Three Hills Arts Academy presents a “One Act Comedy Festival”

One Act Cast

The One Act Comedy Festival presented by the Three Hills Arts Academy was a somewhat different offering than we have seen previously.

The program includes 3 separate plays. The first one is longer and is followed by the intermission. I observed more than one patron massaging their jaws during intermission. Their faces were “hurting” from laughing! And the next two were just as hilarious and side splitting.

As the name “The Actor’s Nightmare” might suggest --- if you are not the one having the nightmare--- you may imagine what kind of scenes and dialogue may be happening to the characters. In addition to the program notes that tells us that George Spelvin (Max Harback) is trapped in a nightmare, the Director Brad Harback explains that the playright has written into the story several parodies of dramatic styles portrayed on Broadway in years past.

Max did a remarkable job in his role of this “actor” (accountant?) and his nightmarish encounter with the other characters appearing in his “dream”. Normally, an actor can find some continuity to anchor his lines to, or he can feed off the lines the others give him. Because this is a nightmare, that doesn’t follow and for Max, and the others to be intentionally this disoriented seems praiseworthy and that they themselves are not laughing hysterically shows the degree of professionalism each brings to the stage.

The other actors in this presentation are all veterans and they handle their part so well. They are not only being actors but they are being actors acting as actors and switching characters mid-scene.

Janet Cullum, Josie Belt, Alyssa Adkins and Caleb Johns are the others in this play.

Jonathan Thiessen and Darta Thiessen under the direction of Josh Laplante have us doubled up in laughter in the second play titled “A Pair of Lunatics”. In what would not be “politically correct” terms now, by setting this story in the ‘20s’ and in a “lunatic asylum” where the two characters mistake the other for being one of the inmates and then try to “identify” with them produces results that can only be imagined… or not. That this couple could rehearse their lines at home, and as a couple MAY have some explanation as to why they seemed to have their parts down pat. Great acting.

The almost continuous guffaws coming from the final play, “A Dinner for One” is probably best explained by mentioning that Floyd Cotton, who directed this, also plays James the butler, and Sheila Adkins played “Miss Sophie”. Next to understand that Miss Sophie is a very elderly woman who on New Year’s Eve gathers her closest friends to celebrate her birthday, and this celebration includes several courses with an appropriate “beverage” to go with each course. Oh yes, but her closest friends are all deceased so James is called upon to respond to each toast to each (imaginary) guest by returning a suitable comment… and consuming the contents in each glass. Need anymore be said to understand why the audience in kept in stitches?

The performances are all so well done. The whole presentation is just what one needed after a heavy week or day and they do not require any heavy pondering or analysis.

The costuming, lighting and sound are handled by the pros: Tina Harback, Brad Luijkx, Brad Harback, Daryl Wilson, and Cherie Laplante.