Timmins Theatre at its Best
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CURTAIN CALL “Another Side of Theatre”
"Debbie Pirie returns to direct production",
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

Pirie returns to direct production Flaming Idiots to take to the

stage in Timmins

November 4, 1998 -- Timmins Times By Joelle Kovac   By JOELLE KOVACH Timmins Times Local director Debbie Pirie knows Canadian community theatre. She returned to Timmins two years ago after directing in Vancouver for five years. While Vancouver might appear to be a drama epicentre, Pirie said that actors in places like Timmins should not be overlooked. "Certainly, the talent here is every bit as excellent." In fact, Pirie said that community theatre in urban centre like Vancouver often resort to performing in poor venues, like spaces that seat no more than 50. "The community theatres are really struggling there," she said. Here, small drama troupes are often given the opportunity to play state-of-the-art venues, such as William Dawson Theatre at Timmins High and Vocational School. "it's totally different here -- we're much more fortunate, "said Pirie. "It's a joy to return and have the use of such nice facilities." Indeed, Pirie is directing the madcap romp Flaming Idiots, which will run from Nov. 12-14 at William Dawson Theatre. The seven-member local cast goes by the name Curtain Call. An offshoot of another Timmins troupe Take Two Theatre, Curtain Call was born about three years ago. Their last performance was a female version of the Odd Couple, performed in Timmins in the spring of 1997. Flaming Idiots, by American playwright Tom Rooney, is about a couple of crafty entrepreneurs who push a marketing ploy a little too far. Their small restaurant is floundering, while another spot across town enjoys a booming business. The competition's restaurant is popular because a famous mobster was once murdered there. What if someone could get murdered in Carl and Phyl's restaurant? Seems like a classic black comedy. "But it's really not particularly dark," said Pirie. "There are many themes within the play." Furthermore, Pirie promises a fast pace. With 186 entries and exits in one play, the seven cast members will certainly be on their toes. "We have really well-seasoned cast -- the play's taking shape nicely." Local actors Nina Alberton, Bonnie Autio, Vesa Autio, Ross Libby, Marilyn Parnell, Paul Perreault and Aaron Sidenberg make up the cast. After reading through several scripts, the group got together and selected the play last spring. Following that, actor Vesa Autio began building a custom set, while work was being done on the script and costumes. The group began rehearsing in August. "There's hundreds and hundreds of hours of work involved," said Pirie. Pirie has been involved with theatre for 20 years, first as a student actor and then as a director. Curtain Call started out on an individual's funds, and has been operating on their profits ever since. But Pirie said that they receive invaluable help from community partners who offer services such as ticket and poster printing. For instance, Fionn MacCool's Irish Pub has lent its support in quite an original way. In addition to selling tickets for the show, assistant manager Brad Norman came up with a drink to add to the menu to promote the play. Norman promises a delicious flambé drink that is a sight to behold. "The presentation will get people -- it's like a waterfall of fire being poured over the drink," he said. Tickets for Flaming Idiots are available at all Shoppers Drug Mart locations in Timmins and Porcupine, at Fionn MacCool's and through and Curtain Call members.