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SALLY COLE: Getting ready for P.E.I. Community Theatre Festival

Birchwood’s 9F Theatre Troupe one of the entries in the annual festival, set for World Theatre Day March 30

Every year drama groups from across the Island submit their entries to the P.E.I. Community Theatre Festival.

And every year I look forward to seeing the plays they’ve come up with at the one-day event, organized and produced by A.C.T. (a community theatre).

As an audience member, I enjoy watching actors performing in front of a live audience, without a script, after spending long hours in rehearsals.

This year eight community groups are participating in the festival, set for World Theatre Day, Saturday, March 30, at the Carrefour Theatre in Charlottetown.

The 9F Theatre Troupe from Birchwood Intermediate School in Charlottetown is one of them.

Working collaboratively, students Grace Gauthier, Ellen Fraser and Isabel Acorn have written an original script, “The Tipping Point”. The play tells the story of a teenager, hounded by her anxiety, as she goes through her school day and what happens, ultimately, when she faces a personal crisis.

“Although it is about a serious subject, it was fun. We put all our ideas into it,” says Grace.

They’ve also mounted the show. Under the direction of Max Schneider, troupe members are working hard to practise and polish their entry.

“We’re working on it almost every lunch break because we want to make the play as good as it can be,” says cast member Hannah Thompson.

And because this troupe is making its festival debut, members are riding a roller coaster of emotions.

“It’s really exciting but also really nerve-wracking because you don’t know what you’re getting into,” says Isabel.

What she does know is there will be an adjudication by Charlottetown Festival artistic director Adam Brazier after their performance.

“I’m looking forward to the constructive criticism. It will help us to develop the skills required to be an actor,” Isabel says.

Frances Squires, fheir facilitator, fan and a language arts teacher, is enthused with their efforts.

“I’m very excited for this group. I teach four Grade 9 English classes. Working together they write plays on social issues. I tell my students that it they write about something they’re truly passionate about or something they connect with their writing is stronger.”

If you are going

What: P.E.I. Community Theatre Festival.

When and where: Saturday, March 30, the Carrefour in Charlottetown. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. Plays run from 1-6 p.m.

Schedule: For a complete listing of plays, go to

Call in and win

- The question: What is the title of the play that Birchwood’s 9F Theatre Troupe is performing at the P.E.I. Community Theatre Festival.

- The prize: The prize: A copy of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare”.

- Last week’s winner: John Rowe won a copy of Sterling Stratton’s book, “Exploring Glenaladale”.

- To enter: Call The Guardian’s Phone and Win contest line at 902-629-1707.

Sally Cole is an entertainment writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at or by phone at 902-629-6000, ext. 6054.

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