By Kevin Nunn
Beer Leagues are a proud Canadian Tradition. For time immemorial, Canadians who didn’t make the big leagues would troop out with friends and play the game they loved. Epic battles that go unnoticed by most, but epic battles none the less, played by those who love the sport. After the game, (Hockey, often, but also Soccer, or Baseball, or any old sport) the noble warriors who were never summoned to the big leagues would hoist a pint and relive the glories that just occurred on the field of battle.
Glory, friendship, and improvement are found in the shared struggle. Indeed, Beer Leagues are a fine Canadian tradition, but now it’s not just for athletes, for all the world is a stage.
I wish to offer my most cordial invitation for you to join us in a new league, our very own Beer League Theatre. Scripts will be issued, plays will be read, scenes will be judged, and friendships shall be made. If you love to act, but can never find enough opportunities, if you want to hang out with other ‘theatre nerds’, but have never found a place, if you want to discuss theatre with people of all levels of accomplishment from Old Hand to shiny and new, please join us.
We are new, and still forging the rules, but here are the basics-
The Third Sunday of each month we meet at DSTRCT Lounge where we will do play readings. Some will be prepared with teams alternating scenes until the play is complete with judges hastily scoring each scene and a scorekeeper running the tally. Sometimes we will hand out short scripts on the day to challenge people to interpret a script on short notice, with our judges and scorekeeper once again sitting on hand. Sometimes we will issue challenges for people to compete Mano(logue) a Mano(logue) with the audience cheering for the actor of their choice.
Often the rules will change. Teams can change. You should always be ready for the unexpected, but there are a few things that will not change about the Beer League Theatre;
1) we’re in a bar. Enjoy the show, join the show, but remember to relax and enjoy yourself. You won’t be forced to participate but will be welcomed if you do. Whatever comfort level you have with performance can be accommodated, you will find willing coaches and critics here if you wish; but you aren’t required to do a thing.
2) the “competition” is built on the camaraderie of sharing a theatre experience. Our judges are fickle and of varying tastes, so plan on enjoying the chase, not always the victory!
3) Bring your opinions, and your ideas, and scripts. We’re a new and evolving group, so if you have an idea, we’d love to hear it. You will find other players and playwrights willing to chat and brainstorm new opportunities, and those who are happy to hear about what other theatres are plugging. Let us know about your shows, upcoming auditions, projects that you have in the works. We LOVE helping connect the community.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, please drop us a line! You can email us at [email protected], or find us at the Guelph Fringe Facebook page. We hope to hear from you!