The Stephenville Theatre Festival has a new artistic director this year in Lois Brown, who’s working at melding herself into the community while putting off her first summer festival.
She has a lineup that seems to be catered towards what local people like to see on stage, yet there is a focus this year on workshopping some plays for future festivals.
While not a totally new concept, workshopping multiple plays in one season is something new.
Brown feels that preparing new plays for the future gives audience members and supporters of the festival an opportunity to be part of the growth and design of a piece of work.
In that way, they will likely take more interest in it if they are in on the design stage.
The new artistic director is also looking at seeking out talented people in the area to see on what level they might want to get involved with the festival.
There is no doubt there is a lot of talent around that, should it be tapped, could be very beneficial to the summer program.
The longest running summer theatre festival in the province has had its up and downs, but it’s good to see that with relatively new people on the board of directors and a new artistic director the event is headed in a new direction.
Having local people involved in the whole process is very important as new ideas can often be gleaned from the community if people are willing to listen, and Brown leaves a strong impression she wants that contact with the community.
With local Newfoundland and Labrador works, a family show and lots of musical theatre on tap for this summer’s festival, taking place July 11 to Aug. 10, it should be a great season.
Whether people will come out to see the shows remains to be seen, but it seems the right blend is in place to attract audiences.