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DO NOT DISTURB (Posted On: Friday, August 10, 2012)

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Are life choices ruled by love or by career?  Theatre Collingwood proudly presents the World Premiere of DO NOT DISTURB by Vern Thiessen, live onstage for one week only at the Historic Gayety Theatre from August 20 – 25 at 8pm with matinees Tuesday August 21 and Thursday August 23 at 2pm.
It’s a saucy new comedy about two upwardly mobile urban investment professionals

who criss-cross the globe closing deals for their competing companies. The dilemma is they are also romantically attracted to each other.

Beth and Mike are characters straight out of today’s society.  They are driven by the ever-increasing speed of technology and demands of business success.  Constantly ringing cell phones, beeping text messages and avalanching emails have consumed their lives. 
Yet, their personal dreams and desires to secure a committed life-long relationship are in conflict.  Beth is a modern woman, passionate about environmental issues.  Her quest is to test the commitment of her intended mate for a life-long relationship.
Despite his techno-savvy, globetrotting veneer, Mike wants to be successful so he can be perceived as a good mate and pursue his life dreams.
Written in the style of farce, the characters are recognizable, full-blown, reacting to every moment.  The comedic counterpoint is the Agent, an ‘industrial spy’ on a mission.  Mistaken identities, ‘over the top’ situations and plot twists will keep you laughing to the end.
DO NOT DISTURB is a story that explores our technological advancements contrasted against traditional human needs for commitment, love and yes, even revenge. Humans will go to any length to get what they want.
Mark Huisman returns for his second world premiere with our company to play the role of Mike.  Newcomers to our stage, Melissa Jane Shaw performs Beth and Mark McGrinder is the Agent.  The creative team includes: Steven Thomas (Director, Set & Sound Designer), Linda Phillips (Costume Designer), Sarah Scroggie (Lighting Designer and TD), Barry Cook (Stage Manager), Rachel Thomas (Scenic Artist) along with Amanda Bryce, Meghan Maguire and Eric Adams (Production Assistants).
Canadian playwright Vern Thiessen is one of Canada’s most-produced playwrights.  His plays have been seen across Canada, the United States, Asia, the United Kingdom, the Middle East and Europe.  He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Governor General’s Literary Award, Canada’s highest honour for playwriting.
Vern was approached by Steven Thomas over a year ago to create a feature length play which stretched the boundaries of traditional farce.  Waterloo-based Pat the Dog Playwright Centre assisted in workshopping the script for many days with dramaturges and professional actors in January and April of 2012, in order to fine-tune it for its premiere.
What is so exciting about a World Premiere in Collingwood?  Says Artistic Director Steven Thomas, “It’s important for our company to leave a legacy, to celebrate the work of Canadian artists who are talented and deserving.  No matter when this production is remounted in the future, it will be remembered that it premiered in Collingwood in August 2012.  It’s the company’s seventh premiere since 2003.  This is another source of pride for Collingwood.”
Lisa O’Connell of Pat the Dog Playwright Centre agrees:  “Developing new Canadian plays is incredibly important.  Seeing ourselves and our voices on stage helps us determine who we are, both as a country and as a people.”
New production sponsor, Scotiabank proudly supports the original presentation of DO NOT DISTURB.  Scotiabanks’ motto “You’re Richer Than You Think” demonstrates how local support enriches the cultural community.
The launch of this world premiere is also supported by:  Ontario Trillium Foundation, Celebrate Ontario, Town of Collingwood and the many corporate and individuals who have acknowledged this important occasion.
Artistic Director, Steven Thomas reflects: “I know this comedy will be a hit!  In this frenetic world, what greater way to relax and laugh, than to enjoy a story about the crazy world we live in, and experience how others work through their challenges.”
For tickets, visit Theatre Collingwood’s year-round Box Office, newly relocated to 65 Simcoe Street (Mon-Fri between 11am – 3pm).  Tickets may be purchased one hour prior to performance at the Gayety Theatre.  Single tickets may be booked online via the website.  For special packages or to reserve by phone, contact Theatre Collingwood or Phone (705) 445-2200  or toll free       1 (866) 382-2200.

Photo:  Melissa Jane Shaw, Mark Huisman and Mark McGrinder dive for the cell phone.



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