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Red-carpet gala planned for Coast film screening

The Sunshine Coast’s Driftwood Players and the cast and crew of their film, A Visit to Spoon River, are so immensely proud of the production that they have decided to put on their own “red-carpet” evening as a chance to see the film
A.Spoon river
Actor Jen McGarry recording her segment last April in the film as Mrs. Charles Bliss.

The Sunshine Coast’s Driftwood Players and the cast and crew of their film, A Visit to Spoon River, are so immensely proud of the production that they have decided to put on their own “red-carpet” evening as a chance to see the film as a group, give themselves a pat on the back, and raise funds for a great cause.

Why so proud? The production grew out of the group determination not to let the COVID-19 restrictions and necessary protocols keep them down. They needed to act, to perform, and to create. And so, Mac Dodge and Troy Demmitt adapted American writer Edgar Lee Masters’s original 215 poems into 40 monologues.

Everyone rehearsed their lines at home and arrived one at a time at the Heritage Playhouse in Gibsons, masked and in costume. All scenes were performed seated on a simple bench, lit by Billie Carroll, masked in the lighting booth, stage managed by masked Mac Dodge and filmed by masked Murray Peterson. Each actor rehearsed once with mask off, and the scene was filmed.

Many actors were happy with one take and then with mask back on left the stage to return home to change into their second character. Working about six hours a day on every second day, they finished the shoot in about six days and turned the series of filmed bits over to video editor Brittany Broderson to add the title page graveyard photo and the musical intros to each scene, complete with fades and dissolves.

They were more than proud of what they had accomplished, happy to be acting again, full of a group joy of not being defeated by the pandemic.

Thus, the idea for their own gala was born: a chance to walk the red carpet to recognize the work, talent, and creative spirit of all involved in producing A Visit to Spoon River.

All who added their creative talents to the production and a significant other are happily invited to help celebrate on Sunday, Nov. 7, at 2 p.m. at the Heritage Playhouse. Gala dress is encouraged.

The gala is in support of the Sunshine Coast Grandmothers and Grand Others, part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which supports grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa who are looking after grandchildren orphaned by HIV and AIDS. A minimum donation of $20 would be appreciated.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all guests will be required to show proof of vaccination and wear a mask. Heritage Playhouse will have returned to 100 per cent capacity but those planning to attend are asked to confirm with macjuliadodge@gmail.com by Oct. 31.

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