Play On!, Director's Notes, 2018-2019 Season, Other exciting events and more... 

Dartmouth Players
October/November 2018 Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Play On!
  • Director's Notes
  • Exciting events at Sawmill Playhouse
  • 2018-2019 Season
  • Open Stage
  • Workshops
  • Collaboration - Dartmouth Players/MITE Theatre/Second Chances Band
  • Ray LeFresne – President’s message

Contact Info:

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 66
Dartmouth, NS
B2Y 3Y2
Phone: 465-PLAY (7529)

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Play On!

November 8-24, 2018
By Rick Abbot - Comedy 
Directed by Alex McAllister

The hilarious story of a theatre group trying desperately to put on a play despite maddening interference from a haughty author who keeps revising the script. Act I is a rehearsal of the dreadful show, Act II is the near disastrous dress rehearsal, and the final act is the actual performance, in which anything that can go wrong, does. When the author decides to give a speech on the state of the modern theatre during the curtain calls, the audience is treated to a madcap climax and a thoroughly hilarious romp. Even the sound effects reap their share of laughter!  

Tickets $14 and $17 at, or call
1-888-311-9090, or cash at the door pending availability

Director’s Notes

Working on a show sometimes feels like you are laying tracks down as a train is barreling down towards you. However, as opening night of Play On! approaches ever closer, I must say that this show has been an absolute joy to work on. Everything is happening on schedule without a hitch, and I think it’s a testament to the talented cast and crew we have working on this production. Though the events on stage are, at times, chaotic, the behind the scenes work has been quite the opposite. It has been fun going to rehearsal each night with my fantastic cast who really have
brought the most out of this play-gone-wrong about a dysfunctional community theatre production. Everyone has been working really hard and I look forward to you seeing the results of our efforts.–Alex McAllister

Play On! - Cast Photos

Josh Lawrence; Sean Baker; Dale Charron; Lyssa Steponaitis

Megan Cater; Kelly Morrison; Alex McAllister,Director; Cat Campbell

Katie Lawrence; Joanne Arbuthnott; Brad Morrison


Workshops - Rosemary Gilbert

The COME PLAY WITH US workshop series invites you to join us at the Sawmill Playhouse and sample the fun to be found On Stage, Back Stage, Behind the Scenes, or Front of House at Dartmouth’s own community theatre.

The workshops are held on the second Saturday of each month, starting at 1 pm and running until 4, at 33 Crichton Avenue, Dartmouth.

Fee: Contribution to S.A.W. (Support A Workshop)
For More Information, please contact:


Collaboration - Dartmouth Players/MITE Theatre/Second Chances Band

What happens when you join three dynamic community arts groups?

You get a phenomenal show!

How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Peter and the Wolf Dartmouth Players is pleased to present a joint production of Second Chances Community Band and MITE Theatre which will give everyone - performers and audience - a unique Christmas experience. The Second Chances Concert Band – a hundred musicians! - will be playing the beloved music from How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Peter and The Wolf. MITE Theatre will be performing to illustrate the music with colour and dance.

The youth of MITE Theatre will have the great experience of being backed up by a big band. Band members will see their music come to life.

Dartmouth Players will enjoy presenting another community theatre experience. Best of all, the audience will have a lovely and unique holiday experience.

One show only: Halifax Public Library, Central Branch on Spring Garden Road. Saturday, December 15 at 11 am. FREE.

The Second Chances Community Band is dedicated to the teaching and performing of concert band music from beginner to learned musicians. Anyone and everyone is welcome. http://www.secondchancesband.ns/

MITE Theatre is dedicated to the teaching of performance arts to both adults and children. All are welcome

Dartmouth Players is dedicated to the inclusion of community of all types who would like to bring live theatre to the public. Everyone welcome.

For more information, contact Holly Irving of Dartmouth Players.

Jane Rogerson - Sawmill Playwrights Unit

Established three years ago, our playwright unit’s mission is to encourage the development of new local plays. We are open to new members. If you are a playwright seeking some feedback on your work, or you just have an idea and an interest in writing, all are welcome. We will be choosing a play (or perhaps two if there is interest) written by a member to enter in the 2019 Halifax Fringe Festival. We are also considering hosting a local playwriting contest. To join us, contact Jane Rogerson at We usually meet the second Tuesday of the month at Sawmill Playhouse (formerly Dartmouth Players Theatre). Next meeting will be October 9 at 7 pm.  

