Summer plays coming to Gaelic College
St. Ann’s Bay Players around for 35 years
For 35 years, the St. Ann’s Bay Players have been producing plays for a wide audience throughout Cape Breton.
The fare has been mostly Maritime, featuring Cape Breton, Scottish, Irish plays, which reflect Cape Breton’s rural Gaelic humour, history, and storytelling tradition by a talented group of character actors, who know the island and its people well, is coming to the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s.
St. Ann’s Bay Players have been described as always entertaining, and often challenging and thought provoking.
Out of the more than 45 plays produced, 20 have been original works by Maritime or Cape Breton playwrights including Bev Brett, the company’s artistic director, who last year adapted Alistair MacLeod’s short story, “Vision.” Brett also wrote two short local comedies for the Gaelic College’s Kitchenfest and summer theatre season in an acclaimed and visually stunning production.
This year for Kitchenfest and summer theatre, the St. Ann’s Bay Players will be staging Cape Breton author and recent Giller prize winner, Lynn Coady’s short story, “Jesus Christ Murdeena.”
Set in the 80s in Port Hawkesbury, it is a satire of what happens to a small town when a peculiar but ordinary young woman takes up walking. Featuring the main characters — a mother and daughter duo played by Murdena MacDonald and Jitka Zgola — they are joined by Sue Brown, Nancy Smith, Peggy Jenkins, and Yvonne Leblanc, all playing multiple characters in storybook style.
This will be complimented by some episodes from “Still Game,” a hit Scottish television show which was originally a stage play. Featuring two pensioners Jack and Victor and various other eccentric characters, we follow their well worn path from pub to funeral to pub to store to pub to home. Like a Scottish Coronation Street, the show is extremely funny as well as poignant and brilliantly portrayed by Murdock MacDonald and George Dauphney.
The Players are also hosting Casting Mill Theatre from Sydney, who will join the Players for the summer theatre season at the Gaelic College with four performances of No Great Mischief, a play based on celebrated author Alistair MacLeod’s novel. Todd Hiscock, a member of the Players, will be directing.