Monday, April 15, 2019

A City Girl's Search For A Stage In Rural Nova Scotia

In my minister's costume, delivering my first line.
For the past six weeks, I've been involved with the local community theatre group, called The Church Mouse Players. They do two productions a year, and we just wrapped "Virgil's Wedding".
I played a minister showing up at the chapel to do a funeral service - "Excuse me, is this where they're holdin' the funeral?" - and get flustered when I find out it's a wedding and I only have my funeral notes.

This was my first foray into acting; whether it will be my last remains to be seen. This small role in the second half of Act Two was more than enough for me, but the rehearsals (three a week) and the performances (four nights of dinner theatre) got put on top of all my other work.
So while others were bemoaning the "crash" that would follow this week, after we wrapped up on Saturday, I'm just grateful to have my Monday and Thursday nights back at home!

After dress rehearsal with "Virgil" and "Margaret"
"By golly, by the powers vested in me by the state, I know pronounce you husband and wife! Virgil, you may kiss the bride!"

Over the past 15 years, the Church Mouse Players have become known for the great dinner and the laugh-out-loud comedy. Every show sells out immediately; there's no need for advertising.
Apparently, "Virgil's Wedding" has been sitting on the shelf waiting for the right cast to come together, and it was worth the wait. The general consensus from the audience is that this was the best production yet. How does CMP top this one?

Well, with long-time actors like Anthony Black and Tiffany Lawless, as well as the same husband-wife director-producer/actor combination in Kendall Mills and Tania Thompson, this community theatre group knows what it's doing and simply keeps doing what it does best.
I am in awe of how this all comes together, and how the cast really does work together like a family (a good family, not a dysfunctional one!). Having been in the audience, and now seeing it from backstage, I understand what keeps people returning for just one more production. Having never been in a community theatre production, I can understand why people become so devoted to it.
And in such a small community as well.

The groom's mother shows off a dress to the wedding planners from the city.

Personally, as a morning person, the four nights of performances were challenging; I haven't done a yoga practice since last Monday! On Friday, I could have cried, I was so exhausted. But once you get to the hall and the ticket holders arrive, once you get backstage and into your costume, once the play forget about how tired you are and the energy of the performance takes over.
I even managed to keep my southern accent all the way through each performance!

Oh, by the way, it was the perfect play for me to do as my first one: Not only was Abba's "Dancing Queen" played three times, but there was this line in Act One, when Virgil says to his best friend, Ellard: "Them city girls may be okay to look at but you won't catch me marryin' one." 

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