The good, the bad and the ugly at one-act play festival

Gabriola Players

Press Release

Wednesday, March 4 2020

Relationships are very much at the heart of the three very different one-act plays being performed by Gabriola Players next weekend at the Rollo Centre. Relationships in all their complex variety – you could say the good, the bad and the ugly.

In Life on Mars, written by Canadian playwright Elliott Hayes and directed by Donna Deacon. the relationship is good between the protagonists: two short order cooks who contemplate the universe while watching the lunar eclipse at the back of the diner after their shift. Frank (a little older, a little wiser) and Mike (a little younger, a little happier) are facing some of life’s big questions. Such as, “Where would you go if you left here?” Or “Are we alone…or are there other beings way out there?” And “Is Steven Spielberg a Communist?”

The play was written and is set in 1993. A year later the promising career of its author was cut tragically short by a drunk driver. Margaret Atwood has described Hayes’s play Homeward Bound as “a brisk, intricate, and tightly-strung play with a lot of laughter”. The same could easily have been written about Life on Mars.

The relationship between the characters in Mimi and Me by Kitty Dubin is bad to begin with, but turns good. When a perky young volunteer turns up in 90-year-old Mimi’s room at the care home and asks what she would like to do that day, Mimi’s response is unequivocal: “Die.” Not the best start. There is a huge difference in their ages and their backgrounds. Tindy (Nadine Mourao) comes from a strict Catholic family. As for Mimi (Catherine Andersen), well, let’s just say she’s led a very interesting life. Still, despite their differences, over the course of an afternoon the two women find common ground and form a bond. Director Jean Wyenberg describes the play as “clever, filled with mystery, revelation, and a surprise ending.”

Jenn Feenan is the director of the third play, The Way to a Man’s Heart by David Weir. The relationship between Ellie (Lesley Hazeldine) and Andrew (Charlie Cheffins) used to be very good. Now it is really quite ugly. Shortly before their acrimonious breakup, Andrew gave Ellie a lottery ticket. It won. 

He thinks the winnings should be split. Although she disagrees, she invites him to come to the home they once shared to discuss the matter over a very special dinner.

The 2020 Gabriola Players One-Act Play Festival will be performed at the Rollo Centre, Thursday to Saturday, March 12 to 14 at 7pm and Sunday, March 15 at 2pm. 

Tickets are $17, available at North Road Sports or online at gabriolaplayers.ca.