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Courtesy Pumphouse Theatre

Two companies compete at one-act play festival

By Gurman Sahota, March 21 2017 —

Celebrating its 34th year, the Calgary Region One-Act Festival will return to present original work by two Calgary-based groups — Moot Entertainment and Red String Theatre. The groups will show their work on March 24 at the Pumphouse Theatre.

Although the festival is devoid of a theme, the only rule is that each piece must be a one-act play — no piece can be over 60-minutes long.

Programming director Kelly Malcolm considers this freedom an asset in promoting the creativity of playwrights and performers.

“We encourage everyone to apply and to submit what they are working on or any type of one-act show as long as it is in the criteria of being a one-act,” Malcolm says.

This year’s contestants are meant for an older audience. Due to use of strong language, organizers advise that audiences are at least 14-years old.

Festival adjudicator Kate Newby is responsible for critiquing the pieces and deciding which performance moves onto the provincial festival come May. Both Moot Entertainment and Red String Theatre get one public and one private adjudication. Each group will premiere original works at the festival.

“[Newby] adjudicates the shows that are being put forth,” Malcolm says. “We get a public showing and each group gets a public and private adjudication to think of things to work on in the future, what stood out — from that process, the chosen, outstanding production gets to go to provincials.”

In prior years, the festival has run up to four days in order to accommodate its limit of 12 pieces.

This year, however, the one-day festival will focus on only two submissions on March 24 — Come Home by Moot Entertainment and Directionless by Red String Theatre.

Come Home is a new script about crime and drug abuse. It follows the life of Connor Evans, a man in his early twenties who moves to Australia.

Directionless is what Malcolm calls “a collective creation piece.”

“With four artists coming together, the piece focuses on the process of how we find meaning in our lives, what brings us to where we need to go and what takes us away from that path,” Malcolm says.

Both groups involve actors that have recently graduated from post-secondary institutions. Malcom says having fresh creators keeps theatre evolving.

“It’s a great way to see who is coming up in the theatre scene, what [new] things [are being created and] what stories are coming up in our communities,” Malcolm says.

The Calgary Region One-Act Festival will show at the Victor Mitchell Theatre in the Pumphouse Theatre on March 24. Tickets are available online with student pricing at $12. Tickets include both shows.

For more information visit pumphousetheatre.ca

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