Wednesday, 15 May 2019

ONstage Tonight at Festival: The Bloor West Village Players

Bloor West Village Players' production of Late Company
Opening night of Theatre Ontario Festival 2019 features our Festival debutantes, as The Bloor West Village Players take the stage, representing ACT-CO, the Association of Community Theatres—Central Ontario with their production of Late Company by Jordan Tannahill.

Since 1974, Toronto’s Bloor West Village Players have produced both entertaining and thought-provoking theatre. As a non-profit group it aims to offer professional production quality, at a modest cost. It is an active part of the community and provides opportunities for training and participation in all aspects of theatre. They produce a season of five Mainspace plays in their 162-seat theatre, from September to May. Their Reading Committee spends the year reading, then presents a long-list of recommendations to the Board, which chooses five. The Board of Directors then co-ordinates the team for each show; directors, producers, stage managers, designers, operators, and the balance of the team are all pulled from their large volunteer base.

In Late Company, two families come together in an attempt to reach an understanding a year after the death of the son of one of the couples. Family secrets are revealed, as everyone deals with issues of coping with grief and guilt. This leads to them ask questions about how well we know ourselves, those closest to us, and especially our children. As so often happens, it is a case of “we don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” Late Company was written when Jordan Tannahill was 23 (he’s now 30, twice winner of the Governor General’s Award for English-language drama) and is based on an actual incident.

At ACT-CO Festival 2018/19, The Bloor West Village Players won Best Production of a Drama and Best Set Design (Theresa Arneaud), with nominations for Best Direction (Valary Cook), Best Performance by a Female in a Leading Role (Lydia Kiselyk as Debora), Best Lighting Design (David Nicholson), Best Sound Design (Samantha De Vries), and an Adjudicator’s Award for Above and Beyond the Call of Duty (Rob Candy).

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