Warman’s Scared Scriptless Players are celebrating a major milestone with their biggest production so far. Continue reading “Scared Scriptless Players set to stage tenth comedy”
When April Watson of Saskatoon landed a role in the Barn Playhouse production of “A Stranger for Christmas” last year, she didn’t have any inkling it would lead to a director’s gig with the Scared Scriptless Players, Warman’s community theatre group.
But she’s glad it worked out that way.
“I had a role as one of the daughters in the Barn Playhouse production,” said Watson. “And Gwenda MacPherson, who directed the Scared Scriptless Players’ show last spring, was also part of that Barn Playhouse cast. We got to know each other, and she invited me to become involved with the Scared Scriptless bunch.
“I agreed to direct their next play,” she added. “And so far, it’s been fun. I’m really looking forward to the rehearsals. They seem like a really great group of people.”
Watson gained theatre experience at the University of Saskatchewan, where she acted in and directed plays during her student days; as well as community theatre groups in the region following her graduation.
Her first task as director last fall involved poring through potential scripts. She chose “Bloody Murder” as the one that best suited the Warman community theatre group’s mandate.
“It’s a murder-mystery/comedy,” said Watson. “In some ways it has a typical ‘Clue’-like plot, but there’s a twist, or actually, a lot of twists, because it’s a parody of a British murder-mystery. In this one, the actors all know what’s going on.”
The plot incorporates a “play-within-a-play” where the blanks get filled in as the mystery unfolds.
Comedy, particularly a broad spoof like this, is fun for both the actors and the audience, but it’s also more challenging to pull off, she noted.
“Comedic timing is a big thing,” she said. “It has to be bang-on. And this play is complicated because so many of the actors have some pretty long monologues. It’s also a big cast, so they really have to work as a team to get it right.”
While Watson and some of the cast are new to the troupe, many of the actors and crew members are veterans, including Gwenda MacPherson, Jamie McCrae, Linsey Gatzke and Tom Nieman.
Rehearsals started Sunday, January 8, and the actors are going flat out to have the production in shape by mid-March.
Watson said she learned a lot from director Vicky Dyck during last year’s Barn Playhouse production, and is hoping to put those lessons to good use in this play.
“It’s a great script, we have a talented cast and crew, and I’m looking forward to the next few weeks,” she said. “It should be a lot of fun.”
Director April Watson says its Agatha Christie meets Abbott & Costello. “It’s a very unique murder mystery comedy, probably something you’ve never seen on stage before,” said Watson.
The Warman Drama Club announced their next play at their recent AGM. Once again, they’re looking for actors and a range of crew members for props, costumes, sound, lighting and set.
Watson did some directing through the University of Saskatchewan last year, was in a recent Barn Playhouse production and assisted with the previous SSP play.
“As director, it’s just great working with new people, coming up with ideas for directing.” She says acting is all about the imagination and creativity and being able to explore all that. Watson will help actors who sign on for Bloody Murder explore their characters and get creative with their role.
The ‘usual suspects’ gather for a weekend retreat at a sumptuous country estate. The fun begins as actors who play stereotypical actors begin to break free from their assigned roles and start to rebel against their author. There’s the major who served in India; the inebriated, fading actor; the innocent ingénue; the exotic lady in red; the mysterious Chinese gentleman; the rich dowager aunt and her faithful maid and worthless nephew.
The British play is set in the 1920s (think Downton Abbey) and needs actors aged 20 to 70 years. British accents will be welcome but need not be polished, Watson said.
The Warman Drama Club was launched in 2008 and has been providing entertainment to residents ever since. “We’re interested in bringing more culture to Warman,” said Watson. The club intends to offer more workshops in the future.
The dinner theatre will present four shows from March 17 to 19 at the Brian King Centre with two shows on the Saturday. Rehearsals start in January. The SSP will hold auditions on November 2 at Warman’s Legends Centre at 7:00 p.m.