Local charities to receive share of ticket proceeds
SUMMERSIDE – The Harbourfront Players’ February production of Tim Firth’s “Calendar Girls” drew sold-out audiences and a steady stream of requests to bring it back to the Harbourfront Theatre stage.
© Buffie Boily Photographic Arts
The "Calendar Girls" – Sandra Sheridan (left), Stephanie Betts, Sue Urquhart, Catherine Ann Dickson, Nancy Smythe and Sara McCarthy – are back. The Harbourfront Players will be restaging the production beginning Sept. 20 at Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside.
The Summerside venue and its resident theatre troupe are doing just that, and have scheduled a re-mount of the play for Sept. 20 to 22, with Friday and Saturday evening performances and a Sunday matinee.
The phrase “back by popular demand” may be cliché, but Harbourfront Theatre manager Kieran Keller says it is fitting in this case.
“From the opening performance, we had an outpouring of positive feedback on the show at our box office, in our emails and on our Facebook page, with folks telling us how much they enjoyed the show and asking when it was coming back. This was a hard one to answer for a while, as it can be challenging getting a cast of volunteer actors with busy lives and day jobs back together for more rehearsal and performance time,” said Keller.
“But the Harbourfront Players have developed a pretty loyal following, and they, and we, very much wanted to give the people what they want. So, I’m happy to say, they were able to re-assemble most of the original cast, and we’re really excited about running it again.”
Based on the Miramax motion picture by Juliette Towhidi and Tim Firth, “Calendar Girls” is adapted from the true story of 11 Women’s Institute members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukaemia Research Fund.
The story of the “Calendar Girls” has touched hearts all over the world.
When Annie's husband John dies of leukaemia, she and best friend Chris resolve to raise money for a new settee in the local hospital waiting room. They manage to persuade four fellow WI members to pose nude with them for an "alternative" calendar, with a little help from hospital porter and amateur photographer Lawrence. The news of the women's charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on their small community. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie's friendship is put to the test under the strain of their new-found fame.
Licensed by Samuel French (London) Ltd., amateur productions of “Calendar Girls” are available only for limited release for 18 months from Sept. 2012, creating such demand that the show’s producers are aiming to break into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most productions of a play worldwide in one calendar year. In addition, theatre groups everywhere are donating portions of ticket sales to help fund leukaemia and lymphoma research and other causes.
The outstanding success of the February run of “Calendar Girls” enabled Harbourfront Theatre and the Harbourfront Players to contribute to the Prince County Hospital Foundation for the purchase of a fetal heart monitor.
For the September run, the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada-Prince Edward Island Chapter and the P.E.I. Cancer Services Volunteer Driving Project have been selected to receive a portion of the proceeds of “Calendar Girls” ticket sales.
The Children’s Wish Foundation is dedicated to providing children between the ages of three and 17 who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness their most heartfelt wish. The P.E.I. Cancer Services Volunteer Driving Project Inc., through its volunteer driver program and gas card program, provides its services to help to ensure cancer treatment appointments are kept as scheduled.
Tickets are now on sale at the Harbourfront box office and online at harbourfronttheatre.com.