July 23rd, 2024

Hootenanny ‘Junk Show’ set to be fun in the park

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on June 30, 2022.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Ahona Sanyal (Rusty) and Quinn Larder (Dusty), give a preview of a scene from the latest Hootenanny production "The Junk Show" Tuesday at Galt Gardens.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Hootenanny is coming back for their third summer to bring free plays to Galt Gardens aimed at entertaining kids and adults alike throughout the month of July.
This year’s production “The Junk Show” is a play about understanding that everything and everyone has value. Two junk collectors, Dusty and Rusty, spend their days sorting all the junk that no one wants. They put everything into two piles, one is ‘No Good’ and the other is ‘So Good’.
“It feels very good to come back, it feels familiar and comfortable. I feel so much more confident this year than I did last year, it’s great to be back with the wagon and back with Nikki,” said Ahona Sanyal, who plays Rusty.
She said attendees can expect to see a lot of puppets, a lot of junk, a lot of playing and imagining.
“We explore medieval times, underwater, we go to space, it’s a lot of fun,” said Sanyal.
Co-founder of Hootenanny, director, producer and advising facilitator Nicola Elson said she treated the play as a devised piece of theatre, as in a group of people making it up on the spot, getting ideas from a pile of junk she got her hands on.
“I went to a place called Bin Diver which is a curated art junkyard just north of Calgary. I drove my truck down there, I filled it with junk, I came back and dumped all the junk on the floor on the first day of rehearsals and said what are we gonna make a play about?” said Elson.
She said this year’s production was a collaboration because she works at the University of Lethbridge, and due to the strike and delayed semester she did not have as much time to do prep work as she usually does.
Those involved in the production did not have a problem with that; in fact they had fun sorting through the junk as Sanyal explained.
“I love junk and getting to make puppets out of junk, and seeing what works and how things can connect when it’s just metal and plastic was so much fun,” said Sanyal.
The play will take place at Galt Gardens Wednesday through Saturday starting next week, and Sanyal believes being outside adds to the experience.
“I think the natural sunlight adds a lot of great things, sometimes we get blinded but it’s always fun, and it’s nice to see everyone’s faces and not have any theatre lights blocking the views of all the smiles,” said Sanyal.
Their debut show will take place at Henderson Lake Park during Canada Day celebrations with two performances at 1:00 p.m and 3:00 p.m.
There is no set place for the performances at Henderson yet but those interested are encouraged to look for the Hootenanny wagon.
“After that we will be at the corner of Galt Gardens near to the fountains, across from Casa Wednesdays through Saturdays with a 10:30 a.m. performance throughout July,” said Elson.
She said the play is about 30 to 40 minutes long and people are welcomed to bring their pets to watch as well.

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