Category Archives: Reviews

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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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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The Four R’s

This year’s Fringe showcases performances from across Canada! That’s right, we have shows from Vancouver, Edmonton, North Bay, Toronto, and right here on PEI!! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to take in another performance… get your tickets now: www.islandfringe.com
Creative PEI
PEI Culture Action Plan
Prince Edward Island Tourism
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Festivals and Events PEI
The Haviland Club
DownStreet Dance
Havenwood Dance Studio
The Salvador Dali Café

Theatre PEI

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Ideas About Idealism

This year’s Fringe showcases performances from across Canada! That’s right, we have shows from Vancouver, Edmonton, North Bay, Toronto, and right here on PEI!! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to take in another performance… get your tickets now: www.islandfringe.com

Creative PEI

PEI Culture Action Plan

Prince Edward Island Tourism

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Festivals and Events PEI

The Haviland Club

DownStreet Dance

Havenwood Dance Studio

The Salvador Dali Café

Beaconsfield Historic House

Theatre PEI

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Little Miss Sunshine

This year’s Fringe showcases performances from across Canada! That’s right, we have shows from Vancouver, Edmonton, North Bay, Toronto, and right here on PEI!! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll want to take in another performance… get your tickets now: www.islandfringe.com
Creative PEI
PEI Culture Action Plan
Prince Edward Island Tourism
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Festivals and Events PEI
The Haviland Club
DownStreet Dance
Havenwood Dance Studio
The Salvador Dali Café

Theatre PEI

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Our Summer Season

🎉🎉Summer Season Announcement!🎉🎉

We can’t keep it to ourselves any longer.

We’re delighted to reveal our 2022 Summer Season.

It’s filled with live music, art, theatre, summer camps, haunted walks and of course – afternoon tea. 🫖

Join us this summer at Kings Playhouse in Georgetown- Where Stories Come Alive!

Image description:

A watercolour background with blue on the top, fading to green on the bottom.

The text reads: Summer 2022 Kings Playhouse and Art Gallery.

Music & Theatre

Sounds of Summer Music Series

Shannon & Tony Quinn and Scott MacKay Band

July 8

Peggy Clinton & Johnny Ross

July 22

Fascinating Ladies

August 5

Shannon & Tony Quinn and Inn Echo

August 19

A Taste of the Island Jubilee

August 26

Chad Matthews

September 2

Tuesday Night Hootenanny

Tuesdays at 8pm

Theatre & Storytelling

Mom Runs Amok by Lorne Elliott

July 27, August 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Haunted Georgetown

Thursdays at 9:15pm

Visual Art & Tea

Gallery Exhibitions

Joyful! Joyful!

The Art of Patrick Guindon

July

UPEI Seniors College

August

Georgetown Plein Air Festival

August 5 & 6

Art in the Gardens

Family engaged art programs

with artist Patrick Guindon

Garden Mural

July 16th @ 1pm

Watercolour in the Gardens

July 23 @ 1pm

Printmaking Workshop

August 6 @ 1pm

Process Art Freeplay

August 13 @ 1pm

Afternoon Tea

Sundays starting at 2pm

Theatre PEI

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A Case of You

🎫🎫REMINDER! To get your Laila Biali tickets this week! 🎫🎫

She will be performing with her trio at Harbourfront Theatre on Thursday May 19th!

Laila is an incredible songwriter in her own right, but she also does a truly phenomenal cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”. There are just no words for how beautiful it is.

Theatre PEI

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Nowhere to Hide

By Ed Staskus

   Corporal JT Markunas was stationed in Charlottetown with the Queens RCMP detachment. He was a grade above constable, but still pulled service in a police pursuit vehicle. He rented a small two-bedroom farmhouse in Milton, where he had planted a root garden. His parents were pleased when they saw the photograph of beets, turnips, and carrots that he mailed them. He was in his police car in Cavendish, across the street from the Rainbow Valley amusement park. JT was from Sudbury, Ontario and Prince Edward Island was his third assignment since joining the force. His first assignment had been at Fort Resolution in the Northwest Territories. He missed Sudbury, but he didn’t miss Fort Resolution.