Open Stage - Carolyn Davis

Open stage continues to be a popular event. It is usually held on the last Friday of each month. Everyone is encouraged to take part. This event has proven to be a fertile space for new and experienced performers alike. “We try our best to give new acts higher priority to stage time. And we have a fine set of ‘regulars’ as well.” If you would like to sign up, please contact If you would like to sit in the audience and watch this smorgasbord, admission is Pay What You Can.

Next Open Stage evenings:
December 7 - Holiday theme

Janice Cruddas - MITE in the SPOTLIGHT!

MITE has begun its fall season in the Crichton Centre, with 71 youth and adult participants and counting! Some of our groups are preparing songs, games, and scenes for a seasonal showcase. This will be presented December 10, at 7:00 pm, in the Sawmill Playhouse (formerly Dartmouth Players Theatre). Some of our groups are calling each other "dung-hills" and desiring "we be better strangers" (oh, that Shakespeare!) and some of our groups are simply having fun while building theatre skills. Project ARC, the touring human rights educational outreach program begun by MITE in 2012, will soon be beginning Thursday morning studio rehearsals in the Centre to prepare for its 7th season!

Thanks for providing such a MITE-Y warm welcome to us, Dartmouth Players folk! For more information about MITE's classes, check the MITE site at:


Announcing the 2018-2019 Season! 

Play On!
by Rick Abbot
November 8-24, 2018
The hilarious story of a theatre group trying desperately to put on a play in spite of maddening interference from a haughty author who keeps revising the script. Act I is a rehearsal of the dreadful show, Act II is the near disastrous dress rehearsal, and the final act is the actual performance, in which anything that can go wrong, does. When the author decides to give a speech on the state of the modern theatre during the curtain calls, the audience is treated to a madcap climax and a thoroughly hilarious romp. Even the sound effects reap their share of laughter!
by John Muggleton
January 24-February 9, 2019
Old friends Robert, Samira and David are the only three left of the original gang. Robert’s wife, famed mystery novelist Tara Waters, disappeared five years ago, though Robert insists she’s still alive. Paul, also  a writer, died the year before, shortly after reuniting with his estranged daughter Eve. Eve has asked to meet the three friends for the first time, stating that she has something important to deliver. Over the evening’s meeting, Eve becomes awkward, eerie, strange and sinister. As the evening unravels, the chaos erupts with hidden secrets revealed. Join us  for a spine-tingling evening of chills…

The Fighting Days
by Wendy Lill
March 28-April 13, 2019
The women’s suffrage movement of the early 1900s was a testament to the sacrifice of women to get the right to vote. A newspaper editor Francis Marion Beynon becomes friends with famed suffragette Nellie McClung. While the two women fight together to get women the vote (which they accomplished in Manitoba in 1916), the First World War splits them on the issues of conscription - and whether immigrant women should be allowed to vote as well as British and Canadian-born "Empire women". Their friendship and political beliefs are tested. Nellie supports the war, conscription and giving only Dominion women the right to vote whereas Francis believes in peace and that all women should vote.

Lucky Stiff
Music by Stephen Flaherty, Book and Lyrics by Lynn Aherns
Musical comedy
June 6-22, 2019
A madcap murder-mystery musical comedy that involves a mild-mannered show clerk, Harry Witherspoon, who has the chance to inherit a fortune if he goes on a holiday with his uncle to Monte Carlo. Trouble is – his uncle, a croupier at the Monte Carlo casino, is “dead”. Full of eccentric colourful characters, this hilarious farce will keep you in stitches. Will Harry survive and inherit his uncle’s fortune, and who murdered his uncle anyway? Come along for this wacky ride and find out if Harry is stiff out of luck?



Tickets for Play On! and Other Shows

Four ways to buy tickets:

1. Online at Print-at-home, smartphone, and Box Office pickup options
2. Phone 1-888-311-9090 (7 days a week, 10am - 11pm) Credit cards only accepted Box office pickup
3. In person at Alderney Landing Box Office during box office hours
4. In person at Dartmouth Players one hour before curtain, pending availability. CASH ONLY

Season Subscriptions are also available. Save up to $2 per ticket!
1. At
2. By phone at 1-888-311-9090
3. Download the order form from our website at

Dartmouth Grannies

Charity Preview Night of Play On! Monday, November 5th, at 8pm The Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign is a global sisterhood that supports the determined and strong African grandmothers who are raising a generation of grandchildren orphaned by AIDS. It is part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Contact for Charity is or tckets online at or 1 888-311-9090

The Sawmill Playhouse

Dartmouth Players usually produces four plays a year. The time between shows allows us to present high-quality productions, but there are long periods when the theatre space is empty. For more efficient use of the theatre, this year we have invited anyone who is interested to rent our venue. Several productions are tentatively arranged, and we will advertise them through our newsletter and mailing list as soon as they are confirmed.

