For The Love Of Theatre

September 10th, 2011 0 comments

David used to remind people that the word “amateur” means “lover of”. I’m sure that had something to do with the fact that right from the beginning of his playwriting career, amateur theatres embraced David’s work.  And he loved community theatres right back. He always liked to receive posters and programs from their productions, and he went to see as many shows as he could.

Several years ago we went to Niagara Falls to see a showing of That Summer. It was a lovely production, with teen actors playing the main roles, which lent it a real innocence and freshness. Our drive down had been sunny — but when we walked outside at intermission there were huge snowflakes swirling all around us. We scrapped our plans to drive back that night and stayed for the cast party instead; I’ve rarely had a better night at the theatre.

Right now, several amateur productions of David’s plays are in the works. The next one up is the Burl-Oak Theatre Group’s Salt-Water Moon, which opens on October 6th and runs until October 15th. Their beautiful blue poster image is posted above. You can click here to find out all the details about the production and to purchase tickets.

I’ve had a great time exchanging emails with Micki Clemens of the Burl-Oak group about the show. Actors Emilie Jefferies and Tom Haxell are starring. (And we are all wondering whether Tom, at 6′ 4″, might be the tallest Jacob on record!) Director Peter Kunder is a long-time fan of David’s work. Here’s a quote from Peter:

“In the mid-1980s David French wrote Salt-Water Moon, a poetic drama about the courtship of Mary Snow and Jacob Mercer set in Newfoundland in 1926.  Mary and Jacob first appeared in Leaving Home, French’s first play.  It was a huge hit, saved Tarragon Theatre from closing, and went on to become one of the most-produced plays in Canadian theatre history. It was also the play that first made me understand that there truly is such a thing as “Canadian Theatre”. I was so moved by Leaving Home that I taught it and Salt-Water Moon, to high school students for more than twenty-five years.”

I wish BOTG a big “Break A Leg,” and I hope to get to see the show.

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