   When he was a child, the Canadian Pacific hauled ore on tracks behind their house. When the train wailed, he wailed right back. When he was a boy American astronauts practiced out in the city’s hinterland, where the landscape resembled the moon. When he grew up, he trained for the RCMP at a boot camp in Regina. He was surprised to see gals at the camp, the first women allowed into the force. They kissed the Bible and signed their names, like all the recruits, and wore the traditional red serge when on parade, but they also wore skirts and high heels and carried a hand clutch. 

   JT was sitting in his white Ford Interceptor, watching for speeders, of whom he hadn’t seen any that morning. He was thinking about his second cup of coffee but was waiting until he started yawning. He thought it was going to happen soon. When it did, he would 10-99 the control room and take a break from doing nothing.

   Cavendish was Anne’s Land. It was where “Anne of Green Gables” was set. He hadn’t read the book, but doubted it had anything to do with what he could see in all directions. The amusement park was named after Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1919 book “Rainbow Valley.” It was waterslides, swan boats, a sea monster, monorail, roller coasters, animatronics, castles and suspension bridges, and a flying saucer gift shop. 

   The paratrooper might have been everyone’s favorite ride.

   Earl Davison was looking for a roller coaster when he found it.  He was in Pennsylvania hunting for a bargain at a park turning its lights off.  The coaster seemed to fit the bill at first sight.

   “It’s a terrific ride, but you’ll need to have a good maintenance team to keep ’er running,” the Pennsylvania man said.

   When Earl hemmed and hawed, the man suggested his paratrooper ride instead. “It’s the best piece of equipment I have. I will sell you that paratrooper ride for $25,000 and we’ll load it for you.” By the end of the next day Earl had written a check and the ride was loaded ready to go for the long drive back to PEI.

   Earl Davison thought up Rainbow Valley in 1965, buying and clearing an abandoned apple orchard and filling in a swamp, turning it into ponds. “We borrowed $7,500.00,” he said. “It seemed like an awful lot of money at the time.” When they opened in 1969 admission was 50 cents. Children under 5 got in free. Ten years later, he bought his partners out and expanded the park. Most of the attractions were designed and fabricated by him and his crew.

   “We add something new every year,” said Earl. “That’s a rule.” The other rule-of-thumb was moms and dads with smiles plastered all over the faces of their children. “Some of the memories you hear twenty years later are from people whose parents aren’t with them anymore. But they remember their visits to Rainbow Valley and those experiences last a lifetime.”

   When his two-way radio came to life, instructing him to go to Murphy’s Cove to check on a report of a suspicious death, JT hesitated, thinking he should get a coffee first, but quickly decided against it. Suspicious deaths were far and few between. Homicides happened on Prince Edward Island about once every ten years. This might be his only chance to work on one. When he drove off it was fast with flashing lights but no siren. He reported that the cove was less than ten minutes away. 

   Conor Murphy saw the patrol car pull off the road onto the shoulder and tramped down the slope to it. Some people called the RCMP Scarlet Guardians. Most people in Conor’s neck of the woods called them Gravel Road Cops, after the GRC on their car doors, the French acronym for Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Conor didn’t call them anything. He had been on the force once and didn’t mess with what they might or might not be.

  JT put his cap on and joining Conor walked up to where Bernie Doiron was waiting beside the tractor. When he saw the arm handcuffed to the briefcase, he told Conor and Bernie to not touch anything and walked back to his patrol car. He wasn’t sure what code to call in so called in a 10-64, requesting an ambulance, and asked for the commander on duty. He described what he had found and was told to sit tight.

   “Yes sir,” he said.

   It wouldn’t be long before an ambulance and many more cars showed up. They couldn’t miss his car, but he turned the lights on top of it back on just in case and backtracked to the tractor.

   “Who found this?” he asked, pointing at the arm. 

   “I did,” said Bernie.

   “Is it the same as you found it?” JT asked. “Did you or move or disturb anything?”

   “No, we left it alone,” Bernie said. 

   “And you are?” JT asked Conor.

   “I’m across the street in the green house,” Conor said. “These are my fields. Bernie came down and got me when he found this. A fox has been at the arm.”

