Sunday, 22 July 2012

Island in the Sky celebrates Newfoundland culture at the Stephenville Theatre Festival

by Keith and Heather Nicol

Patrick Foran in "Island in the Sky"
     On Thursday, July 19 we headed to Stephenville to catch the opening night of “Island in the Sky” which celebrates the writings of well known Newfoundland playwright and poet, Al Pittman. Marie Jones is the director and she has created 55 vignettes which make Al Pittman’s poetry and prose come to life. She incorporates his writings from West Moon, A Rope Against the Sun, On a Wing and a Wish: Salt Water Bird Rhymes and other sources. We particularly enjoyed the West Moon sections and the kitchen party and the cast looked like they were having a lot of fun acting out the salt water bird rhymes.  The basic set has several coat racks which allow the cast to quickly change character by putting on a jacket or adding a hat. Another bonus to the play is the background fiddle playing by Kristin Dalziel. This play is part of the Stephenville Theatre Festival (STF) which is now in its 34th year and they have 4 other performances which play from July 13-August 12, 2012. We chatted with 2 STF board members before the show and they reported that the season is “going very well” and they will be organizing bus transportation between Corner Brook and Stephenville for those people in Corner Brook that want to see their shows. For more information on their schedule for this season and to book tickets phone 709-643-4553 or . We stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn in Stephenville which has special “play and stay” packages. They can be contacted at:

       The next morning as we were checking out of the Holiday Inn we asked the front desk staff about hiking options in the area and they promptly provided us with a handout sheet on hiking and bird watching in the area as well as a Stephenville community map.  We headed first to the Harmon Seaside Walking and Biking Trail which runs right along the water front. We saw several people out enjoying the fresh air and we get the feeling that this 4 kilometer route gets lots of use. There are several benches along the way to stop and take in the beautiful view of Bay St. George. At the end of the road there is an anchor and where you can turn around or you can venture beyond to see fishing boats at the wharf. We then headed to the Kindale Library parking lot in Stephenville and walked the 1.2 kilometer “We Care” trail that winds through a wooded area in the middle of Stephenville. It follows a large loop through typical boreal forest vegetation of spruce, birch and fir trees and it will take about 20 minutes.  Both of these trails are suited to walkers of all ages since the routes are well marked and level. 
Heather walking along the Seaside Trail in Stephenville

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