News of the Blyth Festival 2016 playbill is out and Gil Garratt, Artistic Director, is presenting a season of new, original work.
The Blyth Festival has been the launching pad for some of Canada’s most celebrated playwrights including Anne Chislett, Michael Healey and Beverley Cooper.
“Nothing has been as vitally important to who we are at Blyth as our new play development, and so, to know that 2016 will be composed entirely of new, original work, is hugely inspiring” said Garratt.
Garratt will be collaborating with Paul Thompson (“The Outdoor Donnellys,” “Barndance Live!”) to tackle the story of Robert Donnelly, the lone Donnelly to serve hard time, who remained in Lucan, On. after the rest of the family had moved away.
The 2016 season features 4 world premieres.
The season begins June 15th with “Our Beautiful Sons: Remembering Matthew Dinning” by Christopher Morris.
A play about love of family, the search for bravery, and the always complicated path to peace, “Our Beautiful Sons” explores the dilemma facing a family whose son was killed in Afghanistan and now must deal with the younger brother who has volunteered for active service.
Next it’s “The Birds and the Bees” by Mark Crawford (June 22 – Aug. 6).
“The Birds and the Bees” promises to be a raucous, hilarious new comedy with a huge, honeyed heart.
The play has Gail, a retired empty-nester, quietly raising bees in solitude, receiving an unexpected visit from her daughter Sarah who recently split up with her husband.
As both women set about putting their lives back in order, and reacquaint themselves with living under the same roof, they are visited by an eager, athletic, young grad student named Ben…(who happens to be a virgin)…he has come to study the declining bee population…but things get…well…a little extracurricular.
The third mainstage show is the world premiere of “If Truth Be Told,” by Beverley Cooper (July 27 – Sept. 3).
An award-winning writer moves back to her hometown, only to discover her childhood friends and neighbours now want her books banned.
In her fight against the zealous censors, the writer befriends a teenage girl who is herself an aspiring young artist.
What follows is a high stakes lesson in what it means to tell the whole truth, and what it means to tell a good story.
The final show of the mainstage season is “The Last Donnelly Standing,” created and conceived by Gil Garratt and Paul Thompson (Aug. 4 – Sept. 3).
The Last Donnelly Standing is the ultimate fiery epilogue to the bloody Biddulph Feud.
Of the seven Donnelly brothers, only one was ever sentenced to hard time in prison; only one was ever convicted of “assault with intent to kill and murder”; only one returned to the charred foundations on the infamous Roman Line to drive his hammer against fresh timbers and rebuild from the ashes: Robert Donnelly.
When the rest of the family had moved away after the fateful murders of 1880, Robert refused, and instead took up residence in a house on Lucan’s main street, pacing his porch as the murderers among them walked those very roads. The Last Donnelly Standing details the rise and fall of a defiant young man, who stood in the face of history, and dared to burn it all down with a smile.
The Blyth Festival is offering some pre-Christmas ticket discounts.
Call the Box Office at 519.523.9300, Toll Free 1.877.862.5984.
More details & tickets are available online blythfestival.com
by Keith Tomasek