2019 Provincial Drama Festival

Hosted by: St. John’s Players and School Zone Productions
St. John’s, NL
April 21-27, 2019

Adjudicator: David Ferry (see bio below)


Sunday, April 21 – 8:00 PM
Jack Meets the Cat by Andy Jones
School Zone Productions, St. John’s

Once upon a time, a man and a woman got married and they had three sons: Tom, Bill, and Jack. You’ve heard about Jack? The fellow who was every inch a sailor? The one who climbed the beanstalk? The one who jumped over the candlestick? Well, this is the other Jack. His brothers were kind of handy — they were actually able to do something, but Jack, well, he was a different story altogether. From the producers of 12 Angry Men and The Twilight Zone and the imagination of Pius Power Sr., and Andy Jones, a fairytale like no other comes to life on stage.

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Monday, April 22nd – 8:00 PM
Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker
Mokami Players, Happy Valley·Goose Bay

In the small town of Shirley, Vermont, five actors embark on a life–altering journey of self-discovery set in the confines of a six week, adult acting class. As the weeks progress, the actors pull back layers and reflect on the people that they have become. Annie Barker’s “Circle Mirror Transformation” delivers a complex look at the realities of an unfulfilled life.

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Tuesday, April 23rd – 8:00 PM
The Maltese Bodkin by David Belke
St. John’s Players, St. John’s

To celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday on April 23, 1564, St. John’s Players presents a fantasy romp through his plays. The Maltese Bodkin is an entertaining casserole. The recipe – Take Sam Spade from The Maltese Falcon, drop him in a world of Shakespearean characters and stir. The result – a comedy mystery with a Shakespearean twist. Times were tough for hard-boiled detective Birnam Wood. He never asked to be in London, especially in 1605. When Wood’s Partner, Archie, is killed, he takes on the case that his partner worked before his untimely death. Wood hopes it will lead him to solve the mystery of who killed Archie and why. He has to find the killer amongst a cast of suspects that includes Viola, Richard III, Falstaff, Iago, Mercutio and a merchant from Venice. The real solution to the mystery, however, seems to be in discovering the secret behind a mysterious dagger known as the Maltese Bodkin. The worlds of detective fiction and Shakespeare collide in this “who hath done it“.

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Wednesday, April 24th – 8:00 PM
The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh
Off·Broadway Players, Corner Brook

In an interrogation room in an unnamed totalitarian dictatorship, two detectives are interrogating writer Katurian Katurian. Next door, Katurian’s mentally disabled brother Michal waits. The detectives want to know why Katurian’s stories feature gruesome plots about child murder and torture, and in particular, why they seem to mirror a string of recent child murders in the area. This brutal dark comedy from Martin McDonagh, the master of the horror-comedy, poses unanswerable questions: Can stories hold the power to cause atrocities? Where is the line between truth and fairy tale? Is a life of horror worth living at all? Drawing on inspiration as diverse as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Kafka, and Antonin Artaud, The Pillowman is a dark, twisty, and utterly unforgettable masterpiece from one of Ireland’s most treasured writers.

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Thursday, April 25th – 8:00 PM
The Donnellys by Peter Colley
Avion Players, Gander

One of Canada’s most infamous true stories, The Donnellys has grown in its telling with each generation since the events that shook the little village of Lucan, Ontario. Why did the god-fearing residents of a small pioneer town rise up one night to overtake an entire family as they lay sleeping? Why did a veil of silence descend over the town, so that even though forty sets of footprints were found at the scene, nobody was ever convicted of the murders? And why has the code of silence lasted to this day? The play sets out to answer these questions, through a new modern edgy look. Timeworn feuds of Ireland followed them to this farming community, where hate festered until the eve of February 4, 1880. The violence of that act has passed into legend, but legends die hard, and the Donnellys live on in this gripping, dramatic piece of theatre with music.

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Friday, April 26th – 8:00 PM
A Skull in Connemara by Martin McDonagh
Northern Lights Theatre Company, Lab West

For one week each autumn, Mick Dowd is hired to disinter the bones in certain sections of his local cemetery to make way for the new arrivals. As the time approaches for him to dig up those of his own late wife, strange rumours regarding his involvement in her sudden death seven years ago gradually begin to resurface.

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Saturday, April 27th – 7:00 PM
Marion Bridge by Daniel MacIvor
Northcliffe Drama Club, Grand Falls·Windsor

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Written twenty years ago, Daniel MacIvor’s Marion Bridge is a timeless piece of Canadian theatre that tells the story of three estranged and broken sisters who return to their Cape Breton home to confront not only their dying mother, but also the lives they have come to lead. From the moment the play opens, the tension between them is palpable. Each of them, Agnes, Theresa, and Louise, carries her pain in a different way. Agnes shields herself in alcohol and irony while struggling to make it as an actress in Toronto. Theresa is a nun who lives a cloistered life and blankets herself in responsibility. Louise, the “strange one” of the family, lives in her own world of daytime television. As the story progresses and the women are faced with more obstacles chinks begin appearing in their armour, bringing them closer together.


David Ferry – 2019 NL Drama Festival Adjudicator

(top of page)

Profile by Anne Nothof, Athabasca University. Additional information from Richard Ouzounian. Toronto Star 2 Aug 2008. Updated by David Ferry, October 2015.

David Ferry grew up in St. John’s. His first stage role was in the St. John’s Players production (Tomorrow Will Be Sunday) that opened the A&CC May 22, 1967 to launch the Centennial Year Dominion Drama Festival finals. In fact, David was honoured to speak the first dramatic words on the A&CC stage (well if you don’t count Joseph Smallwood’s opening remarks..with his patented dramatic delivery!)

David went on to become the first NL actor (along with the late Brenda Devine) accepted to attend the National Theatre School of Canada. He has gone on from his graduation from the NTS to become an award winning director, actor and dramaturge. David has worked extensively as an award winning actor on stage in Canada and the U.S. in a career that has spanned 50 years, performing on and off Broadway, at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and at all the major Canadian regional and alternative. David acted in London, L.A., Toronto (Royal Alex) and five cities in Australia in The Last Confession starring famed British actor David Suchet . He also performed in the Modern Times Theatre production of The Lesson for which he received a Best Actor DORA award nomination. He played Romeo in 2014 in The Last Days of Romeo and Juliet, a rendition of the classic which is set in a retirement home.

Other Recent Theatre Credits include: Layer 1 in Out the Window for Toronto’s Luminato Festival; James Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Victoria Critics Award);  George in Of Mice And Men; Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman (Victoria Critics Choice Best Performance Award.) The Man in Jez Butterworth’s The River for Coal Mine Theatre. He featured in Richard III and Titus Andronicus and played Captain Ahab in Morris Panych’s adaptation of Moby Dick for the Stratford Festival. In Toronto David won the Toronto Critics Best Actor award for his performance in Blackbird. He has been nominated multiple times for DORA best actor awards, winning for his work as Edward in Someone To Watch Over Me; Ian in the Canadian Premiere of Sarah Kane’s Blasted (for which he won the inaugural Toronto Critics Best Actor award;) Shannon in Night of the Iguana; Iago in Othello; Mike Daisey in The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs; Gordius Carbuncle in Eternal Hydra. In May David starts rehearsal for the title role in Ibsen’s The Master Builder in Victoria.

He has worked extensively in film and TV as well including a recurring role in the 2017 hit Marvel/FX Network series Legion; as well as a recurring role in the new CTV series The Detail. Recently he has played leading roles in Ransom; Designated Survivor; Mary Kills People; Hell on Wheels and Mr D.  He guest starred in an episode of Private Eyes and featured in the web series Cold. He appeared in an episode of Matthew Weiner’s The Romanoffs on Amazon Prime. He featured in An Officer and a Murderer; Man of the Year (with Robin Williams); Dolly in the cult hit Boondock Saints and its sequel All Saints Day. David was a regular on the CTV series Dan for Mayor and has appeared in Suits, Haven, The Republic of Doyle, and was a regular in Across the River in Motor City. He has been nominated for Genie and Gemini awards.

David first acted professionally in Radio Drama in 1967 in St. John’s out of the old CBC radio studios and has acted extensively in that genre over his whole career, including starring in the CBC series Midnight Cab penned by James Nicol as taxi-driving sleuth Walker Devereaux for 5 seasons. He won the ACTRA Radio Best Actor Nellie award for his work in JOHN  on CBC’s Canadian Free Theatre. Recently David has directed the audio book adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s graphic novel series Angel Catbird for Audible. He has recently finished reading the Audio books Sweetland (Michael Crummey) and First Snow, Last Light (Wayne Johnston) and has directed seven other audio books for Penguin including Crummey’s The Wreckage and his latest novel, The Innocents.

David is also an award winning theatre director who has worked in Canada and abroad.

He recently directed Freud’s Last Session in Toronto; Breathing Corpses for Coal Mine Theatre as well as the sell-out hit production (to universal rave reviews) of BULL at The Coal Mine Theatre in Toronto. He directed another hit, David Hare’s Stuff Happens at The National Arts Centre main stage in Ottawa (Ottawa Critics Best Production award.) In late 2014 he directed, designed and co-starred in Blackbird in Toronto which earned best production and direction nominations at the 2014 MyEntertainmentWorld awards, and for which David won best actor. He also was nominated for a DORA best director award (and designed sets and lights) of Patrick Marber’s After Miss Julie for RedOne Theatre in Toronto. He also directed the new works Life of Jude and Entitlement as part of Toronto’s 2013 Summerworks Festival. He directed Daniel MacIvor’s Inside as a Luminato Festival commission as well as a production of Eugene O’Neill’s Hughie and he directed and dramaturged the first developmental workshop of Come From Away. He won a best direction DORA award for his direction of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot for which he also co-won a best lighting design award. He directed the world premiere in Italian (and its successful remount) of Alias Godot for Festival Intercity in Florence, Italy.

He is a published writer and editor- most recently his short story April’s Fool was published in Riddle Fence and he edited a history of Theatre Passé Muraille (Beyond Walls) for Porcupine’s Quill Press. He is currently developing a theatre adaptation of Ron and Connie Hynes CD 11/11. He has also produced a collection of Canadian dialects for actors titled Canajun, Eh?

 David currently volunteers as a reader/recording technician for CNIB (following in the footsteps of his father Denys who read books for CNIB St. John’s for years.)

Winners of the 2018 provincial festival

Here is a list of the 2018 provincial drama festival awards:

Scholarship – DA Matthews, Ellie King, School Zone Productions of St. John’s

Thompson Trophy for best actor under 21: Ellie King, School Zone

Reg Harte for best supporting actor: James Leblanc, St. John’s Players

Oz-fm for best sound: Ann Devlin, Graham Dillabough and Scott French, School Zone

Hans Tode for best set design: St. John’s Players

Harvey Rose Bowl for best visual presentation: The Twilight Zone

Allan R. Hillier for best costumes: Mark Brady and Toshon Dawe, Off-Broadway of Corner Brook

Elizabeth Ireland for best properties: Julie Ferrero, Northcliffe Drama Club of Grand Falls-Windsor

Chrissy Andrews for best actress: Rhonda Rodgers, Northcliffe

Sarah McDonald Award for best supporting actress: Lynn Sooley, Avion Players of Gander

Hon. Chairman’s Award for best actor: Scott Simms, Northcliffe

Allan Power Memorial for best lighting: School Zone Productions

Stage Manager’s Award: Jeannie Collins, Avion

Neala F. Griffin for best direction: Mark Bradbury, Off-Broadway

Newfoundland Herald Audience Appreciation: Off-Broadway and St. John’s Players

Margaret Doyle for spirit of festival: Arts and Culture Centre technical crew

Government of NL for best play: “Dinner with Friends,” Northcliffe Drama Club

St. John’s winners from School Zone Productions and the St. John’s Players included, front, from left: Cam Stapleton, Ellie King, Frankie O’Neill, Ann Devlin; second row, Deanna Skidmore (accepting on behalf of Jamie Skidmore), James Leblanc and Graham Dillabough; back, Louise Kearley, Fabian O’Keefe and Scott French.

 

Mark Bradbury and Toshon Dawe were winners from Corner Brook’s Off-Broadway Players.

 

Gander’s Nick Mercer (accepting on behalf of Jeannie Collins) and Lynn Sooley.