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Tipling Stage Company opens with laughter with “Fishing Derby”

January 23, 2016   ·   0 Comments

The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby is a play so funny that “it’s hard to stay objective and do what a director is supposed to do,” according to Jean Jardine Miller, president of the Tipling Stage Company.

“Everyone is laughing while rehearsing,” says Miller, the director of Norman Foster’s play.

The comedy by Foster, one of Canada’s most popular and prolific playwrights, opens the Stage Company’s 2016 season at Grace Tipling Hall in Shelburne on February 19.

What Miller says she really loves about Foster’s plays is that they come with very little stage direction written in, “it gives you the opportunity to really make it your own.”

The comedy centres around a pompous investment banker whose car breaks down, leaving him stranded in a small town during its annual fishing derby.

The banker “learns a lot more than just how to fish” in this quirky comedy which comes with everything you could want in a show, including laughs, love…and a shark attack.

“It is wonderful to direct another Foster play,” says Miller, who has directed his plays before and had originally hoped to stage Foster’s Hilda’s Yard to open the 2016 season, but was unable to acquire the rights as it is being done by Drayton Entertainment this summer.

However, she says she has no regrets as The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby is so funny and “the title really seems to have a hook.”

Miller says she is pleased Norm Foster has “liked” a number of the company’s tweets on Twitter, and fans of the Tipling Stage Company can “Meet the Cast” of The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby on their Facebook page:

The last two Foster plays produced by Tipling Stage Company have been very popular with audience, she says.

“Fans of Foster’s have come to Shelburne from far out of town just to see his shows,” she notes, adding Foster’s comedies are “good seat sellers…and that’s what we need.”

The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby features local talent working in more than one capacity, as is so often true of community theatre players.

As president, Miller says, “there’s a lot to do in addition to rehearsing the play: props and costumes must be sourced and selected, lighting design and sound effects, [and] music must all be assessed and re-assessed, and set construction must be scheduled.”

The cast includes Michelle Graham who plays Sienna, Darrick Rosborough portraying James Bell, Kelly McDowell as Rhonda Borkowski, Paul Welch as Kirk Douglas, and Sohayla Smith as Melanie Morningside.

Tickets for Tipling Stage Company’s production of The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby are on sale at Holmes Appliances and Music Shop on Main Street, Shelburne, Shelburne IDA and Shelburne Town Hall (519-925-2600) as well as on line at

Evening shows begin at 8pm on February 19, 20, 26, and 27, with one matinee only set for February 21 at 2:00 pm.

Tickets are also available at the door.

By Marni Walsh



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