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Sonja Smits to perform in soloFest opener White Rabbit, Red Rabbit

Sonja Smits

Sonja Smits

Well-known star of the stage and screen, actor Sonja Smits will take the plunge in White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, the opening performance of Festival Players’ soloFest, on July 20 at Picton’s Regent Theatre.

“A playful, enigmatic and haunting show that takes on a gravity that prickles your skin, and keeps taking unexpected turns that often lead us back to the relief of laughter. Any worthy theatrical experience is a dive down into a rabbit hole, where the destination is unknown. The distinction of White Rabbit, Red Rabbit is that the performer moves right alongside us on the journey.” -Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

The play, an international sensation written by Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, is a theatrical experiment, of sorts. Around the world, reviewers have agreed to keep the content of the show under wraps. Anyone who performs it can only perform it once because they are to have no prior knowledge of the show, receiving the script for the first time when they walk on stage.

The audience will experience The Regent in a whole new way, as well. Performer and audience alike will be ‘behind the curtain’, on stage together with theatre’s iconic red drape pulled shut.

“It’s a perfect match. Nobody knows what we’re getting into in terms of the show. It’s going to be an adventure! And to have us all up on the stage, having this cool ‘behind the scenes’ kind of experience. Sonja gets handed an envelope as she enters and off we go. It’s a great kickoff to soloFest and an exciting part of our 10th season,” says Artistic Director Sarah Phillips.

Nassim Soleimanpour is an Iranian playwright, confined to his country after he refused to serve the mandatory term in the military. The play, written in English, was his way of sending his voice out into the world, even if he couldn’t travel himself. Since it premiered in 2011, the show has been translated into more than 20 different languages and been performed over 1000 times by some of the biggest names in theatre and film including actors John Hurt, Stephen Rea, Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane and Juliet Stevenson.

Sonja Smits is at once recognizable from her starring roles on the popular television series’ The Eleventh Hour, Traders and Street Legal, where she’s garnered multiple Gemini, Genie and Emmy nominations and awards. As an acclaimed stage performer, she has also appeared on stages across Canada and the US in everything from The Graduate to Uncle Vanya to Summer in Smoke.

Festival Players 2016Tickets to Festival Players’ 10th Anniversary Season are available online at 4pack holders are encouraged to redeem their tickets to avoid disappointment as some shows (including White Rabbit, Red Rabbit) have very limited seating.

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit – 8pm Wed July 20 @ Regent Theatre, 224 Main St, Picton ON
Single tickets on sale now – $29.90 +HST (student, senior and group prices available) 4packs on sale until July 1, 2015

This year’s Festival includes:

Festival-Tale-of-a-TownTale of a Town: Prince Edward County will run July 6 – 17 at Mt Tabor Playhouse. The Festival Players Young Company joins Fixt Point as they explore stories collected in 2015, building an all-new stage production by, for, and about The County.

Human-LibraryHuman Library, running July 8, 9 and 15, 16, is a unique, interactive experience, like an in-person choose-your-own-adventure, meant to fill up your heart and your mind, challenging preconceptions and broadening your understanding of the full breadth of the human experience.

Festival-solofestsoloFest (SEE BELOW) returns for a second year and will showcase an award-winning collection of extraordinary solo work scheduled for July 20 – 30. 8 diverse, outstanding shows over 10 days!

Get your fill!

Festival-SplinterAugust will feature the world-premiere of David Carley’s stage adaptation of A Splinter in the Heart, based on the novel originally penned by local poet Al Purdy. Performed under the Grand Tent at Rosehall Run, A Splinter in the Heart runs Aug 3 – 21. A little-known piece of Canadian wartime history, brought vividly to life.


Festival-Sounding-GroundThroughout the season you can experience Sounding Ground, a series of five audio plays that will have you embarking on a walking journey around town. It’s Picton as you’ve never seen (heard) it before.

Visit the Festival Players website for more details and tickets!


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