Awards of Merritt

Tara Thorne has your non-Juno news.

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The diverse and talented Atlantic theatre family came together at Alderney Landing on March 27 to celebrate its brightest and its best. The 2006 Merritt Awards ceremony was a glamorous affair complete with red carpet and live band. MC Marty Burt had the audience in stitches as he took aim at the practice of hiring come-from-aways, though the laughter was not quite as loud from the Neptune table. Neptune came up the big winner, garnering seven awards including Outstanding Production for The Diary of Anne Frank and Best Actress in a Leading Role went to Carmen Grant for The Syringa Tree. Best Actor went to Kevin Curran in Fat Morgan Theatre’s Gay White Trash, which also won Best New Play for first-time playwright Michael Best. It’s a pleasure to note that a couple of volunteer awards went to members of community theatre groups. Now that they have a toe in the door, it may be time to recognize community theatre in other Merritt categories.

—Kate Watson

One time at TV camp...

You know what the biggest non-talent-contest television show in this country is? Corner Gas. People, the opportunities are obviously out there—and the Atlantic Filmmakers’ Co-operative is here to help you realize your dreams of becoming the next Steven Bochco, JJ Abrams or, god willing, Amy Sherman-Palladino (oh fine: or the next Brent Butt). Kick your way through streets littered with hacked-off JunoFest wristbands on Monday, April 3 for a 7pm info session at the CBC (5600 Sackville) for AFCOOP’s writer/director boot camp. For 10 weeks, writers and directors will develop and shoot a TV pilot set in a nightclub. “I understood the value of connecting the writer and script with the actor, often, but not always, aided by the director,” says camp creator Bruce McKenna, who’s been running AFCOOP’s Dramalab program for years. “That was the workshop I wanted to teach, and now after 10 years of developing the model and working through prototypes, I think this is it.” Classes will include guests lecturers Mike Melski, Scott Simpson and more TBD. The cost is $60 for writers, $125 for directors, less if you’re an AFCOOP member. For more info or to register call 420-4572 or write to afcoopdramalab@yahoo.com

Hot stuff

Some hot performance, live and otherwise, will go down Tuesday, April 4, at Ginger's Tavern (1662 Barrington). For a mere 10 bones ($7 for students) you can see a plethora of works from the likes of 2b Theatre, Kenny Doren, Veronique MacKenzie, Gary Markle, Sally Morgan, Verve Mwendo and Maria Osende. This Live Art production starts at 8pm.

The dope. you’ve got it. we want it. email tarat@thecoast.ca

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