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Chris Wilton plays the father in the Off-Broadway Players version of “Scratch,” which will be on the stage of the Rotary Arts Centre in Corner Brook tonight and Saturday as a warm-up or the troupe’s performance at the provincial drama festival in Gander April 18.
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Chris Wilton has always had the itch for theatre and now he’s got the “Scratch” to soothe that yearning.
Wilton will be making his stage debut tonight with the Off-Broadway Players production of “Scratch,” a semi-autobiographical work by Canadian playwright Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman.
Wilton plays the father of the main character, Anna, a teenager with a persistent case of head lice and raging hormones who is coming to grips with the harsh reality of her mom’s imminent death from cancer.
Wilton is not a real stranger to the stage. A member of the first graduating class of the College of the North Atlantic’s recording arts and music industry performance program, he has performed as a musician for years.
Prior to that, he used to work as a teacher’s aide with high school drama groups.
The performance aspect is much the same, he said, comparing theatrical performance to a music gig and detailing the same principles in terms of preparation.
For “Scratch,” he’s been spending an hour or two, and sometimes more, rehearsing on his own or with the troupe for the last 3 1/2 months.
All that work will bear fruit when the Off-Broadway Players perform the play twice this weekend. The show opens at the Rotary Arts Centre tonight and will run again Saturday with both show times set for 8 p.m.
Once rehearsals moved into the performance venue, Wilton felt a sense of it becoming more real.
“The adrenaline starts picking up and people start pushing their game a bit further and it gets amped up,” he said of the final run-throughs. “It’s pretty exciting.”
That excitement will get ratcheted up another notch later this month when the Off-Broadway Players bring their version of “Scratch” to the provincial drama festival in gander during Easter week.
They will do the show at the festival April 18.
It will be a big difference from the last time Wilton went to Gander chaperoning a group for the provincial high school drama festival.
“To go back there with this kind of perspective and take it from this point of view is going to be really interesting,” he said.
The Off-Broadway Players are producing a rendition of “Scratch,” a play by Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman that was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding new Canadian play in 2009.
Here is the Off-Broadway Players cast:
- Anna: Sarah Connors
- Madelyn: Una Hill-McMullin
- Mother: Sarah Thompson
- Father: Christopher D. Wilton
- Aunt: Toshon Dawe
- Poet: Ryan Dwyer
Source: Off-Broadway Players