‘Bursting with excitement’: Scarborough’s Guild Festival Theater returns with a full season
After a year of the Greek Theater in Guild Park and Garden lying empty, a theater troupe from Scarborough is returning to its open-air hall with a full season of performances.
Guild Festival Theater (GFT) is also celebrating its 10e year, and co-artistic director Helen Juvonen says she feels “a mixture of excitement, gratitude and dread”.
“In some ways we have to relearn how to function,” Juvonen said in a statement, adding that it was heartbreaking to postpone Salt-Water Moon and Alice to Wonderland last year, “we’re excited to be able to bring these play at the park this summer.
GFT claims to have rigorous health and safety protocols in place to ensure the safety of actors, crew and the public in the park this summer.
The 2021 season of the troupe begins with Women in Song: FabCollab’s Summer Thunder, a celebration of BIPOC and musical artists identifying women which will be broadcast live from Guild Park at 8:30 p.m. on July 11.
From July 28 to August 1, GFT presents its song and story series, solo performances and workshops featuring stage artist and storyteller Diana Tso, Métis fiddler Alyssa Delbaere-Sawchuk, local Guildwoodien Jay Moonah, disabled / queer / transmasculine poetry and spoken word artist Charlie Petch, and DJ, music producer and hip-hop artist StokeS the MC.
Tickets for the song and story are free but must be reserved in advance.
David French’s Salt-Water Moon, a Canadian classic directed by Juvonen, will take place August 4-15 with Scarborough’s Sarah Gibbons and Alex Furber.
From August 18 to 29, the Greel Theater will host a playfully reinvented Alice in Wonderland, directed by GFT Co-Artistic Director Tyler Seguin, and starring Lauren Wolanski, Muhaddisah Batool, Michael Williamson, Cayne Kitagawa, Anne-Marie Krytiuk and, playing Alice, Kiana Woo.
Restricted by the pandemic last summer, the troop still managed to organize “porch rooms” and other events in the Guildwood neighborhood around the park.
The cast members are “overwhelmed with enthusiasm” to put on a full season this year, Seguin said.
“With the capacity and social distancing regulations hanging for so long, we didn’t even know if we would be able to accommodate the public in the park,” Seguin wrote.
“After all we’ve been through, going back to Guild Park and Gardens for our 10th year of beautiful theater is that much more enjoyable.”