Dean Fleming has the wind in his sails as the Artistic Director of Hudson Village Theatre. Hudson Village theatre presents a successful mix of professional theatre productions alongside high quality amateur productions and musical performances that enable the theatre to operate year-round. “We’re fortunate to have such strong community support for the theatre as a centrepiece of community life in Hudson,” stated Dean Fleming in our conversation about the upcoming season. “To a large extent, the revenues brought in by the other activities enable us to present our professional series.”

Hudson Village Theatre

Leni Parker plays seven characters in the season opener; The Blonde, The Brunette And The Vengeful Redhead

I asked Dean what criteria he has in selecting plays. “There are a variety of influences acting at the same time,” he states. “We want to keep existing audiences excited about coming to the theatre, recognizing at the same time that to continue to thrive, we must attract new audiences to the theatre.” Continuing, Dean says; “I recognize that we’re competing for people’s time, competing for their desire to stay home and watch a movie on Netflix. We have a responsibility about the stories we’re telling to tell them well – and to give quality live performances that will engage people in another way beyond ‘screen time’. Laughter is an important component in play selection – even if the play is not a comedy. When people laugh, they are opened up to feeling; and when that happens, they are engaged in the performance.”

The 2020 professional theatre season will take audiences on an international theatrical journey with four plays that centre around love. Building on the success of last season, Dean’s second season will resonate with audiences by presenting engaging stories that reflect our lives.

I am so eager to welcome the great and talented artists that will be in Hudson over the next 9 months. The only thing that tops my excitement it is knowing how much the audiences will love watching them all tell the great stories we have coming up. Funny? Absolutely… but I promise you more than just funny. Once again, this year we bring you some great writing that will have you engage with the incredible characters you will meet. I invite you to join us for a truly incredible season of high-level theatre.

– Dean Patrick Fleming

The professional season opens in April with the Australian mystery-comedy The Blonde, The Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead by Robert Hewett. An adulterous husband, a meddlesome neighbour and a dropped ice-cream cone are among the circumstances that combine to shatter the life of suburban housewife Rhonda Russell. Hilarious and achingly real, the play will take audiences into a world that is not too hard to recognize. Powerhouse performer Leni Parker will bring seven different characters to life, giving a fresh twist of perspective as the intrigue unfolds. Dean commented; “My first thought was ‘I hope this play is as good as the title’”. The characters that Leni takes on include a four and half year-old boy, a 45 year-old man and a 90-year old woman. The plot centers around a murder, and each character reveals more of this quirky mystery.”

“A marvellous mysterious and funny story.”

…The Washington Post

“John Patrick Shanley is regarded as the Bruce Springsteen of playwrights,” Dean comments about the July production of Tony award-nominated Outside Mullingar. The play will take audiences on a journey as the unlikely love story of Anthony and Rosemary unfolds in rural Ireland. Introverted Anthony has spent his entire life on a cattle farm in rural Ireland, while Rosemary who lives right next door and is determined to have him, watches the years slip away. Directed by the award winning Micheline Chevrier and starring Brian Dooley (The Drawer Boy, HVT 2019), Pauline Little, and Kathleen Stavert. This very Irish tale features two yearning, eccentric souls fighting their way towards solid ground and some kind of happiness in a tale that reminds us it’s never too late for love.

“Outside Mullingar is laced with colourful dialogue and sharp Irish wit …

and offers plenty of laughs.”

– CBC

In August, HVT will bring you Strawberries in January, a quirky love story from Governor General award-winning Quebec playwright Évelyne de la Chenelière translated by Governor general Award winner Morwyn Brebner. “Morwyn is a friend of mine from school, and I did something different in casting her translation of this play. I presented the script to all actors simultaneously – and they jumped on it right away.” It’s the story of four romantically challenged singletons who stumble through contemporary Montréal in search of love. Originally written in Québec French, this delicate, double love story has the bittersweet atmosphere of a French film, and like a film, the story is told in a series of intriguingly interconnected flashbacks. Starring Quincy Armorer, Lucinda Davis, Mike Payette and Warona Setshwaelo and directed by Dean Patrick Fleming. They don’t make them like this heartwarming comedy anymore!

“…a very clever little show which operates on two levels:

light and fluffy on the surface and hard as glass underneath.”

… The Guardian

“The fourth play of our season Every Brilliant Thing, is one of the most beautiful plays I’ve ever experienced. It’s a gem that lasts just an hour, and involves audience participation.” Duncan Macmillan’s play is about a seven year-old who keeps a list to try to cheer up his mother, who suffers from depression.” Jonny Donahue will take centre stage at HVT in October and asks the question, what do you do when you’re seven and mum finds it hard to be happy?

This solo show, starring Hudson favorite Daniel Brochu, shares the story of a child who keeps his mother’s chronic depression at bay by creating a list for her of everything that makes life worth living and how the list becomes the centre of his life. This funny and moving play ran for four months on Broadway; and is a tribute to the joy that can be found in the small things and the lengths to which we will go to for those we love. This is a unique play, perhaps unlike anything you’ve seen before and you’ll be talking about the experience for a very long time.

★★★★★…one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see about depression –

and possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop.”

—The Guardian

The Hudson Village theatre is at, 28 Wharf Road, J0P 1H0 in Hudson in a cozy converted train station. www.villagetheatre.ca. The Blonde, The Brunette And The Vengeful Redhead – April 16 To 26. Outside Mullingar, July 3 to 19. Strawberries In January, August 6 to 23. Every Brilliant Thing, October 22 to November 1. Tickets & Showtimes: $35 plus tax and service charge. 2pm matinées (Wed., Thurs., Sat., & Sun.) 8pm evenings (Thurs., Fri., & Sat.) Group rates available. Please contact the HVT Box Office: 450-458-5361 or hvtbox@videotron.ca

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