Bay Theatre giving community what it wants, says Alexander

Frank Gale
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Mary Hynes as Frances, left, and Tanya Alexander as Jenny, rehearse a scene in “Jenny’s House of Joy,” Bay Theatre’s entry in the 64th Annual Provincial Drama Festival.

Tanya Alexander said Bay Theatre’s entry of “Jenny’s House of Joy” in the 64th Provincial Drama Festival is about giving the community what it wants.

It’s not the first time for Bay Theatre to hit the stage with this comedy written by Norm Foster, but it promises to be new and fresh on a larger stage.

“We had people approach Bay Theatre and ask us to do this play, so there is a demand for it in this region,” she said.

Alexander plays the role of Jenny in the play, who is the proprietress of the best little house of ill-repute in her corner of the Wild West, and she is returning after doing the same play on Second Stage several years ago as a local Bay Theatre production.

It was so popular the last time, the amateur theatre group had to add two nights and the Stephenville Theatre Festival asked Bay Theatre to stage it in the festival’s 2012 summer season, which Alexander said was a great partnership.

“We got so much wonderful energy back from the audience, we felt it was a good play to submit for the competition in the drama festival,” Alexander said.

She said as they prepare with their rehearsals they are finding new aspects of the play that they love. It’s just wonderful to have a cast made up completely of women and there are so many laughs, Alexander believes the audience will enjoy this different set and how the cast and director Michael Fenwick have actually raised the bar by exploring characters even further.

Alexander said even the costumes are different with Kylie Cook creating them from original designs and Diane Morris assisting her with it. The set is being co-designed by director Fenwick and Nancy Andrews.

The play, which runs roughly an hour and a half without the intermission, is the opener for this year’s Provincial Drama Festival at 7 p.m. on Sunday, which features a pre-performance by the Bay St. George Aboriginal drummers and singers.

Alexander said featuring some of the culture of the region is important to them, which even includes this year awards made of hand carved antlers by a local aboriginal artist. There is also a French theme for the awards night.

She is hoping lots of people come out to see their show at the Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre and even take in other productions from across the island during the week, leading up to the finale on Saturday night with “The Laramie Project” by Avion Players of Gander.

Other cast members of Bay Theatre’s comedy about the oldest profession and the women who worked within it, include: Mary Hynes, Kylie Cook, Tola Hulan and Esther Oosterbaan.

Twitter: WS_FankGale

Organizations: Bay Theatre, House of Joy, Stephenville Theatre Stephenville Arts

Geographic location: Wild West

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