BLYTH, ON – Plays that were developed and premiered on stage at the Blyth Festival are receiving encore productions across the country this year.
“This year, a half dozen plays that were born at the Blyth Festival will be performed by other Canadian theatres in the 2018 Season. That reaffirms the Blyth Festival’s magic: selecting and developing plays that resonate with audiences at home and across Canada,” said Gil Garratt, the artistic director of the Blyth Festival.
“The reach that plays from Blyth have had over the years is astounding. Blyth Festival Plays have won Governor General’s awards, been produced in 29 countries worldwide, and have been translated into dozens of languages, including American Sign Language,” says Garratt, “but 2018 is shaping up to be one our biggest.”
Harvest, which premiered at the Blyth Festival in 2008, is receiving two productions, it plays at Palace Theatre, London, Feb. 1, to Feb. 10, and at Thousand Islands Playhouse, July 6 to July 29.
Based on the real-life experiences of the playwright Ken Cameron’s parents, this comedy tells the story of a farming couple who trade their lives in the country for a condo in the city. When they rent their farmhouse to a young pilot intent on raising a different “crop,” they begin a journey filled with an assortment of unforgettable characters.
Ipperwash, which premiered at the Blyth Festival in 2017, plays at Native Earth Performing Arts in Toronto, Feb. 6 to Feb. 18, in partnership with the Blyth Festival.
The play, by Falen Johnson, tells the story of the Government of Canada’s use of the War Measures Act to expropriate a 2,400-acre tract of land from the Stony Point First Nation in 1942, and the impact it has had on the community. Told partly through the eyes of a veteran who returned from WW2 to find his home farm gone, the play chronicles part of the ongoing rehabilitation of the land that became Camp Ipperwash.
The Lonely Diner: Al Capone in Euphemia Twp., which premiered at Blyth Festival in 2012, plays at Vertigo Theatre in Calgary from Mar. 10 to April 8. The play, by Beverley Cooper, is set in a quiet diner close to the U.S. border in 1928, the year prohibition is lifted in Ontario but still held firm in Chicago.
Prairie Nurse, which premiered at the Blyth Festival in 2013, plays at Factory Theatre in Toronto, in April and May, and Gananoque’s Thousand Islands Playhouse, in August and September.
Prairie Nurse, by Marie Beath Badian, is a comedy about two Filipino nurses who come to work at a small-town Saskatchewan hospital in the late 1960s. Cultural clashes, personality differences, homesickness, and the amorous but dim-witted goalie from the local hockey team complicate the women’s lives. Based on the true story of her mother’s immigration to Canada, the play is part romantic comedy, part farce, and part cultural history.
Innocence Lost: A Play About Stephen Truscott, which was first produced by the Blyth Festival in 2008 and remounted in 2009, plays at Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre in May & June. The play, by Beverley Cooper, tells the story of Steven Truscott, who was found guilty and sentenced to hang for the rape and strangulation of 12-year-old Lynne Harper.
The Birds and the Bees, which premiered at the Blyth Festival in 2016, plays at numerous summer theatres in 2018, including Drayton Entertainment’s Huron Country Playhouse II, in August, Theatre Orangeville and Theatre Collingwood in May, Port Dover’s Lighthouse Festival and Showboat Theatre, Port Colborne, throughout June.
The play, by Mark Crawford, centres around four characters on a weekend that may be the last-ever Turkey Days Festival. Set in two adjoining bedrooms on a modern Canadian farm, it tackles sex, love, science, family, and the artificial insemination of turkeys.
“We’re hugely proud of the singular contribution Blyth plays have made to Canadian theatre, coast to coast to coast” said Garratt.
For more information, contact:
Gil Garratt, Artistic Director, Blyth Festival
877-862-5984 or 519-523-9300
Heather Boa, Marketing Director, Blyth Festival
877-862-5984 or 519-523-9300