BLYTH, ON – The world premiere of the hilarious and inspiring story of an unlikely group of would-be athletes who face off against local prejudice to become a true team in The New Canadian Curling Club, opens the 44th season of the Blyth Festival.
Playwright Mark Crawford, who brought Blyth Festival audiences smash hits like The Birds and The Bees, and Stag and Doe, now brings his trademark brand of warm humour to another uniquely rural story. Picture a small town in Southwestern Ontario with an ice rink, a “Learn to Curl” class, and a refugee resettlement program.
In an effort to welcome sponsored Syrian refugees to the town, the municipality offers a free, introductory “Learn to Curl” program, open to newcomers. In addition to a young Syrian girl, everyone who signs up has come to town from all corners of the globe, each with their own story. The night before the very first class, the woman from municipal Parks & Rec who organized the outreach event falls and breaks her hip, and so the duty to teach these newcomers how to sweep hard falls on the custodian/Zamboni driver, Stuart, a former champion curler himself, and unfortunately, a man with some unsavoury opinions about immigrants in Canada.
What follows is the perfect combination of comedy, cantankerousness, and crashing granite, as this unlikely group of would-be athletes face off against local prejudice to become a true team, and compete in the most prestigious local bonspiel: the highly coveted Highlander Cup.
And yes, there will be real rocks on stage.
“With Mark Crawford’s initial throw hurling down the sheet toward the house, and director Miles Potter calling the sweep, this truly Canadian comedy is going to land right on the button,” said Gil Garratt, who is the artistic director of the Blyth Festival.
Director Miles Potter has a long history with the Blyth Festival that goes back to its founding, and directed Crawford’s Stag and Doe when it premiered in 2014. He has just finished directing Long Day’s Journey Into Night at the Stratford Festival and says he’s up for a few laughs.
The New Canadian Curling Club is performed by Matthew Gin, Marcia Johnson, Lorne Kennedy, Omar Alex Khan and Parmida Vand, none of whom have ever previously performed on the Blyth Festival stage.
The creative team for The New Canadian Curling Club is: Steve Lucas, production designer; Michelle Bohn, costume designer; and Verne Good, sound designer. Stage management by Heather Thompson and Katerina Sokyrko.
Even Canadian curling champ Kimberly Tuck said, “It’s sure to be a hit with all fans of the game.”
“Hurry hard to the box office and get your tickets,” she urged on social media.
Reserve your seats for this heart-warming story by calling the Box Office at 519.523.9300, Toll Free 1.877.862.5984 or online at blythfestival.com.
Blyth Festival acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council, Season Sponsor Sparlings Propane / Parkland Fuels, and Season Media Sponsor CTV.
The New Canadian Curling Club is generously co-sponsored by McGavin Farm Equipment Ltd. and Edward Fuels (Production Sponsors) and AM920 CKNX, Classic Rock, and 107.1 The One. (Media Sponsor).
AT A GLANCE
THE NEW CANADIAN CURLING CLUB | June 20 – August 23
Written by Mark Crawford
Directed by Miles Potter
TICKETS: $40 orchestra | $36 balcony | $15 youth | (Previews: $18 adults | $15 youth)
BOX OFFICE: 519.523.9300 | Toll Free: 1.877.862.5984 | Online: www.blythfestival.com
DATES OF NOTE
June 20 – CKNX Night at 8pm – SOLD OUT
June 21 – Preview at 8pm
June 22 – Opening Night at 8pm – SOLD OUT
Aug. 23 – Closing performance at 8pm
Selected Fridays and Saturdays – Enjoy a home-cooked meal served at a local venue at 6:15pm
Tickets are $22 each and may be booked by calling the Blyth Festival Box Office
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: #bfCurling
Blyth Festival is a professional theatre that enriches the lives of its audience by producing and developing plays that give voice to both the region and the country. The Festival produces a repertory summer season of exclusively Canadian theatre, with an emphasis on new work. The Blyth Centre for the Arts, including the Blyth Festival, was founded in 1975.
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