YES Theatre raises curtain on COVID-safe production

·3 min read

After a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alessandro Costantini is thrilled to be back on stage.

The artistic director will star alongside Jake Deeth in YES Theatre’s production of Mark Crawford’s play “Bed & Breakfast,” which will be performed at The Sudbury Theatre Centre from Nov. 27 to Dec. 13.

“It’s this really beautiful story about this couple who inherit a home in this small town and decide to move out there and open a bed and breakfast,” said Costantini.

“It’s about them figuring out how to be who they are in this community where people like them aren’t really front and center.”

The narrative follows Brett and Drew, a gay couple who have just lost their seventh bidding war on a house in Toronto. When Brett learns that he has inherited the family home, they decide to try their hand elsewhere.

But when they start to experience some friction in their new community, they discover that the simple life is more complicated than they thought.

The hilarious and heartwarming comedy explores what it means to be “out” in the country, skeletons in the closet, and finding a place to call home.

It also features more than 20 different characters – all played by two actors, Costantini and Deeth.

“We play 11 characters each. It’s written for two actors because the protagonists are telling the story of how they got to be there,” said Costantini.

“It’s a little bit like theatre Olympics. It’s a very athletic play. There are no costume changes, and we never leave the stage. Every time we switch into another character, it’s all physicality and our voice that delineates who we are.”

That’s why Costantini said that having Janie Pinard on board as the director of the performance has been such a boon.

“Janie, Jake and I have been very close collaborators for over a decade now, and we knew this would be the perfect opportunity to work with her again. She is a very skilled physical theatre artist who trained in Montreal and California,” he said.

“She is the perfect artist to be leading us in this production because it is such a physical piece.”

Although YES Theatre normally puts on larger productions, this time Costantini was on the hunt for something smaller. The reason is that he had the safety of both the audience and the artists involved in mind during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But he was also drawn to the narrative of “Bed & Breakfast” because it’s about community.

“Even though this is just two people, it’s really about a community and about all the different perspectives that exist in that community,” he said.

“It’s a beautiful story to help create empathy. It is a gay couple, and they have to navigate being out in this town. Like every place, there are people who are more open and accepting to it, and there are others who are a little behind the beat. This play really does both – it offers the audience a lot of laughs and packs a punch in terms of being a piece of thought-provoking piece of theatre.”

Costantini added that all COVID-19 regulations will be followed during the live performance.

Ticket sales are limited to 50 tickets per performance, and all patrons will be seated according to social distancing guidelines.

The Sudbury Theatre Centre is also offering contactless ticket services. Ticketholders will be able to gain entry to the theatre by simply providing their name at the entrance.

Hand sanitizer will be readily available, and there will be volunteers stationed at the washrooms to ensure social distancing guidelines are followed.

Tickets for Bed & Breakfast are available online at www.yestheatre.com and through The Sudbury Theatre Centre box office.

The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government.

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Twitter: @SudburyStar

Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star