To avoid confusion between the shows presented by Dartmouth Players and the shows presented by other companies, we have changed the name of the theatre building from Dartmouth Players Theatre to Sawmill Playhouse.

The Dartmouth Players Troupe remains the same. We will still do our four plays, send out our newsletters, and produce a program for each of our productions. Tickets will continue to be sold through Ticketpro. Our shows will be presented in the same theatre space, now called Sawmill Playhouse.

Sawmill Playhouse will also be hosting shows and performances from other local companies. The types of shows, days of performance, curtain times, prices, and ticketing arrangements will vary, depending on who is putting on the show. Dartmouth Players will promote these outside productions through our newsletter and email when possible, and you may see these productions advertised when you come to see our shows.

Renting our theatre space provides for more varied, richer, and frequent entertainments for you, our patrons, ensures the continued prosperity of Dartmouth Players, and helps other theatre and musical troupes in the community. We look forward to welcoming you at Sawmill Playhouse, the home of Dartmouth Players. Please contact Ray Le Fresne at

Ray LeFresne – President’s message

With changes come new possibilities. This year Dartmouth Players has gone through a metamorphosis. The physical plant of the theatre has been greatly improved. There has been a lot of purging everywhere in the building. The backstage area is now spacious and functional, as is the shop and the upstairs. Richard has done an amazing job with redesigning the technical facilities. Everything is cleaner, leaner, and more professional.

This is a community theatre; our amended philosophy is that we are going to try to broaden our horizons from a four-play season to involve as many groups and people in the community as we can. Our aim is to never to have the stage dark. Some things have been affirmed. On October 10, the Second Chances Show Jazz Band will do a benefit concert for us. When Play On! closes, Villain’s Theatre will be presenting The Changeling: Chimes of Bedlam, from November 28 to December 1. We are hoping to have Tara Taylor present Single Black Woman in the spring, and Charles Salmons’ In My Wildest Dreams in June. Not to mention our hope for the Fringe Hit The Extinction of the Hong Kongers, by Poulet Theatre, at some point.

Carolyn Davis has taken the reins of the Open Stage Night and it has been a lot of fun. Janice Cruddas has taken on the youth and adult theatre school and will be performing December 10. Rosemary Gilbert has ongoing workshops in various subjects. Jane Rogerson has a writer’s group.

As far as the business end of Dartmouth Players is concerned, we are setting up basic boiler plate agreements for visiting troupes. We will be working to get a better functioning Publicity Department. We have a tremendous season lined up for them to work with.

Second Stage. There are hopes for a basic second stage in the Sircom room upstairs.  We have canvas and four- door flats. We are hoping that users will be able to attach these using a hook and eye system and French braces. Lighting will be minimal, probably some LED fixtures, due to the constraints of the electrical system, and safety and heat concerns. This second stage would be for small productions, with a maximum audience of forty. The set and seating would need to be cleared at the end of the evening, so the room can be used for other purposes.

The Dartmouth Players Board for 2018/2019

Ray LeFresne - President Nikki Belliveau - Vice President and scheduling
Ian MacDermid - Treasurer and Box Office
Holly Irving - Secretary
Pam Wood - Costumes, volunteer coordinator
Richard Bonner - Technical director
Jane Rogerson - NYRFPTDP, Writers Group
Rosemary Gilbert - workshops, play reading
Dale Charron - play reading
Alex McAllister - play reading Christine Walker - play reading rights and acquisitions
Stu Duclow - Website
Christine Gerogiannis - program advertising
Kelly Doney Morrison - social media
Tim Cahoone - member at large


A BIG thank you to Second Chances Band who encouraged their Show Band “The Notables“ to perform the Oct. 10th benefit concert for Dartmouth Players. The Second Chances Community  Band is always looking for new players to join any of their ensembles. They accept both amateur players with various levels of ability as well as absolute beginners.

The  Notables, a fifteen piece show band under the direction of Stephanie McKeown, was established in January 2017, with a focus on performance activities, including the accompaniment of vocalists; its repertoire features music in the Jazz, Jazz-funk, Standard and Popular genres. The 18 piece Band is configured in traditional “Big Band” format of Brass, Saxophones and Rhythm sections.



Scent-Free for You and Me!

Thank you for respecting our scent-free policy. Part of the Dartmouth Players experience is the space that allows for close interaction. We strive to make our theatre as enjoyable as possible for everyone including our patrons, cast and crew members who may be sensitive to fragrances.

Our Corporate Sponsors


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