All posts by Edward Staskus

Edward Staskus is a freelance writer from Sudbury, Ontario, and lives in Lakewood, Ohio.

Public Enemy No. 1

By Ed Staskus

   There were five of us on the elevator going up to the 4th floor of the Global Center. One of us asked the others if we were all on the way to jury duty. All of us said yes, or something along those lines. “This is a pain in the ass,” one young man grumbled.

   “Better to be on this side of things than the other side,” the man next to him said.

   “You got that right, brother,” another man said.

   The Global Center for Health Innovation is at the corner of Ontario St. and St. Clair Ave. It is across the street from the Justice Center. It is part of the Medical Mart and Convention Center that made history in 2011. Six buildings were demolished to make way for the development. Half a million tons of debris were removed, and more than 12,000 tons of new steel was used to create the infrastructure of the new complex. It was the most steel used on any one project in Cleveland’s history.

   When we got off the elevator I regretted being on time. The line snaked from the elevators backwards then forwards to the sign-in tables. It looked like everybody was in line all at once. I took my place and shuffled forward like everybody else. If I need to come back tomorrow, I thought, I’m showing up late. The next day, when I did arrive late, there was hardly anybody in line.   

   The Global Center is mostly about conventions and industry conferences. It was the media center for the 2016 Republican National Convention, held in downtown Cleveland, when the far-right spun fantasies and the fantastic happened. The Grand Old Party put a bunko artist at the top of its ticket. The 4th floor is where those called for jury duty report every Monday morning every week of every month. The pool of jurors is usually between 300 and 400 people.

   Before I went through the full-body scanner, I told one of the policemen, “I’m breaking in an after-market hip, so I’m going to set off your fire alarm.” He said all right and told me to go ahead. When I did, nothing happened, except the light blinked green for GO. The high-tech scanners are supposed to detect a wide range of metallic threats in a matter of seconds. “Essentially, the machine sends waves toward a passenger’s insides,” says Shawna Redden, a researcher who studies the devices. “The waves go through clothing and reflect whatever might be concealed, and bounce back a signal, which is interpreted by the machine.”

   “Do you want me to try again?” I asked. 

   “No, go ahead,” the policeman said, barely paying any attention to me.

   Six feet apart and masks were back in effect, even though there was no official ruling in the city, where hardly anybody was paying attention to the pandemic. Only the odd man and woman wore a mask in the lobby or anywhere else. All the hard-backed chairs in the big room were in rows a social distance apart and everybody wore a mask. You can’t fight City Hall. Almost everybody kept their heads down looking at their cell phones. Some people read books. A few went to sleep on the sofas lining the walls.

   When the jury pool bailiff stepped to the front of the room everybody perked up. The boss lady looked casual but was anything but, even though she sprinkled in some stale jokes. She wore a short-sleeved blouse, and her forearms were tattooed. The first thing she did was thank us for coming.

   She explained since we were on the voting rolls we had been randomly selected. She thanked us for opting into our civic duty. She showed a video about the history of juries and what jury duty amounts to. A judge from Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court showed up and thanked us some more. She was wearing a dark skirt. I didn’t know judges could be so friendly and good-looking. When she was done everybody went back to their cell phones and books. The sleepy heads went back to their napping.

   The bailiff said she would be calling groups of 8 for civil cases and groups of 20-and-more for criminal cases. I didn’t mind serving on either kind of jury but was hoping I wouldn’t be called to serve on a criminal case. I didn’t want to be on the jury that was going to convict Tamara McLoyd for shooting and killing Shane Bartek, a Cleveland policeman.

   What would be the point? She seemed to be as guilty as Machine Gun Kelly. Somebody matching her description had been caught on surveillance video pulling the trigger. Her DNA was on the .357 Magnum. She confessed to the crime after being arrested. Why she pled not guilty and was demanding a jury trial was beyond me.

   I brought my Apple tablet with me and read “Empire of the Scalpel” on it all morning. It was about the history and advancement of surgery. No matter their newfound skills of restoring life and limb, there was no bringing Shane Bartek back to life. He was dead to stay. Several groups of jurors trooped out when their names were called. When lunch was announced, I went for a walk on Lakeside Ave.

   The criminal complaint against Tamara McLoyd said she walked up to the off-duty Shane Bartek on Cleveland’s west side on New Year’s Eve and robbed him at gunpoint. He was outside his apartment on his way to a Cleveland Cavs game. When he tried to take her gun away, she shot him twice during the struggle. After the shooting, she stole the policeman’s civilian car and fled. Shane Bartek was taken to Fairview Hospital and pronounced dead. He was 23 years old. She was 18 years old.

