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Monday, 22 November 2010

Blyth Festival Announces 2011 Season

[Press Release]

Blyth Festival 2011 Season to Celebrate Canadian History and Identity

Blyth, Ontario, November 19, 2010—The Blyth Festival is gearing up for another compelling season of homegrown Canadian theatre. The 2011 season pays homage to Canada—past and present—and explores ideas of the Canadian identity in a sometimes reverent and sometimes playful way.

“The Blyth Festival is housed in Blyth Memorial Hall, which is always forefront in my mind,” says Artistic Director Eric Coates. “It is a community space, but the original intention of the building is to serve as the village cenotaph. It is important for us to pay tribute to both uses in the artistic choices that we make each year.”

The 2011 summer season runs June 21-August 27, 2011 and features four productions on the main stage—two of them world premieres:

Hometown (June 21 – August 7) by Jean Marc DalpĂ©, Mieko Ouchi, Mansel Robinson, Martha Ross, Peter Smith and Des Walsh (world premiere)
Where is your hometown? Is it the prairie village where you learned to ride a bicycle or is it a condo by the ocean? Is it the town where you played hockey for ten years or is it the city where you watched your favorite team for thirty years? We asked six writers from across Canada to answer this question: is hometown a place or is it a state of mind? Through memory, stories and song, this dynamic group of artists shines a light on Canada’s hometowns from coast to coast.

Vimy (June 29 – August 6) by Vern Thiessen “A victory of a play…” The Globe and Mail
On April 9, 1917 more than 15,000 Canadian men went over the top to storm Vimy Ridge. Despite blinding sleet, snow, heavy enemy fire, and the endless quagmire of mud, our troops took the ridge and held fast. Many believe that Canada was truly born on this day. In a field hospital, four soldiers reflect on their lives before, during and after the Battle of Vimy Ridge. A young nurse from Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia guides them through the aftermath of grief and fear as they look to the future in a changed world. Vimy earned the 2009 Carol Bolt Award for playwright Vern Thiessen.

Rope’s End (July 27 – August 27) by Douglas Bowie “Uplifting romantic comedy…” Winnipeg Free Press
Toby Boone is a forty-something loser, living in a rundown apartment, unlucky at love and everything else. Just as he reaches his rope’s end, Toby stumbles across a photo of his long lost love – and the written promise that they would one day reunite. The only problem is that thirty-one years have gone by. In Toby’s hopelessly romantic fantasy life, the reunion is a cinch but in reality, it’s a trifle more complicated. Join Toby Boone on his fearless and fantastical quest for love against all odds in this hilariously bittersweet romantic comedy.

Early August (August 3 – August 27) by Kate Lynch (world premiere)
In the women’s dressing room of a small Canadian theatre in a small Canadian village, three actresses battle their inner demons along with the practical problems of living in the country: an infestation of possums, an amorous veterinarian, and the quest for a decent Chardonnay. And just to complicate matters, they are all vying for the attention of Albert, a handsome young actor with a heart of gold. Enter Teddy, the assistant stage manager. She’s calm, she’s smart, she’s tough, and she’s going to whip these slackers into shape if it’s the last thing she does. Early August is a loveletter to summer theatre and a comedy for those who always wondered what really happens backstage.

In addition to main stage offerings, for the first time in Blyth Festival history the Young Company will be promoted to the main stage with a revival of the musical hit Alligator Tears by Britta Johnson, directed by Rebecca Picherack. Anyone who saw it in the Phillips Studio in 2010 knows that this show has enormous potential and we are eager to provide the resources that our young artists deserve for such work.

Finally, we will be presenting a very exciting Studio Series in the Phillips Studio August 23-September 4, 2011. The Studio Series is a new initiative that will introduce our audience in Southwestern Ontario to two productions from 2010 Summer Works, an indie theatre and arts festival held annually in Toronto.
For more information on the Blyth Festival 2011 season, visit or call 1-877-862-5984.

P.S. Check out our recipe for summer fun! 2011 season passes are on sale at special holiday prices until December 24 and are the perfect holiday gift. You choose the right pass for you! For more information, visit or call 1-877-862-5984.

The Blyth Festival’s season sponsors are Sparling’s Propane Company Limited and CTV.

Media Contact:
Marcie McLean
Marketing & Publicity Coordinator
519-523-9300/1-877-862-5984 Ext 209

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