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L.A. Beat

Lots of original works at Chinook One Act Play Festival

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 Playgoers of Lethbridge featured two big nights of mostly original drama at the Chinook Regional One Act Play Festival, Quinn Larder and Brent Clark in At the Mercy of the Waves. Photo by Richard AmeryMarch 29 and  30. I missed day two which featured, eventual winner , Playgoers of Lethbridge’s submission of Edward Albee’s Zoo story directed by first time director Mary-Lynn Muhly and performed by Cole Fetting and Josh Hammerstedt which took home  best play and moves on the the provincial One act Play competition in High River in May. 

But the first day featured all of the original scripts, which were well done and drew  great praise from adjudicator  Richard O’ Brien.Tracy Wyman won best female actress for her performance in   Falling Through Time at the One Act Play Festival, March 29-30 at the Sterndale bennett Theatre. Photo by Richard Amery
 O’Brien really was taken by  the first play,the epic  “At the Mercy of the Waves, written by Jordy Wiens, about two homeless people fearing armageddon, surrounded by an assortment of trash and being driven crazy by the sound of the waves. Brent Clark won best Male Actor for his performance of Perry, a homeless man, who makes a  tin foil hat and draws the awe of his friend Myra, played by  Quinn Larder, who was charming in his innocence, trying to bond with Perry and who can’t figure out how to make a hat of his own. The script won best original script, which was accepted by director Tahnia Getson.

“Falling Through Time,” an original script written  by Tracy Wyman, who also won best female actor, joined by  Jocelyn Steinborn and Haley Gray, was three poignant monologues by three different women remembering harvest time, family members, tea time, photographs and memories of them both.

 The third play was amazing. Kayla Turnbull  penned a film noire styled script about a hit woman, Constance, played by Matya Mikuliak and her serial killer minion Sal, Jesse Thibert and his new girlfriend  Brea, played by Mariah  Jakob, who slowly becomes more obsessed with Constance and increasingly jealous of Sal and Constance’s relationship.

 It became increasingly unsettling and sinister as the story progressed.

Jesse Thibert played evil especially well as Sal, matching to the cold dispassion of his boss Constance, Mataya Mikulak. Mariah Jakob was equallMataya Mikuliak and Jesse Thibert in She Is Buried at the one Act Play Festival. Photo by Richard Ameryy impressive as Sal’s obsessive new beau and last murder victim Brea.

Adjudicator O’ Brien was  a little confused by the  movements of the “network” aka Sal's other victims “ Trevor Loman, Hannah Sawatzky, Cora Moorhead, Chelsea Fitzsimmons and  Rachel Nibogie. who danced  and moved in the background while hissing dialogue as a gGreek chorus and  Sal and Brea’s inner conscience and darkest thoughts.

 O’Brien talked for a good half hour after the performance, offering suggestions and criticisms about each script.
“The Zoo Story” goes to the finals in High River, May 3 and 4.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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