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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Windy Hollow Players practice theatrical deception

Gerry Alex. Tracy Glen, Gord Pitt, Lorne Jackson, Pat Neumann, Doris Blackburn, Brenda Campbell, and Ed Linsell

Toni Lucas

The Windy Hollow Players (WHP) took to the stage at the Cowley Community Hall on Friday and Saturday February 5 and 6. The theatrical group usually has one annual presentation. This year they appeared before two full houses of 135 guests each. Two separate productions were presented each night, 'The Twins Mendaccio' and 'The Mad Breakfast'. Each play featured a major character being deceived. Director Susan Vogelaar voiced her appreciation to the actors, support volunteers, caterers, and those who attended the event.

In 'The Twins Mendaccio' identical twin sisters, both played by Doris Blackburn, occasionally substitute for one another. Their success at this deception puts Clarence, played by Gerry Alex, at odds.  He is not sure which of the twins he has had what experiences with, and who he is really marrying, and what has been real in his relationships with what he thought was one woman.

Gerry Alex. Tracy Glen, Pat Neumann, Gord Pitt (standing) and Lorne Jackson

Boarding house tenants populate 'The Mad Breakfast'.  Each character is told that Mr. Long is going to visit for breakfast. They are each told individually that he is rich and influential within their own personal sphere of interests, whether for good or ill. The cook is told he is a health inspector, the artist and actress are told he is a patron, the hopeful serving girl is told he is a heartbroken prince, the psychic is told he is a renowned medium. etc. Each is asked to keep the information secret.

Ed Lindsell, Danielle Homme, Brenda Campbell, and Jane Tew

Lorne Jackson played Mr. Long, who has paid for the right to visit an insane asylum ran by Mr. Jones portrayed by Gord Pitt, who really is another boarder. Mr. Long is met with privately and asked to 'play along' with the individuals odd behavior as part of their therapy. Upon arrival each character tries to casually yet earnestly win favour from him. What they achieve is convincing him he truly is visiting an asylum. Chaos and confusion reach an boiling point as each player becomes more strident at putting forward their agenda as breakfast is coming to a close. By the end Mr. Long feared for his own sanity as he raced from his breakfast. This play had the entire cast of actors sharing the stage, including Gord Pitt, Pat Neumann, Tracy Glen, Danielle Homme, Lorne Jackson, Ed Lindsell, Jane Tew, Brenda Campbell, Doris Blackburn, and Gerry Alex. The actors were all well rehearsed and played their roles with believable flair.

It takes many hours of hard work to appear effortless in delivering an evening of lively theatrical entertainment, and this cast did just that.

Brenda Campbell, Lorne Jackson, and Gord Pitt

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