   Tamara McLoyd gave the stolen car to a no-good companion of hers who was hunted down later that night by a swarm of suburban police. After a high-speed chase he lost control of the car and slammed into a fence. He didn’t bother saying he was innocent. The police didn’t bother being polite. They tracked Public Enemy No. 1 by following videos she was posting on Instagram. She was nothing if not clueless about crime and punishment. She was run to ground, doing her best to curse her way out of capture, and was hauled away to a jail cell. Her handgun was found hidden in the back seat of the not so joyful joy ride. 

   She had been on a crime spree most of the year. Two months earlier, five days after she was sentenced to probation in Lorain County on firearms and robbery charges, she and two accomplices robbed a man in Lakewood, robbed a woman in Cleveland Heights, and robbed Happy’s Pizza in Cleveland. They had worked up an appetite robbing people.

   City Hall and the Cuyahoga County Court House are both on Lakeside Ave. I took self-guided tours and walked around Mall C. I looked down at the Cleveland Browns gridiron and the Science Center across the railroad tracks on the other side of Route 2. There are small parks beside both City Hall and the Court House. I checked out Claes Oldenburg’s rubber stamp sculpture in Willard Park. I checked out John T. Corrigan’s statue in Fort Huntington Park. The over-sized stamp sculpture is whimsical. The life-sized Corrigan statue is stone-faced.

   Tamara McLoyd made her first court appearance on murder charges two days after New Year’s Day. “I didn’t know he was a cop,” she said. The police are like the armed forces, who don’t leave their wounded or dead behind. Killing a policeman is a one-way ticket to the Big House, if not Old Sparky. A city prosecutor read into the record her admission to shooting Shane Bartek. The judge set bail at $5 million dollars and told her to find a lawyer. She hadn’t stolen enough money to make bail. She stayed locked up in the Justice Center the next seven months.

   While there she talked to her friends and mother by jailhouse phone, telling them exactly what happened, and saying she expected to be famous for shooting a policeman. Her lawyers tried to suppress her original confession, but after hearing recordings of her phone calls, killed the idea. “After consulting with our client, she has authorized and instructed us to withdraw the motion to suppress,” her lawyers said at a hearing.

   John T. Corrigan was Cleveland born and bred, graduating from a local high school and university and law school. He served in the Army during World War Two, losing an eye during the Battle of the Bulge. He was elected Cuyahoga County’s prosecutor in 1956 and re-elected repeatedly, serving for thirty-five years. “It is a large office with more than 300 employees. It’s the second largest public law firm in the state of Ohio,” said Geoffey Means, a former federal prosecutor. John T. was a stern man when it came to law and order. He sent his former law partner to jail. Hoodlums knew there wouldn’t be any sympathy coming their way from the one-eyed legal eagle.

   Nothing had changed since his retirement. When murder was the charge, the office was no-nonsense going forward. When the murder of a policeman was the charge, the office was bound and determined to get it done.

   Tamara McLoyd was bound and determined to say it was an accident. “This shit wasn’t no aggravated,” she told her mother after she was charged with aggravated murder. “This shit was an accident.” Later in the month she told a friend, “We was tussling, he reached for the gun, he fell, and then pow.”

   When Monday came to an end at 3 o’clock and I went home, well more than a hundred of us had been picked for actual jury duty. The rest of us came back on Tuesday. More of us were picked, lunchtime was again announced, and I went for another walk. We filtered back after lunch. I dove back into my sawbones book. A few more of us were picked for a civil trial. Just after 2 o’clock the bailiff cleared her throat.

   “The last judge has just sent word that his trial has been postponed until next week,” she said. “Thank you for coming and you are free to go.”

   We all cheered, collected our certificates of appreciation, and marched away to the elevators. I walked to the lot on W. 3rd St. where I had left my car. It was a sunny day. There weren’t many people on the sidewalks. The tables and chairs of downtown’s Al Fresco dining were empty. Everybody had gone back to work after eating.

   Al Fresco comes from the Italian and loosely means “in the cool air.” Unlike everybody else, Italians don’t use the term for eating outside. In Italy it means “spending time in the cooler.” When they say cooler, they mean jail.

