BLYTH – Canadian writer Dan Needles trademark wit and unparalleled observations of farm life come to the Blyth Festival stage with The Team on the Hill, running July 31 to Sept. 5.
Needles, winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, created the Wingfield Series and brought us True Confessions from the Ninth Concession earlier this year.
The Team on the Hill is a rich, funny, and moving drama about life a working cattle farm, complete with its nostalgia for the way things used to be, and struggles for succession in the Ransier family.
Austin Ransier, the patriarch of the Ransier family, has farmed the land his whole life. An ambitious, hard-working farmer in his youth, Austin now finds himself relegated to mending fences and sitting like a sentry on the porch. His grandson, Larry, fresh from agriculture school, is ready to take on the mantle, and has a wellspring of new ideas from college, and a different approach to the inputs and outputs than those generations that have come before. His dad, Larry, wants nothing to do with these new ideas.
“Few artists have had the kind of singular connection with a rural audience that Dan has had. He’s been awarded the Order of Canada for his writing about rural life, for his side-splitting observational humour, and his ability to know us like a neighbour. The Team on the Hill is one of his finest,”
said Gil Garratt, who is the Artistic Director of the Blyth Festival.
The play features a strong cast that combines actors familiar to Blyth with the introduction of a few new actors this season, all of whom were also in Jumbo: Layne Coleman (The Death of the Donnellys), Tony Munch (Wing Night at the Boot, Our Beautiful Sons, and many others), Kurtis Leon Baker, Julie Tamiko Manning and Lucy Meanwell.
The creative team for The Team on the Hill is: Kelly Wolf, set and costume designer; Noah Feaver, lighting designer; and Heidi Chan, sound designer. Stage management by Heather Thompson and Katerina Sokyrko.
The Team on the Hill was premiered by Theatre Orangeville in May 2013.
Blyth Festival acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, Season Sponsor Sparlings Propane, Season Media Sponsor CTV, Season Hospitality Sponsor, Cowbell Brewing Company, and New Play Development Sponsor Bruce Power.
The Team on the Hill is generously co-sponsored by McGavin’s and Royal Canadian Legion Blyth Branch 420 and the Legion Ladies’ Auxiliary. (Production Sponsor) and Country 104.9 (Media Sponsor).
Feature image by Kelly Stevenson.
AT A GLANCE
THE TEAM ON THE HILL | July 31 – Sept. 5
Written by Dan Needles
Directed by Severn Thompson
TICKETS: $43 orchestra | $39 balcony | $15 youth | (Previews: $20 adults | $15 youth)
BOX OFFICE: 519.523.9300 | Toll Free: 1.877.862.5984 | Online: www.blythfestival.com
DATES OF NOTE
June 31 – Preview at 8pm
Aug. 1 – Preview at 8pm
Aug. 2 – Opening Night at 8pm
Sept. 5 – Closing performance at 2pm
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 and Twitter: #bfTeam
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.
For more information, contact: