Foster’s Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby to open

February 11, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Starting next week, Shelburne’s Tipling Stage Company will stage Norman Foster’s famous fishing play, The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby.

With a cast of familiar faces and new inductees, this hilarious Foster play will open with a preview next Thursday, February 18, opening night February 19 and continue until Saturday, February 27. It promises to be a wonderful evening of entertainment.

We had the chance to speak to the Director, Jean Jardine Miller, who is also the company’s president. She loves directing Norm Foster’s plays. “He doesn’t write loads of stage direction, so you’re free to make your own variation of the play, so actors listen to what you say.”

She went on to remark, “I believe in having the actors develop their own characters, not to necessarily lock them into what I see. I find it frustrating when I’m acting if I’m going in a direction with a character for the director to come in with an opposing view.”

The premise of this comedy is about a rather pompous investment banker, James Bell, who arrives in the town of Kooshog Lake, where his car breaks down, just in time for the annual Fishing Derby. Repairing the car is possible once the necessary parts finally come in but the fishing derby is much more in the minds of the populace and James is stuck there for the weekend.

Naturally, this is a Norm Foster comedy with all the great laughs and upsets one would hope for. The characters James meets in the town might just as soon see him gone but they are equally stuck with him and, so, in the way of small town Ontario hospitality, James is offered a chance to join in the Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby. This is certainly not what he had in mind for his weekend.

Darrick Rosborough is James Bell, back to the Tipling stage as audiences will be glad to see. He has appeared in other plays with the TSC as well joining the Caledon Town Hall Players last year in their production of Baggage.

The set for the action of the play is primarily on the front porch of the General Grocery Store, of which the owner is Sienna Grey, played by Michelle Graham. In spite of a broken heart, Sienna is a laid-back sort of person. Although she has been involved as back stage crew for other TSC productions, this is Ms Graham’s acting debut.

Said Ms. Miller, “I wanted her to do this part – I think she is Sienna. She is just loving doing it too.”

Performing a role that is quite diverse for her is Kelly McDowell as Rhonda Borkowski, who is very taken with the new man in town. Having done more conservative roles in several other plays with TSC, Ms McDowell is “very excited by the challenge of playing such a completely different type of character” in this production.

Kirk Douglas, the local townsman with the jokey name, is portrayed by Paul Welch. Mr. Welch has taken part in other productions on stage with the TSC. In addition, his skills in set design, building and his artistic flair with the painting are also much appreciated by the company.

The town’s antique dealer, Melanie Morningside is offered to us by Sahayla Smith. She is a local Shelburne singer/songwriter, who is making her acting debut as well. Indeed, this is her entrée into the Tipling Stage Company. In her off-stage life, she is a visual artist and runs the open mike at the Main Street Cafe in Shelburne

Jean Jardine Miller has a long history with community theatre back to her early teens as well as directing radio and television commercials in her long career in advertising. She has been very active with the TSC for the six years that she has been with them, acting, directing and set designing.

Said Ms. Miller, “I was in the advertising industry for years and then, freelancing. I finally decided to give up my mortgage in the city and come up here where properties are more reasonable. I was always involved in community theatre since I was 13. This is a great and very funny play by Norm Foster. We are having a lot fun putting it together.”

The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby by Norm Foster production is staged at the Grace Tipling Hall. Evening performances Feb. 18, 19, 26 and 27 at 8:00 and a matinee Feb. 21 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets online or by phone 519-925-2600.

Coming up next, in May, with the Tipling Stage Company is Murder Mistaken, a period play written by Janet Green and directed by Bev Nicolas.

By Constance Scrafield

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