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New theatre group performs next weekend

Dez Loreen
Northern News Services
Friday, March 16, 2007

INUVIK - After months of rehearsals, the North of Normal Players theatre group is putting on a show next weekend.

Sandy Turner, who formed the group in 2006, said the crew is looking forward to putting on their first production, titled Catnip and Bananas.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Sandy Turner, left, and Colin McGillivray rehearse a scene from Catnip and Bananas, a theatrical production with performances next weekend at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex. Both men are part of the North of Normal Players and have been preparing for the show for two months. - Dez Loreen/NNSL photo

"We're in our last week of rehearsals before we set up the stage and do our dress rehearsal,"

said Turner.

The show takes place in the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex starting on Thursday, March 22 and the final performance will be on Saturday, March 24.

Turner said the show was originally designed to be a dinner theatre-style gig, but plans changed as time went on.

"After a while, we decided to keep it simple with a dessert and coffee show," said Turner.

The play has six characters, three of which are speaking roles. The other three are enigmas, said Turner.

"The three 'visions' are only seen by their corresponding character," he said. "The other characters on the screen are oblivious to them."

Among the three "imaginary" roles is a tiger dressed in a tutu, who is joined by a big ugly gorilla. Turner calls his character "an indescribable enigma" who is an airline pilot who seems to have a control on the whole situation.

"I'm supposed to be the sane one in the play, who ends up losing it the most," he said.

Turner said the story is backdropped by a romance between two tenants in an apartment building.

Director Lavonna Clarke said she is enthusiastic about the show. She recently moved to Inuvik from Yellowknife, where she was involved in theatrical performances.

"Call this show 'Punch, pie and a play,'" she said.

Clarke said rehearsals have been going smoothly, with help from Aurora College, which has provided the group with a rehearsal space.

"We could not have done this without the college," she said.

During rehearsals, Clarke said she is the one giving direction and giving the performers tips during their show.

Kyla Hesse was supposed to be working behind the scenes, but was quickly grabbed for the role opposite the lead.

"I signed up to be a stage hand, but they had me read some lines and I got the call back, asking me to be in the show," said Hesse.

Hesse said she doesn't have much stage experience, but is looking forward to playing her character.

"She has no idea what's going on," said Hesse.

Colin MacGillivray has the lead role in the show. His character is a nervous man with a fear of marriage.

MacGillivray has been doing community theatre since 2000.

"I was excited to see that Sandy was starting a group here, I wanted to be a part of it," said MacGillivray.

MacGillivray said he is looking forward to being in front of a crowd again.

"Hearing the audience laugh will make it all work," he said.