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Show will go on, Newmarket's Festival of One Act Plays hits the stage Sept. 10-12

The Very Useful Theatre Company is accepting resumes from actors and directors, and theatre volunteers are required
2021-03-09 - 20191108OneActPlayGK01
A scene from the 2019 Newmarket International Festival of One Act Plays of ‘The Next Ivan Sharansky, featuring Robert McNeeley and Laurie Laing. The prestigious Newmarket International Festival of One Act Plays took 2020 off due to Covid, but is planning a gala return in 2021! Good News!!!!

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Very Useful Theatre Company has had to shift the dates of its prestigious Newmarket International Festival of One Act Plays, but the good news is that the ‘show will go on.’

The Very Useful Theatre Company, producers of the festival with the Rotary Club of Newmarket, has been busy behind the scenes throughout the pandemic. After changing dates a number of times, it is now confirming the festival will open Sept. 10, 11 and 12. 2021.

With vaccines happening at a rapid pace in York Region, the Very Useful Theatre Company is fairly confident that the festival can go ahead as planned this September.

The Very Useful Theatre Company has selected eight plays from more than 100 powerful submissions to the Newmarket International Festival of One Act Plays, by seven playwrights from around the world – this includes more tales of Carl and Ida by Hollywood writer Jim Geoghan and also a play on the Holocaust by playwright Adam Szudrich of Australia.

The Newmarket International Festival of One Act Plays is an ‘international’ affair, presenting some sensational one act plays, with several world premieres.

It’s world-class theatre in historic downtown Newmarket on three nights, Saturday afternoon, with eight plays on one stage, Sept. 10, 11 and 12 at Old Town Hall. Before the theatre explore first-class dining on charming Main Street, and apres theatre, sample Newmarket’s own craft beer.

The Very Useful Theatre Company is now accepting resumes from actors and directors as they prepare for the festival. Also theatre volunteers are required. Inquire at: [email protected]

Hollywood actors Carl and Ida brilliantly played by Robert McNeely and Laurie Laing and directed by Patricia O’Hare in last year’s hilarious comedy The Next Ivan Sharansky, written by famed Los Angeles Playwright Jim Geoghan. McNeely and Laing will reprise their roles in the further adventures of Carl and Ida in two new plays penned by Geoghan in 2020.

Room for Cream features Carl and Ida in the Subway Sandwich shop on Hollywood Boulevard where they meet once a week. Carl shows up late, again. On his way to meet Ida he’s had an bewildering encounter with one of the colourful street buskers.

It’s a Bird; it’s a Plane has once again Carl showing up late, He’s had an unexpected run in with Superman who’s been in an accident. Superman is one of the many costumed actors who entertain on Hollywood Boulevard for donations. It’s hilarious stuff!

New this year is a Matinee Theatre for a Young Audiences’ production, featuring emerging young actors and directed and organized by the talented Joanna Kaufman. The children’s play is Gilda -- nature-lover, young and beautiful, but poor, Gilda, who is watched over by Forest Elves, is given the chance to live like a Princess, which she accepts. Taken in by the King and Queen, it’s the King’s evil brother’s son, Denny, who has eyes for Gilda and kidnaps her. Thanks to the Forest Elves and visiting Prince, Poul, will Gilda be rescued in time and returned to her life in the palace?

It’s penned by Newmarket’s own, Rod Urquhart, a retired award-winning journalist and author of three books. He took to writing plays about four years ago and has been pursuing this full-time. Gilda The Princess is his first script to be accepted and performed live on stage. Thanks also to Ole Madsen, the author of the book Gilda, which Urquhart turned into a play with full permission.

Other plays to be performed include:

  • The Third Life of Eddie Mann by John Spurway;
  • Mourning Glory by Rich Orloff;
  • Rosa and Leo by Adam Szudrich;
  • Mark My Worms by Cary Pepper; and,
  • The Book Club Thief by Renee Baillargeon.

For more on each play, visit:

Tickets will go on sale in mid-summer. Stay tuned for more information and visit the festival website.

Actors, directors and volunteers are asked to submit resumes through the website here