Tuesday, April 21, 2009

AACT Region IX a success in CdA

The Driftwood Players of Edmonds, Wash., will be sending their production of *Minnesota Moon* on to nationals in Tacoma in June, having won last weekend's American Association of Community Theater Region IX competition at Coeur d'Alene High School.
The runner-up was The Coaster Theater of Cannon Beach, Oregon's production of *The Cemetery Club.*

Minnesota Moon also won Best Actor and Best Director
The Cemetery Club also won Best Ensemble and two Best Actress awards
Best Supporting Actor went to Crazy Eights from Columbia Arts Stage Troupe (CAST) of Hood River, Oregon
Theaters from Bremerton, Wash., and Lewiston, Idaho, also competed.

Judges included adjudicators from Portland, Wyoming, and Spokane’s own Susan Hardie

Brian Doig, artistic director of Lake City Playhouse, which hosted this regional festival, comments that "Everything went smoothly. There were no issues on load-ins or load-outs. Everything went on time or was early."

CdA won't be hosting another regional festival for another four years at the very soonest, but Doig felt that the facilities at CdA High School were "just the right size for this festival" -- even if they had to disable the school bells and intercom announcements so as not to be distractions.

Surprisingly, the winning show had a $100 budget -- and only spent $36 of it. The Driftwood Players, Doig explains, have a five-show season plus a series of Monday-Tuesday shows that are offbeat and low-budget.
*Minnesota Moon* is about two guys who have graduated from high school -- one an intellectual, one a redneck -- and how they deal with their memories of mutual friends who went off to join the Army and who got killed in a motorcycle accident. Doig says "It's about how you let go, how you say goodbye, about how men use bravado to avoid being emotional. It was funny and touching," and, in his opinion, the most polished of the five shows in Region IX.

Doig regrets that "we didn't get to represent Lake City Playhouse artistically, but we did represent it well administratively. Everyone had a good time, everyone got a fair shake." [Lake City's production of *K2* deferred to Lewiston when there was a misunderstanding about how two Idaho shows could not advance to regionals unless there was an Idaho state festival first, but Lewiston couldn't come up for four days straight for a state festival and THEN a regional, so Lake City graciously bowed out and allowed the Lewiston production of *Cat on a Hot Tin Roof* to be Idaho's representative at the regional competition.]

The 2011 AACT nationals have been announced for Rochester, New York.

Doig says that Idaho is hopeful of sending 7-9 productions to their state competiton next time, “though I’ll believe it when I see it.” Alaska's representatives have said that they should have three or four productions at the state level next time (two years from now).
[photo from seattleperforms.com: Driftwood Players' *Minnesota Moon* ]

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