Theatre Bad­deck headed for cen­tre stage at the Bell

Lo­cal, as­pir­ing ac­tor Mary Austin joins this year’s cast; com­pany will also of­fer free per­for­mances of orig­i­nal Ma­bel Bell play

The Victoria Standard - - Arts - BAD­DECK

Af­ter suc­cess­ful runs of ‘Mur­der at the In­ver­ary Inn’ and ‘Har­vest’ at the Ma­sonic Hall this sum­mer, lo­cal pro­fes­sional theatre com­pany Theatre Bad­deck is on the move to the Alexan­der Graham Bell Na­tional Historic Site (AGBNHS) to per­form Young Ladies of Bad­deck Club, Septem­ber 8 to 24.

Co-artis­tic Di­rec­tor Christy Macrae-ziss says Theatre Bad­deck is grate­ful for the part­ner­ship with Parks Canada, the Alexan­der Graham Bell Foun­da­tion and the Alexan­der Graham Bell As­so­ci­a­tion that has made this year’s move to the mu­seum pos­si­ble.

“We couldn’t dream of a more ap­pro­pri­ate space to per­form Young Ladies,” said Macrae be­tween re­hearsals in Bad­deck. “Hav­ing the sup­port of Parks Canada, the Foun­da­tion and the As­so­ci­a­tion has been amaz­ing.”

Ayns­ley Mac­far­lene, former AGBNHS Site Su­per­in­ten­dent and Alexan­der Graham Bell Foun­da­tion and Alexan­der Graham Bell Mu­seum As­so­ci­a­tion Board Chair ex­pressed sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments.

“We [the Foun­da­tion and the As­so­ci­a­tion] are very pleased to be work­ing with Theatre Bad­deck in bring­ing th­ese per­for­mances to the Alexan­der Graham Bell Na­tional Historic Site.

The cel­e­bra­tion of the con­tri­bu­tions of Mrs. Bell through this art for­mat is so ap­pro­pri­ate to her legacy. To stage this play at the Na­tional Historic Site ties to­gether all the el­e­ments in a won­der­ful way.”

Writ­ten by Macraeziss and Co-artis­tic Di­rec­tors Han­nah Ziss, the com­edy cen­tres around at­tempts by the Young Ladies of Bad­deck Club to cel­e­brate the vil­lage’s in­cor­po­ra­tion in 1908. The show draws its in­spi­ra­tion from the real-life club that Ma­bel Bell founded in 1891 to “stim­u­late the ac­qui­si­tion of gen­eral knowl­edge and pro­mote so­cia­bil­ity”. In 1922, the group was re­named the Alexan­der Graham Bell Club shortly af­ter his death.

This is the third year the com­pany is per­form­ing Young Ladies, but Macrae is quick to point out that there is some­thing new in store for ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of two new cast mem­bers play­ing the roles of Bessie and Shirley.

“I did a com­edy with Dar­win Lyons (play­ing Bessie) sev­eral years ago and have al­ways con­sid­ered her for this role. Her sched­ule never al­lowed her to join us un­til now,” ex­plained Macrae-ziss.

In ad­di­tion to Lyons, Theatre Bad­deck is wel­com­ing Mid­dle River res­i­dent and emerg­ing ac­tor Mary Austin to the role of Shirley. The com­pany got to know Austin last year when she sang mu­si­cal num­bers at the be­gin­ning of each act of the show along­side fid­dler Joe Macmaster.

“Mary is at the be­gin­ning of her act­ing ca­reer and we love be­ing able to pro­vide this op­por­tu­nity. Two new cast mem­bers and the new lo­ca­tion en­sures a fresh ap­proach for those think­ing that they’ve seen it be­fore and need not come again!"

An­other new­comer to Theatre Bad­deck this fall is stage man­ager Sharon Mcin­tyre of English­town who has an ex­ten­sive tech­ni­cal theatre back­ground. Deryck Chap­man, of Bad­deck, will con­tinue as Tech­ni­cal and Light­ing Di­rec­tor as he was for the first two shows of the sum­mer.

To pur­chase tick­ets in ad­vance, stop by the Vic­to­ria County Wel­come Cen­tre or visit www. the­atre­bad­deck.com. With a larger venue and longer per­for­mance run, Theatre Bad­deck is look­ing for ad­di­tional ush­ers to help with the show. If you are in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing and see­ing the show at no cost, email info@ the­atre­bad­deck.com or phone 647-222-1053.

Mary Austin (right) sings an in­ter­lude dur­ing Young Ladies of Bad­deck Club in 2016 with fid­dler Joe Macmaster (left). Austin will join the cast of Young Ladies this year in the role of Shirley. Photo by An­drew Brooks / The Vic­to­ria Stan­dard.

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