Two years ago I was invited to join a group planning to stage classical theatre on the grounds of the Guildwood Park using the Greek stage as a backdrop. We call ourselves the Guild Festival Theatre, and hope to make this an annual event.
I had no idea how much work was involved in any production long before even thinking of auditioning the performers. Things like getting our not-for-profit status from Revenue Canada, negotiating with city officials for use of the park, meeting with politicians, getting the Guild neighbours on side, and the bugbear of all arts groups – raising funds because few productions can make it on ticket sales alone. It’s been a long two years, but it is exciting and thrilling to be part of a creative group with a different focus from life here at Beach Metro.
Now opening night is in sight. Under the direction of Sten Eirik, we are presenting an open-air rendition of Chekhov’s masterpiece, The Cherry Orchard. This is the story of a family in crisis whose way of life is no longer sustainable in the face of social upheaval and commercial exploitation. Their beloved home and lands are about to go on the auctioneer’s block. Tragic it may be, but it’s still hilarious to watch, and comedy sizzles as the characters get in each others way.
We’re hoping you will come to our first season. The play runs through July on Thursdays to Sundays, 8 p.m., under the stars in this beautiful location on top of the Scarborough Bluffs. Or come to one of the Sunday matinees at 2 p.m., and then stroll around the Guild grounds. Tickets are $20 including taxes. Kids under 12 are free. Contact our box office at 416-392-1421, or TO Tix at Young/Dundas Square.
There are also volunteer opportunities – that’s how I and the other board members got involved. Take a look at our website www.guildfestivaltheatre.ca for details including a map. To reach The Guild, take Kingston Road east, then go south of Guildwood Parkway.
If you have any questions, call me at 416-698-1164 ext. 24.