Summer line-up: a little of everything

From The Highlands, November 21, 2013:


By Mark Arike
Staff writer

The 2014 season of the Highlands Summer Festival promises to offer a little bit of something for everyone.
“This is a big season for us,” said artistic producer Scot Denton after announcing the lineup at McKecks in Haliburton on Nov. 17. “It’s very challenging. There are many wonderful roles to cast.”
The 2014 lineup includes: an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations; the inspiring story of Canadian World War One flying ace Billy Bishop in Billy Bishop Goes to War; the 1991 comedy by Paul Rudnick I Hate Hamlet; and Norm Foster’s off-the-wall, murder mystery musical comedy The Last Resort.
Denton also announced the development of a program that would connect theatre students in a post secondary institution with elementary school children.
“It is an opportunity for us to work with a number of young people in a separate program,” said Denton. “They will work with a couple of people coming out of college where they’ve learned theatre, music and dance skills.”
Although the details have yet to be worked out, Denton said a number of workshops would likely be made available to children ages nine and up. Through the process, elementary school students would create their own theatrical piece and put on a performance sometime in July or early August.
“It’s early days for putting it together, but I’m very excited about it because young people in the rehearsals [last year] were just eating it up,” he said.
Highlands Summer Festival president Jack Brezina said the board was very pleased with Denton’s lineup. He also thanked all of the volunteers, actors and supporters of the 2013 season.
“This year was an exceptionally good year for us,” said Brezina. “[We had] 75 per cent attendance across the five shows. I think that speaks to the quality of what we put on stage but also speaks to the enthusiasm that you people and other volunteers put in on the shows. It also says that our audience trusts us.”
Denton said that a casting call should be announced sometime in December. He also pointed out that the festival plans to better utilize social media in the upcoming year.

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