Jenna Marie and Jacob Hemphill during rehearsal break at Watermark Theatre in North Rustico

Local talent at Watermark Theatre

Jenna Marie and Jacob Hemphill act their parts

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The people of Prince Edward Island never fail to be proud when their young folk step up to demonstrate their talent. This year Watermark Theatre has cast two such young Islanders, Jenna Marie and Jacob Hemphill in roles for the plays being mounted—Boeing, Boeing and Crimes of the Heart.

Jenna Marie plays Gloria in Boeing, Boeing and Babe in Crimes of the Heart. Her prior acting experience include studies and Holland College School of Performing arts, roles in a number of plays with PEI’s ACT (a community theatre) and, most recently, in the title role in Sandstone Theatre Company’s production of Mary’s Wedding.

She successfully completed a general audition call for Watermark and now finds herself with her first professional contract. “I am an actor!” she happily proclaims.

Jacob Hemphill made his professional acting debut at Watermark last year in Dial M for Murder and A Moon For The Misbegotten. He is in his 4th year of study of Theatre and Opera Performance at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He says he loves singing but the opportunity to act in plays from the classic contemporary repertoire that Watermark presents makes him the envy of his classmates.

Jenna Marie and Jacob are quick to point out how much the enjoy working with directors Robert Tsonos and Charlotte Gowdy, and how much they are learning.

And how do they like the particular intimacy of the Watermark Theatre thrust stage? They agree that the experience is unique, challenging and rewarding. “You can feel the people listening, says Jenna Marie. And “you can speak and move in natural way; it’s a great acting experience,” says Jacob.

Final words from both Jenna Marie and Jacob emphasize how much they appreciate the other members of the “team”— the other actors the crew and the administration “It’s amazing to be here,” says Jenna Marie. Jacob agrees.

The plays

On stage this summer June 25 to August 31, on select dates, is Boeing Boeing by Marc Camoletti. Boeing Boeing is a comedic farce about a successful architect named Bernard who is juggling three flight attendant fiancées—an American, an Italian and a German. Unexpected schedule changes bring all three to Paris, and Bernard’s apartment, at the same time. Bernard, his maid, and his visiting friend Robert must navigate the turbulence ahead.

Crimes Of The Heart by Beth Henley plays July 5 to Aug 30, select dates. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Crimes of the Heart brings you into the Mississippi household of the Magrath sisters. Babe has just shot her husband because she didn’t like his looks. Meg is back in town after a failed attempt in the music business and a nervous breakdown. And poor Lenny—everyone has forgotten her 30th birthday…plus, her pet horse was just struck by lightning. With warm-hearted laughs and touching family moments, the sisters forgive the past, face the present, and embrace the future in this contemporary American stage classic.

The company

This year’s creative company includes  actors Warren Bain, Jacob Hemphill, Jenna Marie, Alexandra Montagnese, Leah Pritchard, Hannah Wayne-Phillips, directors Robert Tsonos and Charlotte Gowdy and Designers William Layton, Renée Brode and Julia Hodgson-Surich.

The interns

This is the 4th year of the Mentorship Program at Watermark, which welcomes current theatre students and recent graduates to train back stage at the theatre all summer. This year’s interns are Virginia Iredale (stage management), Mike Grdosic (carpentry / technical), Rachel Smith (props / scenic art), Claudia Groves (wardrobe), Lokki Ma (arts administration), and Meghan Riddell (wardrobe).