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ART – there’s no accounting for taste, or friends

Three life-long friends will battle it out over an extravagant purchase of a painting this weekend as Shatterbox Theatre presents award-winning comedy at The Local Store’s loft art gallery.

In ‘ART’, a Tony Award winning comedy by Yasmina Reza, lines are drawn, and the bonds of friendship are tested. There is no accounting for taste, or friends.

“It’s a smart, sharp comedy about modern friendship and everyone can relate to it. I love this play. The more I read it, the more intricacy and humour I find. I think my favourite part about ART, aside from the razor-sharp repartee, is its humanity,” said Fiona Dodsworth, director. “Despite its outrageous laughs, the play has tenderness at its heart. This is such a human story and I think everyone can find something to relate to in these characters – their witty banter that quickly turns to barbs, their arrogance, their anxiety, their genuine friendship. Love them or hate them, they’re us.”

Traditionally done by men, Shatterbox has put a spin on ART by casting all women to play the roles.

“We wanted to freshen it up, the play is over 25 years old now and is still going strong all over the world. It’s a comedy but also has some meaty layers to it, and we have some really strong actors in our community and wanted to give them the opportunity to step into these roles and put on this award winning comedy with a twist,” Georgia Papanicolaou, Shatterbox Artistic Director.

When it came to choosing the venue for the show it was easier then Shatterbox thought. There had always been the idea of performing it in a gallery of some sort, and when the opportunity came to present it in the loft gallery at The Local the team jumped on it.

“We first saw the loft gallery in The Local Store two years ago when we took part in the Scavenger PEC Hunt for charity. We immediately fell in love with the space and knew right away that it would be the perfect backdrop for our production of ‘ART’.

“Many of our shows have been at The Regent Theatre and we have been looking for unique venues, and The Local Store was the right fit for this particular show. The Gallery is absolutely stunning with the wall of local art hanging on it, we didn’t need a set with such an incredible scene as that,” said Papanicolaou

Dodsworth is a new director, but has been with Shatterbox from the very beginning. Starting off as an actor in Shatterbox’s premiere show Constellations, then moving on to stage managing Armstrong’s War last November, she has quickly moved up to take on the next role in her theatrical journey as Director.

“Directing ART has been a really eye-opening experience for me. As a first time director, working with such talented actors on such an intricate and demanding script may seem a bit intimidating. However, having the amazing Shatterbox production team behind me has been such an awesome support! Everyone is working together to create something special and beautiful, and I love that about Shatterbox,” said Dodsworth.

She is joined on this production with actors and newcomers Mikenzie Pearsoll, Vivian Nickels and Roxanne MacKenzie.

“Working with Mikenze, Roxanne and Vivian is a real treat. They are all experienced actresses who each bring something wonderful and unique to the stage. We’ve spent a lot of time diving into the characters and their motivations, and I’m constantly impressed with what these ladies discover. They’re surprising, hilarious, and wise in turn. And as much as I’m directing them, they’re teaching me as well,” she added.

Jennifer Lynn Litke also new to the Shatterbox team is stage managing the production.

“Our team is growing and we have such great talent stepping out of the woodwork to join us. We have such wonderful support and energy coming from our community who believe in our work and vision and who are joining us to continue to foster our brand of theatre. It’s a great feeling and I’m very proud of what we are accomplishing,” added Papanicolaou.

ART by Yasmina Reza plays at The Local Store Sept. 19th-22nd. Tickets are $20 plus fees and are available for purchase at or The Local Store.

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