Murder, music and great expectations for festival line-up

Haliburton Echo’s Angelica Blenich reports on the new season Announcement: http://www.haliburtonecho.ca/2013/11/18/murder-music-and-great-expectations-for-festival-line-up

A familiar orphan named Pip, a murder mystery musical comedy and a famous Canadian war pilot.
Organizers of the Highlands Summer Festival are confident the upcoming season offers something for everyone.
At a volunteer appreciation luncheon at McKecks on Nov. 17, HSF artistic producer Scot Denton had a roomful of theatre buffs at his fingertips as he announced what would be on the bill for 2014.
“This is a big season for us, it’s very challenging,” said Denton.
The artistic producer also spoke of the launch of a new program beginning next summer for young thespians.
Titled Early Stages, the separate program will feature recent graduates of theatre programs teaching and mentoring youth.
Those involved will create and perform their own piece, to be staged in the middle of the summer.
Although details are still being finalized, Denton hopes to open up the program to those age nine and up.
The summer series will kick-off with an adaptation of Great Expectations, based on the Charles Dickens novel.
Musical lovers have Back in ’59 to look forward to, a journey through familiar hits from the early 1960s.
Norm Foster’s The Last Resort is a murder mystery comedy set in Saskatchewan that promises to have the audience in stitches.
Billy Bishop Goes to War and I Hate Hamlet are the two shows that will round the season, the former a Canadian classic and the latter an original work.
“Billy Bishop Goes to War has become one of the most popular theatrical works in Canada’s history; I’ve seen it three times,” said Denton.
HSF president Jack Brezina congratulated the volunteers from the past season and mentioned the great feedback he regularly receives from the community.
“This year was an exceptionally good year for us,” said Brezina, adding attendance was at 75 per cent across the five shows.
“I think that speaks to the quality of what we put on stage but also the enthusiasm that you people and all the volunteers put into the shows … cottagers come up to me and say I can’t see this kind of theatre in Toronto.”
As in the past, the upcoming season will require lots of crew members and enthusiasm, said Denton.
“I hope you’re as excited as Jack and I are,” he said.
Season passes for the festival are on sale now until Jan. 15, 2014 and cost $125, covering all five shows. Individual tickets for shows are $29.50.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.highlandssummerfestival.on.ca or by calling 705-457-9933.

Highlands Summer Festival artistic producer Scot Denton announces the line-up of what audience members can expect in the 2014 season on Nov. 17, 2013 at McKecks. Productions will include Billy Bishop Goes to War, Great Expectations and I Hate Hamlet. ANGELICA BLENICH/HALIBUROTN COUNTY ECHO/QMI AGENCY

Highlands Summer Festival artistic producer Scot Denton announces the line-up of what audience members can expect in the 2014 season on Nov. 17, 2013 at McKecks. Productions will include Billy Bishop Goes to War, Great Expectations and I Hate Hamlet. Photo by Angelica Blenich

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