   Tamara McLoyd was found guilty of theft, grand theft, aggravated robbery, felonious assault, murder, and aggravated murder. It didn’t take the jury long. The courtroom was packed with Cleveland police officers and Bartek’s family. Some of the dead man’s relatives broke into tears. Tamara McLoyd had turned 19 during the trial. She was a cold fish, standing unblinking when the verdict was read. 

   “What would you think after being found guilty of aggravated murder?” her lawyer Jaye Schlachet offered up, even though she didn’t seem to be thinking overmuch.

   “The tragedy is that this individual who committed this crime was on a spree of violence through our community,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said. “We see it every day in our county. She had opportunities to get on track. At every crossroad she could have turned her life around. She declined that opportunity. She was a terrorist on our streets, and for our community’s sake she is going to face the music for all the crimes she committed over those several months.”

   A sheriff’s deputy put the convicted killer in handcuffs. She was led away. She was facing a life sentence. The judge would decide at her sentencing the following month whether there was going to be the possibility of parole after 25 or 30 years, or whether it was going to be life without parole.

   “We are quite confident that the only thing she will see for the rest of her life are bars,” police union chief Jeff Follmer said.

   Tamara McLoyd tried to explain away the shooting of Shane Bartek. I was glad I hadn’t been there to hear it. After a while it’s sickening having to listen to lies. Murder is inherently evil. She thought she was just offing somebody who was getting in her way, like brushing away a bug. She didn’t realize she was committing suicide as well as murder. She was 1-2-3 down for the count. She was going where nobody cared whether she lived or died, where she could kill time all day long.

Ed Staskus edits Theatre PEI. He posts stories on 147 Stanley Street http://www.147stanleystreet.com and Cleveland Daybook http://www.clevelandohiodaybook.com

Theatre PEI

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Three Questions

✨3 Questions with Brian Ellis!✨

▶️1.How is your Summer going Brian?

“We ( The Ellis Family Band ) are having a great summer. Playing a number of shows on PEI and so far the shows we have performed have been amazing with great interactive crowds”

▶️2.What’s the best part about playing music with your family?

“After almost 50 years of playing music, the 4 brothers (Brian, Rick, Steve & Dave Ellis and 5th member Greg MacDonald) absolutely love playing music as much now as we ever have. Playing music together has given us a lot of fun and enjoyment for all these years. Our fans are the ones who keep the spark and love of playing music ongoing for us. They have and still are supporting us and our music and we so much appreciate that”.

▶️3.Have you played with Fiddlers’ Sons before?

“Eddy Quinn and Fiddlers’ Sons are great friends of ours and they all are wonderful musicians, singers, storytellers and an absolute pleasure to listen to, but especially to share a stage and show with. We have had the pleasure to do just that on numerous occasions and are looking very forward to sharing the stage with them once again in our beautiful hometown and at Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside on Wednesday August 17th 2022!”

#ExploreSummerside#CultureSummerside#ExplorePEI#WelcomePEI#CityByTheSea#TheatrebytheSea#localartists#pei#explorepei#ellisfamilyband

Theatre PEI

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River Clyde Says Thank You

Thank you.

To the performers, volunteers, sponsors and everyone who helped to bring this summer’s Pageant to life – it simply wouldn’t exist without you.

And to the attendees – whether it be your first time at the Pageant or your 50th time – we’re so happy you joined us in beautiful New Glasgow to see what we’ve been putting our hearts and energy into.

Over these past two weekends we gathered by the River Clyde, we took in some spectacular sights and sounds, and the evening skies even put on a show of their own. So now it’s time to get some rest and just be grateful.

From all of us at Team Pageant: thank you! And we hope to see you next year.

Theatre PEI

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Close Ties to the Island

Actor Paul Rainville’s Close Ties to PEI
 
Actor Paul Rainville has a close connection to the Island and is finally able to perform for family and friends in The Drawer Boy by Michael Healey at Watermark Theatre from August 9th to September 3rd. Paul shared his thoughts with us about PEI and his time on the Island rehearsing the play.
 
“I married a Wells from up Alberton way. Her early years were in Pointe Claire, Quebec – but chunks of her summers were spent here on the island and once we were together that pull to come “home” meant that for chunks of our summers we were island bound. When we had kids large swaths of their summertime seasons were spent in these hills and on these shores.
 
Uncle Chris’ cottage in Lower Bedeque was a destination for many years and the kids loved it and have grown up thinking this place is a second home where lobsters, and oysters, and Aunt Peg’s Green Goddess Sauce, abound.
 
