After a career of directing, Adam MacGregor and Sherri-Lee Darrach jump on stage for Boy Meets Girl: A Young Love Story at Victoria Playhouse
After directing dozens of dinner theatre productions, Adam MacGregor and Sherri-Lee Darrach missed the fun and excitement of performing on stage.
“I was an actor before anything else. And Adam was heavily involved in the music scene. We wanted to produce something that we (would) have the reins on,” says Darrach.
So, last year they teamed up to write and perform their first play, P.E.I. Love Story, which ran at the Victoria Playhouse and the St. Peter’s Courthouse Theatre.
“It was an opportunity to do something we love,” says MacGregor, the show’s musical director.
Filled with heartfelt songs and a believable storyline, word quickly spread about their talent, and the play enjoyed successful runs.
“People responded really well to what we created,” Darrach says.
In fact, the show was so popular that the creative duo is back this season with its own production company, Manne Productions, and another show. Boy Meets Girl: A Young Love Story plays today to Sept. 15 at Victoria Playhouse after enjoying a successful run at St. Peter’s Courthouse Theatre.
Written by Sam Wolfson, it’s the story of Sam and Katie, two six-year-olds who meet on the school playground during recess.
“The play talks about them falling in love and (how, even as children), they go through all the stages of a relationship in 72 hours,” says Darrach.
At one point, the characters get into a fight because Katie wants Sam to play with her more. But he wants to hang out with his friends.
“She wants more of his time. And he’s starting to feel smothered. So, there’s silliness to it,” says MacGregor, with a laugh.
“There’s also a constant thread about the things that happen in a relationship. And haven’t we all been there before?
“So we make our show connect on a very human level,” he says.
One of the ways that MacGregor does this is through music that speaks to relationship issues.
“It sets the tone for each scene and helps develop and reinforce the characters,” he says.
In his quest to create a musical soundtrack for the play, he came up with a long list of Maritime performers and their work.
“Then we had some room for others to come in,” he says.
Songs woven into the context of the play include Celebrate by Rose Cousins, Saltwater Hearts by Dave Gunning and Fair Thee Well Love by The Rankins. These songs join global favourites As Long as Our Hearts are Beating by Jenny and Tyler and Love Me Tender by Elvis and others.
MacGregor and Darrach also show their creativity by co-writing a song, An Island Girl and an Island Boy, based on the characters that they play.
“It talks about them falling in love and the hardship and struggle that they’ve gone through in making this relationship work,” says MacGregor.
Their music adds an extra dimension to their show, says Victoria Playhouse’s general manager who is delighted to welcome the performers back again.
“Both Adam and Sherri-Lee are talented musicians....They are passionate about their work and this comes across in their performances — something audiences always respond to,” says Pat Smith.
So what’s next on their musical horizon?
Darrach is optimistic.
“We hope to do one or two shows a year, more if possible,” she says.
“But we also want to raise the bar on theatre in the province, so we’re striving for excellence in our productions,” he says.
AT A GLANCE
Just the facts
What: Boy Meets Girl: A Young Love Story.
When: Plays Aug. 30-Sept.15 at Victoria Playhouse.
History: As artistic director at Victoria Playhouse, one of the Erskine Smith’s priorities was to support emerging Island performers, directors and playwrights.” He believed strongly in giving people chances and in taking chances,” says Pat Smith, adding the theatre presented P.E.I. Love Story last year after Sherri-Lee Darrach pitched the idea to them.
Tickets are available at the box office, either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 658-2370.
Website: Go to www.victoriaplayhouse.com.