The Scarborough Players’ production of Willy Russell’s Educating Rita opens Friday, June 3, at Scarborough Village Theatre.
A delightful comedy, the play is also the story of drive and passion and what it means to look at one’s life and embrace change.
Rita (played by Alison Mullings) is determined to change her life by enrolling in the Open University. It is her first step to change as she feels she is out of step with her friends and family.
Frank (played by Greg Nowlan), her assigned tutor, tries to send her away as he feels he cannot provide her with what she is seeking. Rita is not dissuaded and so the sparring begins.
Director Maureen Lukie sees Educating Rita as “a salty sparring match with each scene like a round with underlying issues of aspiration, alienation, disappointment with life and frustration. Each partner brings a rich history of these to each round with it coming to a boil in the second act when the gloves really come off.”
Bringing Frank to life is Thea Award winning actor, Greg Nowlan.
Rita is played by Alison Mullings whose first role with Scarborough Players was as Lydia Wickham in the December 2021 production of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.
A talented team of volunteers have created Frank’s 1980’s university office including set designer Monima Thomas and lighting designer Lily Stewart, both of whom are new to Scarborough Players.
Bodene Corbitt is once again, designing sound, Ciara Crozier is adding props and working as assistant stage manager all supported by the skilled care of stage manager, Wendy Miller.
Producer Katherine Turner notes that one positive coming back from the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for safety allowed Scarborough Players to consider a small cast show such as the two-hander, Educating Rita.
Willy Russell, the playwright, was himself a working-class hairdresser who also worked his way to become more educated about the world of literature.
Educating Rita runs from June 3 to June 18.
Scarborough Village Theatre is located at 3600 Kingston Rd.
To order tickets, or for more information, visit https://theatrescarborough.com/scarborough-players/productions/educating-rita/#:~:text=by%20Willy%20Russell,determined%20to%20change%20her%20life or call 416-267-9292. Tickets must be purchased in advance.