The clan of cousins always offer a warm embrace and great food and lively debates through to the early hours. And, oh boy oh boy oh boy, Aunt Marilyn’s Mediterranean Fish Soup.
 
We have two paintings at home: one shows my daughter in rolled up sweat pants, out there at low tide looking to gather up some oysters. She had a taste for some oysters – so after many long highway hours she’d unfolded herself from the back of the car, grabbed a bucket, and marched straight out on the muddy bay off Holman Island to get us a week’s worth of delicious briny treats.
 
The other was a gift my son painted for his old man’s birthday. It shows a stick game, at Uncle Chris’ cottage, with me whirling round holding the stick high while our border collie sails through the air trying to gain the prize. Made the old birthday fella shed a tear to unwrap that one, I tell ya.
 
And so many wonderful suppers at cousin Emily’s fabulous place – The Mill in New Glasgow – and watching the River Clyde pageant that cousin Ker and his colleagues all put together.
 
My introduction to the Watermark Theatre was watching cousin Gracie Finlay in shows going back over the years. And we had great times visiting cousin Carolyn as she worked lunch shifts at the Island Stone Pub in Kensington. Visiting too with cousin Jake and Kate out near Rice Point. And walking the Hazelgrove hills with aunt Lynne and cousin Ben. And saying a brief “Howdy! How are ya!“ to cousin Lucas as he expertly jockeys carts back in to the Superstore.
 
Well you know it just goes on. The welcome is wide open and embracing.
 
It’s great too to be here doing the show with Wally MacKinnon (Angus in The Drawer Boy) who just knows a whole lot folks. Rahul Gandhi (who plays Miles in the show) is from Montreal and both he and I are being shown a whole bunch of Island good times. Wally is a magnate for good friends and music – he has a treasure trove holding tons of great tunes.
 
Why just last night we sang up a storm well into the evening. And our wee valley out here in Clinton lit up with a double rainbow just to launch the gathering. Cars pulled up and guitars came out and a good toe tapping time was had by all.
 
Wally does Stan justice on those great ballads. Jacob Hemphill (Open Casket Open Mic at the Victoria Playhouse) strummed up some of the Johnny Cash songs in his repertoire and we got a taste of the show he’s writing for a fall tour. Buddy Bryan picked some great guitar solos.
 
Wonderful.
 
There’s more. I haven’t even told the story about meeting the old…”
 
Ticket prices for The Drawer Boy range from $15 to $32 and can be purchased at www.ticketwizard.ca or by calling the box office at 902-963-3963.
 
Watermark Theatre’s Mandate
Located in North Rustico, PEI, on land that is the traditional unceded territory of the Mi’Kmaq, the Watermark Theatre is a professional theatre company that produces time-honoured plays, as well as contemporary plays that resonate with our times.
As a company we are led by the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility and commit to incorporating these core values in everything we do.
We prioritize environmental stewardship and sustainability.
The Watermark Theatre is dedicated to the development of the next generation of theatre artists and arts administrators through mentorship and professional training.
In all of our programming we strive for artistic excellence while endeavouring to inform, affect, and engage our audience and our community.
 
For more information please contact Lara Dias at 902-963-3963 or admin@watermarktheatre.com
 
Watermark Theatre
57 Church Hill Ave                
North Rustico, PE                
C0A 1X0           
(902) 963-3963
http://www.watermarktheatre.com

Theatre PEI

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Mexican Stand-Off

By Ed Staskus

   My nephew Wyatt was smart enough to get admitted into St. Edward High School and scatterbrained enough to get suspended. He made it to graduation day by the skin of his teeth. He wasn’t so lucky at Cleveland State University. After one thing and another they told him he had to find another school. When he left, he forgot to take his “Get Out of Jail” card with him.

   St Ed’s is a Catholic high school in the Holy Cross tradition in Lakewood, Ohio. Thousands of young men apply to get in every year. A couple of hundred make it. Cleveland State University is a state school. So long as your high school grades make the grade you can get in, no problem. After he left, leaving his student housing apartment a disaster relief scene, he started looking for another place to live.

   He camped out at his sister’s apartment until she said he had to go. His father suggested an uncle. He stayed with his uncle until he told him he had to go. He stayed at my mother’s house, throwing parties for his friends whenever she broke a leg or had a stroke and was recovering at the Welsh Home in Rocky River. 

