By Frank Gale
Star Staff Writer
STEPHENVILLE Nicole Power is excited to be returning for her second year with the Stephenville Theatre Festival.
“It’s going to be great to get started on the shows and it’s going to be a great season,” she said in a recent telephone interview from Toronto where she was doing auditions, trying to line up work for the fall.
Last year was not only her first year to act in the Stephenville Theatre Festival, but also her first year to even see the town and she was pleasantly surprised with the festival and the way it was structured.
“The people and the talent here in Stephenville are just amazing. There are others from outside the province in the festival and I just love to show them around the Stephenville area,” she said.
Power, who is from Middle Cove near St. John’s, graduated from the theatre school at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont. two years ago and has been working in theatre ever since.
When she first graduated she worked a children’s show in Toronto. She worked with Stage West in Calgary in the fall of last year and also worked with Neptune Theatre in Halifax, N.S.
But she’s always grateful when she can find work in Newfoundland and that’s why she’s looking forward to coming back to Stephenville.
“It’s so good to go home to Newfoundland and be able to work in my chosen career,” Power said.
In her first summer last year at the Stephenville Theatre Festival she acted in “God of Carnage” and sang in the musical, “Songs for a New World.”
This year she’s playing Mary in “Mary’s Wedding,” which is about a young girl who has fallen in love with a soldier who is off to battle in the First World War, related through her dreams of what’s happening to him overseas.
She will also be singing in “Canada Rocks” and is really looking forward to that as Wade Muir, a friend from Ottawa will also be performing in that musical. She said it would be great to show him around.
This year the Stephenville Festival is doing all Canadian shows and that suits Power just fine.
“I think it’s a great move and that Keith (Pike) is taking a fresh approach to the season.
“Young performers will be great for the festival and for Stephenville,” she said.
Her knowledge of Pike goes back a long ways as she first worked with him in St. John’s while in Grade 3 when they both acted in “Anne of Green Gables” together.
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She said it’s nice to see he is now in such a great position as artistic director of the Stephenville Festival and that he’s doing great stuff with it.
For his part, Keith Pike, the festival’s artistic director, thinks this season promises to be the best in a long time.
Pike said people shouldn’t despair about the quality of the season and that’s because it is focusing on all Canadian “award winning theatre” that has been produced all around the world.
He said the festival’s cast and crew is made up this summer of people from right across the province and will celebrate our Canadian and Newfoundland heritage, along with the community of Stephenville because of performers like Evan Smith and Jennifer Dawson-Hobbs.
“It’s really exciting and I’m proud of the lineup and the professionals we have in the shows,” Pike said.
Because of the success of last year’s season, he said people want to spend their summer in Stephenville to create theatre, which is really great.
An example of that is the return to the Stephenville Theatre Festival stage this summer of Danny Malena, who played Boy George in “British Invasion” and Patrick Foran, who played Ed Sullivan in the same show.
Festival band members Roy Berti, Evan Smith and Bill Simms, will all be back again this season.
“Canada Rocks,” written by Anne Allan, Doug Gallant, Terry Hatty, Wade Lynch and Hank Stinson and directed by Keith Pike.
“Hit Country,” written by Violet Dawson and directed by Keith Pike.
“Island in the Sky (A Newfoundland Review),” based on works by Al Pittman, compiled by Marie Jones and directed by Marie Jones.
“Lig and Bittle,” written by Elyne Quan & Jared Matsunage-Turnbull and directed by Marie Jones.
“Mary's Wedding,” written by Stephen Massicotte and directed by Keith Pike.
Source: Stephenville Theatre Festival