Support local playwrights with one-act plays

Miranda Holmes

Gabriola Players

Tuesday, May 5 2015

Last year, as they were planning their 10th anniversary season, Gabriola Players decided to seek out plays written by Gabriolans for their annual One-Act Play Festival. A number of plays were submitted and assessed, three of which will be performed at the Rollo Centre this month. 

The three plays offer audiences everything from the downright slapstick to the positively surreal. 

Eyes of a Blue Dog by Mark Smith is an adaptation of a short story written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Why this story? According to Mark, “I found it in a collection of his stories in the mid-80s, and it has stayed with me as a favourite since then. I think I like it so much because it leaves so many questions swirling in my mind.” 

Lemon Yellow Laces by Dennis Johnston is another adaption, this one of a short story by his wife Sharon McInnes. The story is about Henry, a retired businessman, who is uncomfortable about his girlfriend Clare’s work with the homeless. When he meets Polly, whose “home” is a park bench, his well-ordered life begins to unravel. 

According to Dennis, “When I first read this story a few years ago, I immediately thought, ‘Wow, this would make a great play.’ The Gabriola Players call for plays by Gabriolans finally got me writing it. Now I’m directing it and looking forward to sharing it with our audiences.”

Set in the lunchroom of a publishing house, That’s Nice is an original play by Anne M. Holmes (the fiction-writing name of our own Miranda Holmes). 

“A couple of summers ago, Donna Deacon and I tried unsuccessfully to find a play we liked and could appear in together,” Miranda says. “Eventually I found myself saying, ‘Or I could just write one.’ Once the germ of an idea came to me, the play almost wrote itself. I hope the rest of Gabriola enjoys meeting the oddballs at Chatsworth & Son as much as I enjoyed creating them.”

Miranda adds, “I don’t know how many community theatre groups can boast four world premieres in one season, but I’m guessing the answer is not many.” 

The world premieres began last winter with Will Shakespeare The Panto by Robin Bailes. They continue this month, offering Gabriolans a chance to support – and enjoy – the work of local playwrights.

The 2015 One-Act Play Festival will be staged at the Rollo Centre on May 22 at 7:00 p.m., May 23 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, May 24 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $17 and are available at North Road Sports or on-line at