If “the play’s the thing” for you, then the 2022 Huronia Players ensemble has got you covered.
“Huronia Players is planning a return to a full season, and we are very excited about the offering we have this year,” said Sue Cook, president of the theatrical company in Midland.
“All three plays are very well-written. We have two comedies and a musical.”
In early November, Gibson & Sons will be offered; Stag and Doe is scheduled for late January and early February; and the long-awaited production of The Old Man and the Old Moon will finally reach audiences at the end of April and start of May.
“We felt our audience would prefer comedies coming out of this bleak time that we’ve all been in," Cook said.
“(The Old Man and the Old Moon) is the musical we were in the process of rehearsing when we were all shut down, so we’re picking that one up again and relearning it. It will be three years by the time this gets on the stage from when we started,” Cook added.
Auditions for Gibson & Sons will be taking place at the Midland Cultural Centre, 333 King St., on August 8 and 10 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. each night. Director Tony Raines will be looking to cast the comedy, written by Kristen da Silva, with tentative ages ranging in late twenties to early sixties, “and everything in between."
Typically in theatre, a season call occurs prior to the shows so that all directors of the season can ask their company to assist in the needs of their productions; Cook said that the season call this year was being held after the Gibson & Sons audition for a very special reason.
Due to COVID-19 halting theatrical efforts, Huronia Players had to get creative. They offered virtual performances for remote viewing, and even went so far as to adapt Alive in the Grave, a 1964 radio play from a series called The Creaking Door, into a film.
“We cast it, and we did much of it outside because it was during COVID,” said Cook with a laugh. “It took months to actually get filmed, because we had to work around the restrictions that were there at the time.”
The premiere of Alive in the Grave will be shown for members during the upcoming Huronia Players season call.
In early September, Huronia Players will be completing a joint venture with Circles; a community-based support initiative which connects with people of low-income in educating, empowering, and equipping them to move up and out of poverty successfully.
“We’re creating a show… we have taken stories from people in the program, and they’ve been written up and will be performed. The format we’re using for the performance is like the Vagina Monologues, in which every person that comes forward has a story. And they read this person’s story,” explained Cook.
“I’ve directed the Vagina Monologues before for the Huronia Transition Homes, so we’re using the same format and I’m going to be directing this production as well. And it is going to be filmed; that resulting film is then going to be distributed to other Circles branches in North America.”
Memberships to join Huronia Players are $10 for the year, with sign up information available on their website. Cook advised those interested to also bring a willingness to participate.
“It’s not just: ‘I want to come to the socials;’ we want people who want to become involved with our productions, whether it’s backstage or as an usher or onstage.”
Cook described the commitment level as ranging from beginner to advanced with many tasks requiring volunteers over the three-month production runs.
“I’m hoping that after COVID, people have realized, ‘I’d like to do something different’, or, ‘I’ve always wanted to do this and never have, and I want to do this now’. I think now is a really good time to jump into something like this and get back involved with the community,” said Cook.
Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca