Buttercup Productions are preparing to stage a pair of one-act comedies at St. Thomas University’s Black Box Theatre, April 19-21.
For more than four years now, Buttercup Productions have been producing homegrown plays and musicals written by the company’s young, enthusiastic Artistic Director Samuel Crowell with the intent of bringing locally made theatre to New Brunswick audiences. The company is currently rehearsing two one-act plays which will run at the Black Box Theatre in Fredericton later this month.
“The decision to perform these two one-act plays is based on a few factors,” said Crowell. “The seven of us that make up the production’s cast and creative team are doing this production to show that original, local theatre can be successful. This is our way of being able to support ourselves in some way and enjoy work we want to do. So, because of this I wanted to choose a project that would be familiar and something I would be able to oversee fully. I am not capable by any means to lead full music rehearsal so I choose two plays; Semi-Sweetheart, a play Buttercup mounted in 2016 and And The Lights Go Out, a new play I am debuting after working on it this past year. Both comedies, both super fun times.”
This pair of comedies follows last year’s original production, Stillwater: A Musical and 2016’s One The Wind: A Musical Journey and Semi-Sweetheart.
“I do love me a musical, but I did start writing plays,” said Crowell. “That is actually the reason for the ‘buttercup’ in our title. It was the title of a play I wrote in grade 10 about a kid wanting his family to hide in a shed because he believes an apocalypse is coming. I swear it was more fun than that description sounds. As much as I miss working on musicals, plays are home base for me.”
A self-proclaimed “theatre nerd”, Crowell’s love for the art form is rooted in the simple goal of entertaining an audience and giving them an original experience.
“I remember being very curious about what got a reaction or a response from the average audience,” he said. “I really love this ridiculous career so fricken much and I really want people to experience something that they can genuinely enjoy. I want to make people feel something important or something close to what I feel when I see a great live production. Theatre is special to see and be a part of, especially in a small community where so many lives connect.”
Through his work, Crowell also aims to challenge some preconceived notions of what the theatre experience is really all about.
“I feel that those who oppose going to theatre believe it’s because it can be snooty, over-intellectual and plainly weird,” said Crowell. “That can be so true. Been there. However, I am so down to create shows that people will see and can actually relate to almost immediately. I can certainly sound a bit extra if I get going about theatre, but I just really care about it is all. I am not here to prove I am the most distinguished, intelligent or classy person when it comes to shows. I am all about realism, laughing when you shouldn’t and being a little corny. Real life is so funny, sad and happy all at the same time so it is a good place to work from. You gotta laugh.”
About the plays:
And The Lights Go Out by Samuel Crowell
Four high school students finish a, REALLY bad dress rehearsal of Bye Bye Birdie. As they are leaving, they realize they are locked in! The lights go out and when they turn on, the students are suddenly standing in four spotlights. One by one, the lights go out and students begin disappearing…
Semi-Sweetheart by Samuel Crowell
Joan McCloud is dying, but that isn’t all that is to be said about her. When Charlotte, Joan’s childhood best friend, arrives at the hospital, we learn two things. Number one: Joan McCloud loves chocolate. And Number two: The chaotic existence it causes for one Joan McCloud.
Featuring Peter Boyce, Samuel Crowell, Sydney M Hallett, Mallory Kelly, Naomi Thais Mercedes McGowan and Miguel Roy together with Stage Manager, Dustyn Forbes.