parade by playwright John Murrell, is an award winning Canadian play that takes place in Calgary in the 1940s during WWII. With music and costumes from the era, it captures life back home as people rallied to support the war effort amid shortages and personal loss. In the play, five women battle their anxieties about the war with courage, tension, humour, and a little music. Through it all, they are waiting, waiting for the war to end and the men to return. Playwright John Murrell still lives in Alberta.  His beautifully-written play was first produced by Alberta Theatre Projects in 1977 and went on from there to play in major theatres across Canada as well as the Dominion Theatre in New York. The play won the prestigious Floyd S. Chalmers Award in 1980, the first of three Chalmers Awards for Mr. Murrell.

At EODL Full-Length Festival 2016-2017, Northumberland Players won the Leslie M. Frost Award for Best Production, Best Production of a Canadian Play, and Best Director (Brenda Worsnop), with nominations for Best Actress in a Major Role (Kirsty Bird as Catherine, and Anne-Marie Bouthillette as Marta), Best Costuming (Dawn Watters and Grace Price), and an Adjudicator’s Award (Kara Besson, Stage Management).


  1. WAY TO GO MA (Grace Price) !!!!!
    From your loving, USA dwelling son, Aaron and daughter-in-law 'Miss Jane', oh and grandson 'Meet Joe Black'

    1. The costume design was quite wonderful... we'll be posting the Adjudication highlights tomorrow, including the Adjudicator's praise for how the costumes helped show the play's six year evolution.