SJTC’s Theatre on the Edge (Press Release)

July 8, 2009 at 4:03 pm Leave a comment

Theatre on the Edge Saint John Theatre Company hosts its seventh annual summer theatre festival When Shakespeare asserted that “all the world’s a stage,” he might not have been thinking of parking lots. But Saint John Theatre Company is.

This August, Saint John’s seventh annual Theatre on the Edge Festival hits the boards. With events running between August 5th and 15th, Theatre on the Edge brings to the stage locally-written plays, innovative improv, an alternative Shakespeare show, and one of Canada’s top comediennes. The festival also features the new theatre company building at 112 Princess Street as the hub of activities, and as a new play space in uptown Saint John.

“I feel that it is extremely important for Saint John to have its own fringe-like festival of theatre,” says Tobias. “What makes the festival special this year is the same thing that makes it special every year: it is constantly evolving and growing.”

That growth partners perennial favourites with new festival fare. The two-week event kicks off on August 5th with Script Happens, three evenings of one-act plays from New Brunswick playwrights. Featuring work from Erin Keating, Bet O’Toole, and Josh MacDonald, Script Happens will also play host to local musical acts, making up an ideal night on the town.

“Audiences can expect to see the best of locally written one-act plays,” says Tobias. “We added a workshop component this year, with input from Len Falkenstein of NotaBle Acts, to give the scripts a greater level of polish. I look forward to some exciting new scripts.”

Other highlights include an evening of improvisational performances, a dance workshop, youth theatre hosted by Imperial Theatre, and the twenty-four hour playwriting challenge Winging It. Among the festival’s partners are Mahogany Manor, the Improvisation Corporation, Imperial Theatre, NotaBle Acts, and Port City Rainbow Pride.

A new addition to this year’s festival is Shakespeare in the Park(ing Lot), a modern take on a classic tale played out in the theatre company’s back parking area. This year’s selection is The Taming of the Shrew, and audiences can expect to share a laugh under the licensed big top on Horsfield Street.

“I wanted to see a modern-dress, irreverent, no-holds-barred production that would place the story into a more modern context that audiences can relate to,” says Tobias. “The result is that people won’t need to be Shakespeare fans to appreciate the show.”

Theatre on the Edge also features the New Brunswick premiere of Bear With Me, a one-woman show written and performed by Toronto-based comedienne Diane Flacks. Bear With Me charts Flacks’s experiences as she and her female partner negotiate life as a pending two-mom family. The show is part of the Out on the Edge partnership between Saint John Theatre Company and Port City Rainbow Pride, where the festival brings in programming touching on issues relevant to the GLBT community.

“I believe that everyone in our audience has an affinity to parenthood, birth, and child rearing,” says Tobias. “Diane’s take on it is truly wonderful, extremely perceptive, and amazingly funny all at the same time.”

And with programming spanning improv to Shakespeare, Theatre on the Edge offers something for everyone this August. Don’t miss Saint John’s summer theatre festival.

For the complete festival schedule, visit http://www.saintjohntheatrecompany.com. Tickets on sale soon.

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