   “I see that,” JT said, even though he didn’t know what had happened to the arm. He didn’t jump to conclusions. It was flayed and gruesome, whatever it was. He wasn’t repulsed by it. He was being objective. The final quality that made him a good policeman was that he was patient. He waited patiently with Conor and Bernie for the rest of the team to show up. None of the three men said a word.

   JT looked at the land all around him getting ready for the growing season. There was no growing season where he grew up. His father worked the nickel mines in Sudbury his working life, never missing a day. He had been an explosives man and made it through his last year last week last shift unscathed. He had always known there was no one to tap him on the shoulder if he made a mistake.

   His mother raised four children. She dealt with powder burns every day. They were among the few post-war Lithuanians still left in Sudbury. The rest of them had worked like dogs and scrimped and saved, leaving the first chance they got. His parents put their scrimping and saving into a house on the shores of Lake Ramsey and stayed to see Sudbury transition from open pits and wood fire roasting to business as usual less ruinous to the land they lived on.

   An ambulance from a funeral home in Kensington was the first to arrive, followed within minutes by two more RCMP cars. A pumper from the North Rustico Fire Department rolled to a stop, but there wasn’t anything for the volunteer firemen to do. They thought about helping direct traffic, but there was hardly any traffic to speak of. The summer season was still a month-and-a-half away. They waited, suspecting they were going to be the ones asked to unearth the remains. They brought shovels up from their truck.

   The coroner showed up, but bided his time, waiting for a commissioned officer to show up. When he did there were two of them, one an inspector and the other one a superintendent. They talked to JT briefly, and then the fire department. The firemen measured out a ten-foot by ten-foot perimeter with the arm in the center, pounded stakes into the ground, demarcated the space with yellow police tape, and slowly began to dig. 

   They had not gotten far when the arm fell over. It had been chopped off above the elbow. One of the firemen carried the arm and briefcase to a gray tarp and covered it with a sheet of thick translucent plastic.

   “Has anybody got a dog nearby?” the inspector asked.

   Most of the firemen farmed in one way or another. Most of them had dogs. One of them who lived less than two miles away on Route 6 had a Bassett Hound. When he came back with his dog, he led him to the grave. The Bassett sniffed the perimeter of the grave and jumped into it, digging at the dirt with his short legs, barking, and looking up at his master. The fireman clapped his hands and the dog jumped out of the grave.

   “There’s something there” he said. “Probably the rest of him.”

   They started digging again carefully and methodically. When they found the rest of him three feet deep and twenty minutes later it was a woman. She was wearing acid wash jeans and an oversized tangerine sweatshirt. She was covered in dirt and blood. One of her shoes had come off. What they could see of her face was ruined by burrowing insects. She was still decomposing inside her clothes.

   The coroner stepped up to the edge of the grave with the two men who had come in the ambulance.

   “Be careful, she’s going to want to fall apart as soon as you start shifting her weight,” he said. 

   The two men were joined by two of the firemen. When all four were in the shallow grave they slowly moved the corpse into a mortuary bag, zipped it up, and using the handles on the bag lifted it up to two RCMP constables and two more of the firemen. They carried the bag slowly down the hill, the dog following them, placing it on a gurney and inside the ambulance.

   The constables went back up the hill to join the rest of the RCMP team, who were getting ready to sift through the grave looking for evidence. They would scour the ground in all directions, to the tree line and the road. JT Markunas had gotten his Minolta 7000 out of the trunk and was taking photographs. When he was done, he joined them. They spread out and with heads bowed started looking for anything and everything.

   The ambulance was ready to go when Conor came down to the side of the park road, stopped beside it and tapped on the driver’s side window. When it rolled down, he pointed up the slope.

   “Don’t forget the arm,” he said.

Excerpted from the crime thriller “Red Road.”

Ed Staskus edits Theatre PEI. He posts feature stories on Paperback Yoga http://www.paperbackyoga.com 147 Stanley Street http://www.147stanleystreet.com and Lithuanian Journal http://www.lithuanianjournal.com. To get the site’s monthly feature in your in-box click on “Follow.”

Theatre PEI

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