KITCHEN RADIO, BILLY BISHOP GOES TO WAR & More Set for Blyth Festival's 40th Season
It's an exciting time at Blyth Festival. Next summer the theatre will celebrate a milestone - its 40th season of producing professional theatre. In announcing the shows of the 40th season, her first as Artistic Director, Marion de Vries is "renewing the vow" to Blyth Festival's original mandate to create and produce professional Canadian theatre that reflects the stories, culture, and concerns of our community, region, and beyond.
"Where the heart is. That's how I feel about this community and Blyth Festival," says de Vries. "It is truly remarkable that we are celebrating our 40th season in 2014. The 40th is the Ruby anniversary, a rich colour of commitment, loyalty, creativity, and love. We are dedicated to making excellent theatre that will delight and engage the hearts and minds of our audience."
The 2014 mainstage season begins on June 25 with the world premiere of Kitchen Radio which Marion de Vries wrote while Canada Council Playwright in Residence at Blyth Festival, and which Eric Coates then commissioned for future production. David Archibald is Marion's co-lyricist/composer on this musical about women and country music. Next is the celebrated award-winning Canadian classic Billy Bishop Goes To War written and composed by John MacLachlan Gray in collaboration with Eric Peterson. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of The Great War. This play is the first in a "Memorial Series" that will be produced at Blyth Festival between 2014 and 2018 - plays that look at war, peace, the home fires, and the lives of Canadian forces personnel and veterans. The third show is the world premiere of Stag and Doe, an outstanding new comedy by first-time playwright Mark Crawford. Mark grew up on a beef farm in mid-western Ontario and has been to countless Stag and Does - so his characters ring true. The final show on the mainstage is the world premiere of Gil Garratt's St. Anne's Reel. Gil has been writing this drama for Blyth Festival for the past couple of years, and it's a beauty.
News about the directors and creative teams, the show we will be presenting in the Phillips Studio, the Young Company creation, and the special events we are planning to celebrate the anniversary of our 40th season will be forthcoming.
BLYTH FESTIVAL 2014 | 40th MAINSTAGE SEASON
JUNE 25 - AUG. 9 | Opening Night JUNE 27 | Blyth Festival World Premiere
Book by Marion de Vries | Lyrics & Music by Marion de Vries and David Archibald
Based on an original story idea by Jennifer Triemstra-Johnston
It's September 1968 and Eleanor, the lonely young wife of a bank manager, is unpacking boxes yet again - this time in a small farming town. Because she and Dan move so often, her only friends are the female country music stars she listens to on her kitchen radio and she imagines she is one of them. Suddenly Eleanor finds herself entangled in the lives of local women Sophie, Maggie, Helen and Angela - and her world is turned upside down! A country musical with comedy and heart.
JULY 2 - AUG. 15 | Opening Night JULY 4 | Blyth Festival Memorial Series
BILLY BISHOP GOES TO WAR
Written and Composed by John MacLachlan Gray in collaboration with Eric Peterson
Billy Bishop, the celebrated WWI flying ace from Owen Sound - credited with seventy-two victories and billed the top pilot in the British Empire - relives his heroic exploits in one of Canada's most successful and enduring plays, winner of the Los Angeles Drama Critics' Award and the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama. A Canadian Classic.
JULY 30 - SEPT. 6 | Opening Night AUG. 1 | Blyth Festival World Premiere
STAG AND DOE
By Mark Crawford
In the community hall on a Saturday morning, Bonnie and Brad are making jello shooters for their Stag and Doe with Dee, their maid of honour. Mandy shows up and demands the use of the hall that very night for her own wedding reception - because her tent blew away in the tornado. The problem is her groom is Rob... the man who left Dee standing at the altar a few years back. Bonnie cuts a deal with Mandy to share the hall and the day spins out of control in this hilarious new comedy about the true nature of weddings.