BELLEVILLE – Love is at the heart of a new series of locally produced one-act plays inspired by Valentines Day premiering at the Belleville Club.
It’s the Quinte Playwrights’ Collective third First Draft event, a night where short plays written by local playwrights get performed for an audience at the Belleville Club.
Member and organizer Peter Paylor says that the event started as a way for local playwrights to support each other and their work. Paylor said that originally they weren’t planning on continuing the event.
“We’ve found that we’ve created an audience that wants more of it. So we’re gonna give it to them,” he said.
The region is in a really fertile period for local playwriting, he said, adding the Collective would like to develop Belleville as a centre for playwriting excellence.
This event’s theme is love, which Paylor said was chosen due to the proximity to Valentine’s Day. It’s been three months in the making, with around 10 playwrights participating.
One of whom is Bayside Secondary Student Josh Terpstra, 17, the youngest member of the Collective.
He joined the Collective last June when he was invited after submitting a one-act play to a local competition.
He said he’s been involved in theatre for years, performing in productions with the Stirling Festival Theatre and Belleville Theatre Guild, as well as participating in the improv team at Bayside.
Terpstra said he enjoys writing as well as acting.
“Playwriting kind of gives me an outlet to really get my thoughts out and gives me an opportunity to kind of write characters that I would want to play,” said Terpstra.
He has two original works being performed Thursday: Traditions and Love At First Snap. The plays are short, running around four minutes each, and Terpstra said he wrote both in one day. He said Traditions took about three hours to write, while Love At First Snap only took him half an hour.
Terpstra describes Traditions as being about a nameless man sitting at a restaurant who repeatedly talks to a waiter about his wife. He said that you get to find out about the man’s connection with his wife and that he didn’t want to give too much away but there’s “a bit of a twist at the end.”
Love At First Snap is a satirical piece that Terpstra said touches on how dress codes work in school and centres around two young female characters.
He said that though the piece was originally going just to be a comedy, it ended up being also being a critique of what society accepts as the norm for interactions with other people.
Terpstra said that his goal is to get a reaction from the audience.
“If I made one person laugh or I made one person smile with my plays, then I’ve done something right.”
The event runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. this Thursday. Tickets were available for $10 at Artists & Artisans Gallery & Studio at 54 Bridge Street East.