Stephenville festival aims for top quality

16 Jun 2011

The Georgian - View Source Article Here

By Frank Gale

Stephenville Theatre Festival’s new artistic producer and director is hoping that with a focus of producing top quality theatre, the company can get back to where it has been in the past.

Part of Keith Pike’s way of doing this is by having all new shows this summer.

"It's a new chapter for the festival, so I wanted to present something fresh, something contemporary; paired with some of the top performers this country has to offer," Mr. Pike said.

He took on the position at the helm of the festival at the beginning of April, and up to late last week, has been working out of St. John's, where he runs Theatre St. John's during the winter season.

Now in his sixth season with the Stephenville Theatre Festival, Mr. Pike feels he is very familiar of how this festival is run.

"The foundation of the festival is strong and there's a lot of spirit here. I'm excited to be working with the creative staff, the board of directors and alongside the community to create something special in Stephenville," he said.

With three weeks of rehearsals before their start, Mr. Pike feels it's more than enough time for the company to prepare for the season. He said everyone is in two shows and he's trying to have each performer focus on two roles to get the best performances out of them.

This season's lineup has five shows never before performed at the festival, including the featured musical "Songs for a New World." This is an off-Broadway musical.

The festival's featured play will be "God of Carnage," a Tony award-winning comedy from 2009 for Best Play. This year's kid's show will be "If You Could Wear My Sneakers."

While two musical revue shows will be stage, including a country music show named "Heading West." The other is "British Invasion," featuring a variety of music from "across the pond" from such artists as Elton John, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Adele.

There will be two "one night only" shows during the season with one of them highlighting Evan Smith and the other Jennifer Dawson-Hobbs.

The only other show is the annual Stephenville Gala with a theme of "A Night at the Movies." It will feature classic Hollywood music, song and dance from the past to the present.