   When my brother asked me to throw some work his son’s way, I was of a mind to say no. It was almost the first thing I said. It was what I should have said. I had agreed to hire him to waterproof our basement walls and repaint the concrete floor a few months earlier. In the end it was such a makeshift effort that I spent almost as much time in the basement as he had patching things up.

   Every time I looked, he was easing himself down onto one of our lawn chairs and lighting up. He liked to smoke weed and cigarettes rather than attend to the work at hand. When he wasn’t blazing, he was talking on his cell phone. When I was done taking care of the splats runs and misses, I thought, that’s the last time.

   What I said, though, when my brother asked, was OK.

   I worked more-or-less full-time for Light Bulb Supply in Brook Park. There were no brooks or parks anywhere. The biggest greenspace was Holy Cross Cemetery, 240 acres of it, across the street. I went there for walks instead of taking lunch sometimes when the day was warm dry and sunny. The office work more-or-less paid the bills. It was a family business, however, and I wasn’t a part of the family. I wasn’t going to get anywhere by relying on their good will, of which there was little. It was like my paycheck, on the stingy side.

   I got ahead by repairing tanning equipment part-time, on my own time, stand-ups and beds at tanning salons, beauty salons, gyms, and people’s homes. Tanning was booming. I taught myself how to do it. My hourly rate was more, by far, than what Light Bulb Supply paid me. If it was an insurance job, I raised the price.

   Allstate Insurance sent me to Dearborn, Michigan to inspect a tanning bed that had been under water for a few days in a family’s basement rec room. They found out their sump pump had failed when they got home from vacation. I drove there on a Saturday, since it was going to be an all-day job getting there and back.

   Dearborn is just west of Detroit. and home to the most Muslims in the United States. It is also home to the largest mosque in the country. I got my signals crossed, missed the turn-off off I-75., and missed the mosque. When I got to Detroit and saw an exit for Dearborn St., I took it. When all I saw were bars churches funeral parlors beauty shops empty littered lots more bars and no white faces, I parked, found a phone booth, and called the folks with the soggy tanning bed.

   I told them where I thought I was.

   “Get back in your car and drive away from there right now,” the man of the house said. “It’s not safe.” There was no sense in tempting fate. I got back into my car, counted my blessings, and followed the Rouge River to Dearborn.

   I had a job at a big tanning salon in North Royalton south of Cleveland. There were some repairs involved and re-lamping 9 or 10 tanning beds. It was going to take Wyatt and me two or three days and nights. It took me closer to a week of nights and the weekend. Wyatt was supposed to re-lamp during the day while I did the repairs at night, except he only showed up once and didn’t finish even one of the tanning beds.

   One day he wasn’t feeling well. His stomach hurt. Another day his garage door broke with his car inside it. Another time he said he needed a mental health day. The last day before I told him not to bother anymore, an asteroid smashed through his roof. In the end I chalked it up to experience.

   “Nobody wants to hire me,” he complained, one of his many Millennial complaints. He thought he could get the job done without going to work. He liked to say, “I don’t want to be tied down.” He didn’t want to be another cog in the wheel. There was little chance of that.

   My mother and brother both asked my sister to let him move into her house. They knew well enough to not ask me. She had the space but was reluctant. She and her husband had split up. He moved out and stayed out on the road working as a long-haul trucker. Her daughter had left for Miami University and after graduation struck out on her own. There were two empty bedrooms.

   She told my brother she had reservations, especially since everybody knew Wyatt wasn’t just popping pills and smoking weed. He was selling pills and weed to anybody and everybody. She didn’t want a drug dealer in her house.

   “He doesn’t have anywhere else to go,” my brother said.

   “What about your house?”

   “Sharon doesn’t want him in our house.” Sharon was my brother’s wife, Wyatt’s foster mother. She was a schoolteacher. Wyatt had been in her class during middle school. She knew what he was up to.

   Wyatt was arrested in 2015 strolling down Detroit Rd. on the Cleveland side of the border in the middle of the night. He was puffing on a stogie-sized spliff. He was packing pills in his pockets and having a high old time. A year later he went to court and was rewarded with intervention instead of jail time. My brother spent a fortune sending him to assessment counseling treatment and prevention classes. I drove Wyatt to the classes now and then. He was as repentant as a cottonmouth.

