Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Feb. 23


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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





(Posted Feb. 23, 2018)

Orléans Older Players put original spin on a venerable classic
ByHeather Jamieson
Orléans Online

Playwright Susan Flemming is the first to admit her latest play for her Orléans Older Players (OOPs) class is somewhat personal.

“There are definitely themes of dead-line pressure and over-writing to which I can relate,” laughs Flemming. “I am not very good at self-editing and this was an opportunity to poke fun at that.”

Drawing on the classic L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz, Flemming and cast have given their production a distinctly Canadian flavour in a romp down their own “Fuchsia Brick Road.” (Think Loon, Sasquatch and Moose instead of Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow!)

The central character is novelist Lark Spur, who while suffering from writer’s block, moves to the small Canadian town of Three Dot. She takes a job as the town’s librarian, which she hopes will inspire her to finish her novel. It turns out the library has only one book – The Wizard of Oz – which the residents take turns reading at their Saturday Night Book Club.

To make matters worse, each townsperson alters the story to fit their own personality and imagination and all set the story in their Canadian reality.

The cast of 11 is made up of both nw and returning thespians. Actors Sue Ashton (Jelly/Loon) and Céline Nadeau (Dorothy) have seven years and 14 OOPs productions under their belts.

While, newcomer Robb Corrigan (professor/Wizard) is in his first adult class play, enticed to the stage by his three children who have been with the Ottawa School of Theatre (OST) for many years.

Last fall, they finally convinced their father to join them and their mother in an OST all ages play.

“It was an incredibly bonding experience as a family,” says Corrigan. “Given that it was my first acting experience, I was humbled to learn through my kids’ expertise as they gave me advice and pointers,” adds the software company sales manager.

The next step for Corrigan was to join the adult class both for fun and to help him become more comfortable with public speaking. “Through their experience with OST, my children are amazingly at ease in front of a large audience,” he says. “Susan has written an extremely engaging, witty and humorous adaptation of the original Wizard of Oz. It’s going to be great fun,” Corrigan adds.

The Wizard of OOPs, complete with original songs, a ukulele duo and special appearance by “Bobo,” takes to the Richcraft Theatre stage for two performances on Saturday, February 24 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. For more information and tickets visit www.ost-eto.ca or call 613-580-2764.

A joint presentation of the Shenkman Arts Centre and MIFO, tickets for “Charly in the Desert” are available at www.shenkmanarts.ca

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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