Bringing History Alive

Sir Arthur Currie, whose libel case in the Victoria Hall Courtroom is the subject of Last day, Last Hour: Canada’s Great War on Trial. Photo montage: Greg Curtis.

The Link, Autumn 2018
| by Tina Rouse |

The Northumberland Players are a not-for-profit, community theatre troupe based in Cobourg. They’ve been going strong for four decades, staging more than 270 musical and dramatic productions.

In 1985 they acquired the Second Street Firehall, which is a designated Heritage Building, and transformed it into an intimate venue. The theatre allows a maximum audience of 55, with a versatile performance space that may be customized to suit different types of productions. The Players also perform in the Victoria Hall Concert Hall, the Cameco Capitol Arts Centre (Port Hope) and the Best Western Cobourg Inn and Convention Centre.

“This season is about connecting with history, connecting with the Canadian experience and connecting with family and friends.” – Jack Boyagian, Artistic Director and President

The Town of Cobourg will host Canada’s largest centennial commemoration of the Armistice of World War I on September 21 through November 11. Showcases will include historical exhibits, art installations, music, speakers and theatrical productions.

With Armistice18 the Northumberland Players will bring history alive, opening their 2018–2019 season with two plays and a staged reading – all based upon The Great War.

Mary’s Wedding, by playwright Stephen Massicotte, is a classic love story set during the Battle of Moreuil Wood in France.

The Stars on Her Shoulders, also by the talented playwright Stephen Massicotte, will be featured in staged readings of his new play, presenting World War I through the eyes of five Canadian nurses.

Last Day, Last Hour: Canada’s Great War on Trial, by playwright Hugh Brewster, covers a controversial 1928 trial that examined Canada’s role in the war. This exciting display of living history will be presented in the Old Bailey Courtroom of Cobourg’s Victoria Hall – the very courtroom in which the trial actually took place!

Three hilarious comedies are lined up for dinner theatre this season! Sexy Laundry by Michele Rimi – After 25 years of marriage, Alice wants to add some spice but has to contend with her husband Harry who is perfectly comfortable with how things are. Then Neil Simon’s classic, The Odd Couple – when neat freak Felix’s wife has just thrown him out, and he’s late for cards at sloppy friend Oscar’s apartment, the two become roomies and things really get messy. A Fox on the Fairway by Ken Ludwig – A spirited romp featuring the shenanigans at a private country club, this play is a tribute to the comedy farces of the 1930s and 40s.

For the holidays, the Firehall Theatre celebrates Christmas with Miracle on 34th Street (adapted by Mountain Community Theatre). Retiree Kris Kringle gets a job working as a Santa at a department store, but could he actually be the ‘real’ Santa Claus? Based on the movie, this production is in the style of an old radio play and will be performed in full costume.

An action-packed family show where good triumphs over evil, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by Joseph Robinette is a play about four children who emerge from an old wardrobe into the magical land of Narnia where they encounter a lion named Aslan who struggles with the White Witch.

“A musical within a comedy,” The Drowsy Chaperone (Original Broadway version) is about a man who plays the cast recording of his favourite 1928 musical and watches as it suddenly springs to life. This send-up of Jazz Age musicals won five Tony Awards.

Drama continues to take the stage at the Firehall Theatre come springtime with Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson which is based on the true story of astronomer Henrietta Leavitt as she breaks new ground and struggles for recognition in her male-dominated field. The Drowning Girls by Beth Graham is a play about when Alice, Bessie and Margaret were all married to serial killer George Joseph Smith. The women’s spirits rise to tell their tragic stories from the bathtubs where they met their deaths.

The Northumberland Players 2018–19 season will be truly exciting – full of history, comedy, musical and family entertainment, and thought-provoking drama!

Calendar

Mary’s Wedding: September 21 to October 14, showing most Thursdays to Sundays, Firehall Theatre, 213 Second Street, Cobourg.

The Stars on Her Shoulders: October 18 and 20, November 4, 8 and 10, Victoria Hall Concert Hall, 55 King Street West, Cobourg.

Last Day, Last Hour: Canada’s Great War on Trial: October 19 to November 11, Victoria Hall Concert Hall, 55 King Street West, Cobourg.

Sexy Laundry: October 19 to November 4; The Odd Couple: January 18 to February 3; A Fox on the Fairway: April 26 to May 11. All three comedies will be presented at the Best Western Cobourg Inn, 930 Burnham Street, Cobourg. A buffet dinner will be served two hours before showtime.

Miracle on 34th Street: November 30 to December 16, Firehall Theatre, 213 Second Street, Cobourg.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: December 12 to 17, Victoria Hall Concert Hall, 55 King St. W., Cobourg.

The Drowsy Chaperone: February 22 to March 3, Cameco Capitol Arts Centre, Port Hope.

Silent Sky: March 22 to April 7; The Drowning Girls: May 24 to June 9; Firehall Theatre, 213 Second Street, Cobourg.

Tickets are available by phone, at the box office or online (for some venues). Shows often sell out in advance so it’s always best to call ahead. All venues are wheelchair-accessible. More info: 905-372-2210 or 1-885-372-2210 and northumberlandplayers.ca

Peterborough resident T. K. Rouse is a University of Ryerson publishing graduate. Her work includes a novel, non-fiction articles, short fiction, poetry and cartoons. She is currently keeping a blog about historic architecture in Peterborough, http//:timewalkertk.blogspot.ca

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