As the Classic Theatre Festival hits the midway point of its 6th summer season, its second show, the remarkable thriller, Frederick Knott’s Wait until Dark, is in rehearsal with a scheduled run from August 7 to 30. It will take over the CTF stage from the Neil Simon comedy Barefoot in the Park, which the Capital Critics Circle found “a very entertaining production,” and which closes August 2.
In addition to a unique storyline – a recently blinded woman (played by Festival newcomer Alison Smyth) must defend herself against some seedy characters who have invaded her home – the play also features a spunky 10-year-old, Gloria, who will be played by two young local actors making their professional debut, the first time child performers have played at the Festival.
Gloria will be played by Perth’s Madison Miernik and Smiths Falls’ Samantha Salter, both of whom are excited to bring their budding talent to a venue that will feature actors who have been trodding the boards of Canadian theatres for decades. Among the returning faces who will be recognized by long-time Classic Theatre audience members are Alastair Love, as well Scott Clarkson, Richard Gelinas, and Greg Campbell, the three of whom starred in Knott’s Dial M for Murder last summer.
In a year of firsts for the Festival, Sean Jacklin, who has grown up performing in a wide variety of community venues (his parents run BarnDoor Productions), also made his professional debut this season as the telephone repairman who loves his beer a little too much and must struggle with 5 flights of stairs in Barefoot in the Park. While playing a cop in Wait Until Dark, he is also seen regularly stalking the streets of Perth as the conniving Roderick Matheson in the theatrical historic walking tour, The Maid and the Merchant, running Wed. to Sun. mornings at 11 am, and as the ghost of the wrongly accused Daniel Daverne in the Friday night Lonely Ghost Walk, which runs until August 28.
As the Festival continues to expand its summer programming, it is also offering Saturday Night Specials, a series of mystery/thriller author readings that will take place at 7 pm before the 8 pm Wait until Dark Show. This year’s stellar lineup includes Brenda Chapman and Peggy Blair August 15, R.J. Harlick and Barbara Fradkin August 22, and Mary Jane Maffini and Vicki Delany August 29). They will have their latest titles on hand for purchase and signing.
“We have been really privileged to work both with veteran and newcomer performers, whether on the mainstage or through our youth theatre training program,” says Artistic Producer Laurel Smith. “As we grow our capacity, and look ahead to our 7th season, we are thrilled to announce that we will be expanding to three mainstage shows along with the other programming that helps keep Perth a great place to visit all summer long.”
Tickets to the Festival’s mainstage shows, Barefoot in the Park and Wait Until Dark, as well as the theatrical walking tour and ghost walk, are available at www.classictheatre.ca or 1-877-283-1283.