The Importance of Being Foolish: A Play 35 Years in the Making
Amy House and Berni Stapleton
August 22 at 8:00 pm
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|The Importance of Being Foolish: A Play 35 Years in the Making|
Amy House and Berni Stapleton are each well known as established artists within Newfoundland and Labrador. Each has an extraordinary theatre performance history, a lengthy resume of play creation and each is credited with having contributed to the growth and success of the performing arts within Newfoundland and Labrador. Amy is the current Artistic Animateur of RCA Theatre Company in St. John’s. Berni is lauded for having transformed The Grand Bank Regional Theatre Festival into professional status during her decade long tenure there, and has just launched her own company called Girl Power Inc.
True to the adage that the whole is more than the sum total of its parts these two have had a 35-year friendship, hateship, partnership, creation-ship and performer ship. In their early comedy days they found their footing with Rising Tide Theatre’s perennial Revue. They went on to become staples on CBC Radio’s Madly Off in All Directions and CBC TV’s Here&Now, and toured nationally and in the States with their still iconic play about the cod moratorium “A Tidy Package.”
Berni and Amy found themselves separately going through a year of contemplation, re-evaluation and artistic rejuvenation. They decided one way to mark this was to come together to create what they hope will be the play of a lifetime.
“The Importance of Being Foolish” is a Comedy within a Comedy within a Comedy of Errors. Life in the Retirement Home for Lesser Known Actors is not all it’s cracked up to be. The highlight of the day is getting kicked out of Walmart for eating Mary Brown’s and watching the stories in the furniture department. In three interwoven stories Berni and Amy tell all in the never before unveiled tabloid worthy real true story of their friendship and duo comedy career, the Fish Plant Workers have their revenge, and a winning lotto ticket is lost. That’s not even counting one of them being a descendant of Shakespeare who specializes in Shakespearean Striptease and one of them reveals a Ukelele Song&Dance. There is a very moving death bed scene but it’s short and no one dies. All in one play, one act, one big ball of wax.
Thirty years ago an unsuspecting Maxim Mazumdar (the late founder of the Stephenville Theatre Festival) cast Amy House and Berni Stapleton in their very first professional stage production together, The Importance of Being Ernest. They high-jacked that show just as they have disrupted every performance they’ve embarked on in the last three decades. Too many “Missus-es” and bandanas later to count they are celebrating the last three decades by cutting a swath through comedy history with The Importance of Being Foolish.