The 22nd Udderfest will delight audiences at the Tom Rooney Playhouse, August 11 to 13, Jordan Jackson theatre festival coordinator said, on Aug. 4. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

The 22nd Udderfest will delight audiences at the Tom Rooney Playhouse, August 11 to 13, Jordan Jackson theatre festival coordinator said, on Aug. 4. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Udderfest will see audiences milking theatrical comedy and drama in Prince Rupert

The community theatre event is returning for its 22nd season

Three days of udder entertainment will have audiences milking up the comedy and drama at the return of the 22nd Udderfest from August 11 to 13.

The Harbour Theatre Prince Rupert at the Tom Rooney Playhouse will host the five different acts over a multiple performance schedule starting Thursday and ending Saturday night. Tickets are $15 per act or $30 for four shows and are available at Homework and the Tom Rooney Playhouse.

Friday night will see one performance for late-night theatre-goers, Jackson said. It is hoped audiences will enjoy a dual theatre evening, with the drama “The Thorns” after another venue holds a musical concert in the city. Saturday night will have back-to-back performances of all productions at the community theatre.

“There are five shows spread out over three nights. Some of them are showing twice,” Jordan Jackson, Udderfest coordinator, explained.

Udderfest has been a staple of the city’s community theatre since 1998, Jackson said. While the 20th anniversary was in 2018, a two-year hiatus from the global pandemic makes 2022 the 22nd time it has been held.

“It’s a really well-established part of the community. I feel like it’s something that everybody’s a little familiar with. So it’s really great to have it back again because you couldn’t really do any theatre while COVID was raging,” she said.

Performances will feature some well-known names and faces such as Lyle McNish and Rudy Kelly in Rudy & Lyle Saying Stuff; Tristan Higginson and Hilary Dusome in The Riddle; Keona St. Louis, Faith Long, Tommy Duong, Hannah Lindenblatt, and Brianna Kinney in the drama The Thorns written by local playwright Miranda Baker; Chrystopher Thompson, Bobby Sheasgreen, Paula Loroff, Shala McCarthy, and Higginson in The Accidently Intelligent Show; and McNish partners with Chris Armstrong in War of Wits.

The fest of theatre productions has been in the planning and works since June, when the board of directors issued the first casting call for submissions. Jackson came on board after that with funding through the Canada student summer jobs program. She will be working for Udderfest until Aug. 26

Final tech and dress rehearsals will be held the weekend before the live performances to perfect all the acts and lighting.

Community theatre is about engaging the public Jackson said, adding a call was issued on Facebook for volunteers through the Harbour Theatre Prince Rupert page and the Udderfest page.

Synopisis and genre of performance as provided by the host agency:

“The Riddle: Through the tragedy of William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, and the absurd heartbreak in an all-original play “All That Comes from the Sea”, ride the wave of man’s search for meaning in this unforgettable night of theatre. Run Time: 45 minutes. Playwrights: William Shakespeare, Hilary Dusome and Tristan Higginson.

Rudy & Lyle Saying Stuff: Martin and Lewis. Lewis and Clark. Abbott and Costello. Butch and Sundance. And now, Rudy & Lyle, together on stage, for the last time. And they’re Saying Stuff. Genre: Comedy

The Thorns: An enchanted forest bent on consuming those trapped there, three guiding spirits to ease the way, a guardian to watch over them all, and Brooke and Alex, two best friends who find themselves thrust onto a dangerous and transformative path – they can fight their way home or lose everything trying. Run time: 40 minutes. Playwright: Miranda Baker. Genre: Drama

The Accidentally Intelligent Show: The Accidentally Intelligent Show is a lot like horseshoes and hand grenades in that contestants get points for being close to the mark. This quippy display of humour and obscure facts is sure to inspire curiosity and laughter. The contestants will be answering different questions each night, so you can watch them flounder on multiple occasions at the wonderful Udderfest theatre festival. Runtime: approx. 40 minutes. Genre: comedy, gameshow.

War of Wits: They’re back. Chris Armstrong hosts this year’s War of Wits. He is joined by his trusty comic steed, Lyle McNish. Four debaters will go head to head to decide who is THE WIT!

K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist

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