Dianna Fast is a playwright and director whose production is among those included in the third annual Abby Theatre Fest, running Oct. 2 to 5 at Yale Secondary in Abbotsford.

Dianna Fast is a playwright and director whose production is among those included in the third annual Abby Theatre Fest, running Oct. 2 to 5 at Yale Secondary in Abbotsford.

Five plays featured at third annual Abby Theatre Fest

Gallery 7 Theatre holds event Oct. 2-5 at Yale Secondary in Abbotsford

Gallery 7 Theatre launches its 29th annual season of theatre with the third annual Abby Theatre Fest from Oct. 2 to 5.

The festival features five one-act plays and is held at Yale Secondary, 34620 Old Yale Rd.

Ken Hildebrandt, executive artistic director of Gallery 7, said four of the plays are written by playwrights from the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland, and three will have their premieres at the event.

“In keeping with the tradition of this fringe-style festival, all of the shows will take some risks in terms of story, artistry and thematic content,” he said.

The shows at this year’s festival are:

• Letters to Myself – an original play written and performed by Ryan Scramstad. This is a comedic coming-of-age story about what we do when the voices in our head start arguing with each other. What happens when a conservative upbringing confronts a liberal arts career?

• Space Junk – a new comedy written and directed by Chilliwack playwright Eldon Letkeman. Meet Bill and Tonya, two hapless people who are just looking for a job. After securing employment on a rusty old space freighter, they get more than they bargained for.

• Relative Strangers – a play by Sheri Wilner and directed by Chris Taylor. This is a comedy about two women stuck on a plane to Charleston, SC: Marie Harvey, a bitter woman on her way to her divorce hearing, and Marie Barrett, a spunky young woman of 25.

• The Wake of Leroy McGuinness – an original comedy by Abbotsford playwrights The Brothers Hanly and directed by Sue Backs. Leroy McGuinness has met his untimely end and you are invited to his wake. Who in tarnation did away with Leroy? Why on earth would anyone want to send him to the sweet by and by? Did he make it or is he in need of a little redemption? The wake is a mix of old-time cinema shadow puppetry, original music and live action.

• Don’t Forget to Dress the Dummies – a new comedy by Lower Mainland playwrights Dianna Fast and Heather Tekavec and directed by Dianna Fast. In a 1950s department store, Isabella has the important job of dressing the mannequin in the window every day. Amazingly, she notices that whatever she puts on the dummies, passersby are wearing the next day. Playfully, Isabella puts more and more ridiculous outfits on the dummies to see what the people will do and, sure enough, they always copy.

“There’s lots of great heart, soul and mind theatre at this year’s festival. I encourage everyone to come out and show their support for locally grown, locally developed and locally produced live theatre,” Hildebrandt said.

All shows run all days of the festival, although start times will vary from day to day.

Tickets are $15 per show or $45 for all five shows.Visit gallery7theatre.com for the full schedule and to purchase tickets.

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