Brittany Thiessen and David Fox in "Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests" (Janet Shum)
Fringe is behind us for another year, and the big local theatres don't launch their seasons until next month. But September has, in recent years, become a prime time for some of the city's smaller theatre companies to strut their stuff, and this month continues that tradition. Here's what's coming up for local theatre fans:
1. FemFest (Sept. 14-21, U of W Asper Centre for Theatre and Film): Sarasvàti Productions' annual festival of "theatre by women, for everyone" returns for an 11th year, with a dozen events around the theme of "Revelation and Revolution." Highlights include the annual Bake-Off (Sept. 16), where five playwrights write a 10-minute script using specified "ingredients" - in just eight hours.
Local playwright (and recent Harry Rintoul Award co-recipient) Jessy Ardern won last year's Bake-Off, and her play Harold and Vivian Entertain Guests will see a full production at this year's FemFest.
2. Closer Than Ever (Sept. 18-22, Shaw Performing Arts Centre): Dry Cold Productions have earned a reputation as one of the city's premiere musical theatre companies (they had a major hit at last season's SondheimFest with their production of Follies).
Their new season opens with this award-winning 1989 musical revue about love, mid-life, and happiness. Rainbow Stage veteran Kimberley Rampersad directs a cast that includes local faves Jennifer Lyon and Debbie Maslowsky.