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Sudbury Performance Group is gearing up to launch their inaugural 1-Act Festival

Sudbury Performance Group to stage theatre festival with paid opportunities for local actors

Sudbury Performance Group will be hosting their inaugural 1-Act Festival, a three-day event that will feature local Sudbury actors who will also have the opportunity to be paid to perform.

Mark Mannisto, president and founder of Sudbury Performance Group (SPG), said for months now, successful comedy and musical concerts have equalled ongoing paid work for the performers in both of these genres, but this will be the first time SPG will have the chance to financially compensate their actors. And, if all goes well, this festival will become an annual event that will allow SPG to continue to support local actors.

Mannisto said, while they want to highlight and expand the theatre portion of their mandate, while also having the chance to financially support local actors, it’s equally important for SPG to showcase the talented performers in Sudbury, with equal opportunity for all.

Historically, but not mandated, SPG’s theatre productions have mostly been directed by men, and similar to Her Northern Voice event, Mannisto said they wanted this festival to showcase the immense talent of Sudbury’s female directors.

“We made a conscious effort to have these four shows directed by four different women because for the most part, all our theatre shows are directed by men, and we’ve not yet had the opportunity to have women take the reigns as far as directors of the show,” he said.

As well, Mannisto said of the nine actors they hired for the festival, eight of them are women. “Each show has a woman in a pivotal role and they’re just so different, each and every one,” he said.

The 1-Act Festival will showcase four, one-act Canadian plays that are totally different synopsis-wise, but all contain a different type of comedy.

“The comedies range from the traditional comedy to shows that are more cerebral than physical comedy, to dramatic and even absurdist,” Mannisto said.

The four shows being staged are Dear Ray, Boxed In, Her Only Customer, and At Home. Mannisto said, SPG audiences typically enjoy their comedy shows, so they wanted to continue with that genre for this festival.

“Our dinner theatre shows are vastly popular and they’re all comedy performances and always sell out, so we want to stick with what our audiences enjoy, but by mixing up the type of comedy in the shows we’re able to offer something a little bit different but that will still appeal to our audience,” he said.

Mannisto said, while this festival is sure to be an enjoyable and entertaining event, SPG is hoping that audiences will come out and support it. The festival’s success will help springboard other events that will allow SPG to create even more opportunities to financially compensate their actors.

“It’s like a partnership between the organization and the audience because although the organization is paying the artists, we need the audience to support the organization by coming out and seeing the shows in order for us to continue to support these artists,” he said.

The 1-Act Festival will take place on March 9, 10 and 11, at the Thorneloe University.

Show times and tickets are available online

For more details, visit their website or call 705-662-8518.