   When he moved into my sister’s house, he brought clothes, shoes, and a safe. He moved into one of the vacant bedrooms. My brother paid his $200.00 rent occasionally. He kept his clothes within easy reach and his shoes on display.

   “He thought nothing about buying $150.00 tennis shoes,” my sister said.

   She didn’t ask what he kept in the safe. She didn’t want to know. One day she noticed one of the floorboards had been pried up and put back in place. When she looked under the board, she saw a stash. She put the board back in its place. Boys and girls drove up to her curb day and night. When they did Wyatt ran outside, handed them something through their open car window, and they gave him something in return.

   He texted his girlfriend a photograph of tens twenties fifties fanned out across his bed cover. “Top of the world,” he seemed to be saying. When he was done, he neatly packed the dough up and put it back in his safe.

   My sister had told Wyatt, “No friends in the house.” A week later, pulling into her driveway after work, she saw more than twenty boys and girls on her front porch and front steps. Two of them were sprawled across a railing. They were waiting for Wyatt. My sister called my brother.

   “Get over here and tell your son’s friends to leave.” 

   I happened to be driving by and stopped to see what was going on with the crowd on the front porch. When I asked if they were waiting for somebody, one of the youngsters on the railing said, “We are the ones we’re waiting for.” I assumed it was a smarmy Millennial trope and left when I saw my brother’s car coming down the street.

   When Wyatt came home, she asked him, “What do you not understand about no friends?”

   He was terrific about explaining and apologizing. Before he was done my sister cried uncle. “Just don’t let it happen again,” she said. It happened again and again. Wyatt was sincerely insincere when he had to be.

   The driveway was defined by the two houses on its sides. It wasn’t a wide driveway by any means. There was a grass strip on the neighbor’s side but no buffer on the other side. Fortunately, Wyatt drove a compact car. Unfortunately, he had forgotten what he learned in driver’s ed. He bounced off the house several times, denting his car, and ripping siding off the side.

   He liked to text my sister, asking if she needed anything done around the crash pad. When he mixed up the driveway and house he texted her, promising to fix it right away. He never did. He never did anything else, either, except breaking in through the back kitchen window whenever he locked himself out. Every time he did my sister had to replace the screen. One of the neighbors called the Lakewood Police Department when he saw one of the break-ins, but Wyatt was able to explain it away.

   After the intervention went bust, Wyatt was arrested again and charged with drug possession, possessing criminal tools, and a trafficking offense. He pled guilty since the cops had the goods on him. His charm good looks and a sharp enough lawyer carried the day. He was ordered to be drug tested on a week-to-week basis. It was what saved the day for my sister.

   She wanted Wyatt gone but didn’t know how to get it done. He was a blood relative and needed a place to live, even though he wasn’t willing to do what it takes to possess an apartment and stock the shelves. It was a stand-off. My mother and brother insisted there wasn’t anywhere else he could go. He had burned one bridge too many. She bit the bullet, but it tasted bitter.

   The magic bullet turned out to be the court-mandated drug-testing Wyatt was obliged to undergo. When spring turned to summer and summer turned to fall, Wyatt fell over his tennis shoe laces and tested positive. It might mean the slammer. It meant he was packing up, shoes and safe and all. It meant my sister could slam and lock the door the minute he left, which is what she did, for good reason.

   Ohio law enforcement has the power to seize cash and property involved in drug trafficking. Asset seizures and forfeitures are a crime deterrent and a tool to take down drug trafficking, policemen say. “We generally seize assets that are believed to be the fruits of drug trafficking or used to facilitate the crime of drug trafficking,” Paul Saunders, a senior police official, said. “The courts have a litany of rules that are applied to each case to determine whether assets will be forfeited.”

   The last thing my sister needed was to have her home taken away from her because of somebody else’s bad behavior. Fortunately, no searchlights were searching for her. She went back to watering her lawn, walking her dogs, and watching “Law and Order” on TV. When the crime drama wrapped everything up on a happy note, she went to bed snug as a bug with nobody to bug her.

Ed Staskus edits Theatre PEI. He posts stories on 147 Stanley Street http://www.147stanleystreet.com and Cleveland Daybook http://www.clevelandohiodaybook.com

Theatre PEI

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The Vibe is Back

We’re back!!

It’s been a minute since we last saw our favorite Xclusive Crew, but they’re back with an all-new show. This time, we’re celebrating how culture brings us all together and will have you dancing in your seat.

Island vibe is a vibrant, upbeat production featuring music and dance from the Caribbean, fused with traditional Island steps. It’s a colorful celebration of unity and diversity!

The show opening will be this Saturday, August 6 at 12:00 pm or you can catch the preview Friday, August 5 at 12:00 pm.

For more dates, please visit our website ➡️https://bit.ly/3zOB5I3

Sponsor: TD

Theatre PEI

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Only a Few Days Away

Georgetown Plein Air is only a few days away, and we’re so excited! There’s still time to sign up and spend a magical 2 day in Georgetown at the Kings Playhouse, learning and creating beautiful art!

As we countdown until Friday, we thought that we would take some time to introduce our stellar instructors.

Julia Purcell

Julia has been drawing and painting ever since her university days in Technical Theatre at Dalhousie University, where she earned a BA with Honours. She worked briefly at Neptune Theatre in Halifax NS but quickly realized her real passion was painting. While she acknowledges the value of the quality instruction she received while at Dalhousie in drawing, painting, design and lighting, she has rarely looked back on that profession.

She paints regularly and exhibits her work where it can be seen by the public in many commercial galleries. Julia devotes time to improving and learning about art making, whether it is in the form of a short online course through NSCAD in relief printing with printmaker Carrier Fisher or in earning an ALG Certificate for artists and art gallery workers led by staff at the Anna Leonowens Gallery. Julia give the occasional invited artist talk, on art related topics such as Colour Theory.

Theatre PEI

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Out of the Drawer

Actor Rahul Gandhi to play Miles in The Drawer Boy
 
Montreal based actor Rahul Gandhi travels to PEI for the 2nd time this year, this time to play the role of Miles in The Drawer Boy at Watermark Theatre in North Rustico. He previously appeared at the same venue in Kitbag Theatre’s production of Lungs in April. The Drawer Boy by Michael Healey will be performed at Watermark from August 9th to September 3rd. We spoke to Rahul about the upcoming part.
 
Q: How did you get cast in the play?
A self tape from my kitchen! Theatre is such a wonderful community effort– I was asked to read while rehearsing for Kitbag Theatre’s production of Lungs earlier this year, by Robert Tsonos, AD of the Watermark, and he said something like “Oh we’ll have maybe 15 or 20 people read” and so I thought nothing of it: “no way I’d be cast”. That let me free up my choices with no pressure, and I am very happy that they appreciated my tape!
 
Q: Tell us about the play and what it means to you?
The Drawer Boy is a story of friendship, honesty, and the pursuit of storytelling. I always say that Theatre is self-referential, and this is no exception! This play makes me proud to be a Canadian artist and to lend myself to Canadian storytelling!
 
Q: What about the character you’re playing? What’s he all about?
Miles is a twenty-something year old, doe-eyed, eager actor from the big city (Toronto in this case). He’s staying with Angus and Morgan to learn about farming so he can make up a play with his collective about it! It’s fun that he is so out of his element– I’m a young actor from Montreal and so we have a few things in common: getting out of the big city to put on a play!
 
Q: This will be your second time performing at Watermark Theatre. It’s such an intimate venue. What’s it like for you?
The Watermark is such a great space to perform in! The intimacy of it lends itself to a feeling of connection with the audience, with the thrust stage and seating just feet away. Having an opportunity to perform in the space again is a pleasure, and I cannot wait to continue to explore and create.
 
Q: Looking forward to spending 7 weeks in PEI?
YES! My short time in PEI earlier this year left such a lasting impression on me, and I am so excited to see it in the summer. While I’ll miss Montreal, I feel PEI will be a great retreat.
 
Ticket prices for The Drawer Boy range from $15 to $32 and can be purchased at www.ticketwizard.ca or by calling the box office at 902-963-3963.
 
Watermark Theatre’s Mandate
Located in North Rustico, PEI, on land that is the traditional unceded territory of the Mi’Kmaq, the Watermark Theatre is a professional theatre company that produces time-honoured plays, as well as contemporary plays that resonate with our times.
As a company we are led by the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility and commit to incorporating these core values in everything we do.
We prioritize environmental stewardship and sustainability.
The Watermark Theatre is dedicated to the development of the next generation of theatre artists and arts administrators through mentorship and professional training.
In all of our programming we strive for artistic excellence while endeavouring to inform, affect, and engage our audience and our community.
 
For more information please contact Lara Dias at 902-963-3963 or admin@watermarktheatre.com

Theatre PEI

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