Monday, September 26, 2022

Meaford Theatre Company Youth Workshops Begin April 6

Woodford Hall is coming alive in ways that community theatre director Kim Ransom has patiently waited to see for the past two years, in ways that the company envisioned when it committed to bring the hall up to scratch as the permanent home of the Meaford Theatre Company in 2019.

To think the hall has sat idle for the past two years and now it is coming alive,” he said. “In a week’s time, there will be something happening every day of the week. The intent has always been to bring people into the hall, get them involved, and get them excited about live theatre.”

Rehearsals have already started for the company’s first production of the season, A Bench in the Sun, a two-act play by Ron Clark, with performances on April 29 and 30 and May 5, 6, and 7. Auditions for a second production, The Ladies’ Foursome, will take place the end of March and hit the stage June 17, 18 and June 23, 24, and 25.

Ransom is excited to announce that the company is finally able to offer the weekly workshop for youth ages 12-16 that it has wanted to offer, starting Wednesday, April 6, and continuing weekly, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., till the end of June.

The intent is to offer youth a thorough, in-depth understanding of the theatre as a physical entity,” Ransom said. “From staging, lighting, the sound board – that is, all of the technical aspects of a production as well as the act of acting itself such as miming, characterization, movement on and onto the stage.”

Ransom will be assisted by Monica Ramakers, the former school liaison for Kidz in the Hall, and Diane Thompson, a seasoned actor with decades of experience in community theatre, including the recent production of Red Plaid Shirt at the Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound.

During the three-month workshop, there will be two adult productions happening,” said Ransom. “I am hoping to incorporate the youth, and give them hands-on experience as ushers, or in the back rooms, or on stage as stage hands. What an opportunity for them to be part of a production, to see the nuances and to watch a play evolve.”

Three on a bench, four on the golf course

Ransom is the director and producer of A Bench in the Sun, the story of two old men living in a retirement home. “They are very much the old couple,” he said. “One is sophisticated, well-dressed, and well-read. The other shows up in his pyjamas and slippers. Mr. Sophisticate, Harold, still sees life as a challenge despite his past history of multiple jobs, multiple houses, and three marriages. Bert on the other hand is a one-job, one-wife, one-house kind of guy. He is happy with his life, but he is grumpy. The two meet daily on a bench outside of the home and they banter.”

Veteran actors Richard Prazmowski plays the part of Harold, and Brian Fray the part of Bert. Leslie Ransom is Adrienne.

It’s very much a bantering type of play, on a wide range of topics,” Ransom said. “Enter Adrienne, a former movie star. She immediately turns the place upside down. Two on the bench are now three and three on a bench is good luck, or so says Adrienne.

The play takes place on a bench outside the home over the course of a year with a very poignant twist at the end.”

The company’s second production is the Norm Foster play, The Ladies Foursome. Director Bryan James brings years of experience with community theatre and theatre at the post-secondary level. The play centres on four women, that is three women plus one who recently passed away. The women come together for a memorial. They invite an old acquaintance of their departed friend.

Like A Bench in the Sun, there is a lot banter, this time on a golf course, but the banter is a bit edgy and as the play evolves, the underlying layers of their lives come away,” said Ransom.

To register for the youth workshop, contact Kim Ransom at lkransom@rogers.com or 226-662-0214. Fee: $25.

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