By: Elizabeth Tomaras – mtltimes.ca
The Lakeshore Players have been a community staple for 50 years, celebrating their milestone anniversary just last year. Multiply that by three performances a year and you’ve got quite a few shows on your hands. However, the Lakeshore Players prove that their longevity does not hinder their creativity. This year, the troupe will be performing Shakespeare In Hollywood.
“It’s a really fun play and whether you’re familiar with Shakespeare or not, it makes sense,” says Luanna Venditti, producer and membership coordinator the Lakeshore Players. “You don’t have to be a Shakespeare scholar to think it’s funny. There’s a lot of slapstick, there’s a lot of running gags, it’s just a fun, good-feeling production.”
Venditti explains that Shakespeare In Hollywood was chosen for its variety in roles.
“It’s very much a comedy, and often with these plays, you have certain roles that are the highlight of the comedy, and the people who shine are only in one or two roles. In this production, there are many opportunities for different characters to have key moments when the audience focuses on them so it’s really an ensemble.”
Venditti emphasizes that they try to have as many amateur actors on the roster as possible without compromising the quality of acting. She explains people often join as a way of meeting new people, or in an attempt to spend some time out of the house, especially for retirees. Of course, she says there are also those who join simply because they love to ham it up for the audience and enjoy being on stage.
Like any community group, there is also the goal of giving back. Every time the Lakeshore Players puts on a show, an organization within the community will buy out the tickets and hold a fundraiser to sell them. On November 11, there will be a benefit night for Literacy Unlimited and St. George’s Anglican Church.
“We try to do as much community outreach as we can but we are a non-profit organization,” says Venditti.
All the support and effort put into the Lakeshore Players both on and off the stage has not gone unnoticed. They have once again been nominated for a Montreal English Theatre Award.
“We’re always very excited when we’re nominated but we have not yet won,” Venditti says. “We’re always hopeful!”
She explains how her actors have been approached at the METAs and complimented on the quality of the productions and their professionalism. Evidently, these nominations and accolades show that their presence is widespread and not limited to Dorval.
The Lakeshore Players are often looking for “new blood” and with the addition of their Facebook page, they are gaining popularity with several age groups.
“We have anyone ranging from 20-year-olds to a 74-year old!” says Venditti.
Shakespeare In Hollywood runs until November 14th. Tickets are $28, or $24 for seniors and students. For show dates, times, and more ticket information, visit www.lakeshoreplayersdorval.com.