A local director has opened the doors of theatre to a special group who wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience the magic of production.
Director Debra Bob has been working on Powerhouse Theatre’s next show, The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays, by Ken Ludwig. Before the show opens to the public Nov. 20-30, participants, parents and caregivers of the Dorothy Alexander Centre will get to attend the Nov. 13 dress rehearsal.
Living with her grandson Talon, who has autism, Bob understands the barriers that those with developmental delays sometimes face.
“Often Talon and I cannot attend events in the community because of the effects of autism,” said Bob, adding that Talon is non verbal, but he loves theatre.
“I thought if I could make Powerhouse accessible to other people like Talon would they enjoy a performance? I decided to invite them to a dress rehearsal where I could accommodate some differences,” said Bob, adding that the Powerhouse board has shown its support. “The house doors will be open, the audience ‘house’ lights will be on, the sound operators will lower the volume, the actors will not scream as they die, service animals are welcome, we can accommodate wheelchairs, if the participants need to leave the house and come back in during the show it will not be a problem.”
“This is not intended to shame anyone, or to create an ‘awareness’ or as a catalyst for change; it is simply a dress rehearsal where I have invited some friends to see my show and enjoy a night of live theatre,” she said.
And she hopes this, and next week’s audience will enjoy hilarious whodunit mystery.
“It is fast paced, entertaining, and funny. There is no deep hidden social message in this show. It is simply fun. Full of belly laughs and clean humour. Although there are a surprising number of murders and attempted murders.”
Broadway star William Gillette, renowned for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast members to visit him at his castle for a weekend of revelry. However, when one of the guests turns up dead, the merriment quickly turns treacherous in comedic fashion. Gillete himself steps up to take on the persona of Sherlock Holmes before the next victim appears.
The performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 – 23 with a Matinée at 2 p.m. on Nov. 24. The nightly performances continue Nov. 27 – 30.
The Game’s Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays received the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe Award for the best play 2012.
The cast members are Peter Byrnes as William Gillette; Ann Cordingly as Martha Gillette; Dave Sayer as Felix Geisel; Kim Flick as Madge Geisel; Brian Atamachuck as Simon Bright; Ali Balloun as Aggie Wheeler; Jean Given as Inspector Goring; and Julie Drapala as Daria Chase.
Tickets are available online at www.powerhousetheatre.net or at the Ticket Seller Box Office, 3800 – 33rd St. or call 250-549-SHOW (7469).