Returning to a P.E.I. stage

Sally Cole
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Actors appear in a handout photo from The Dating Scheme. From left are Veronica Powell, Jeana MacIsaac, Matthew MacInnis and Tanya McCallum.  The show continues at the St. Peters Courthouse Theatre on Aug. 28 and Sept. 4 at 8 p.m.

After some creative changes, The Dating Scheme remounted this summer at St. Peters Courthouse Theatre

When The Dating Scheme enjoyed a successful run at Kings Playhouse, in 2010, Jonah Anderson had a dream.

He wanted to rework the play and take it to a new venue.

Fast forward to 2014.

This summer, the P.E.I. playwright is realizing his dream with the remount of The Dating Scheme at St. Peters Courthouse Theatre after receiving a request from the community.

“It’s nice to see it back on the stage again. It’s also great to have a chance to rework it,” says the Five Houses native during a telephone interview.

The Dating Scheme is the story of two matchmaking sisters who set up their best friend, who is suffering from a broken heart, with their brother. But when a wrench is thrown into the works, the only thing that will suffice is a scheme.

And although the plot hasn’t been altered, there have been some creative changes.

Anderson has rewritten the script, adding a new character and doing some polishing.

“Usually in the play there are one or two characters that are really, really funny. But, in this play, I find that, at some point every character where you can’t help but just laugh out loud at them.”

And audience members are enthusiastic. The play, which continues on on Thursday nights until Sept. 4, has been enjoying full houses.

“It’s the kind of show that’s laugh-out-loud funny. And they do like to do shows like that at St. Peters,” says Anderson, with a laugh.

The show opens with a modern day version of The Dating Game, an ABC television show from the 1960s.

“It’s about a bachelor trying to figure out which bachelorette out of three he’s going to choose (to go on a date with).”

The scene quickly turns to another scene, showing one of the characters at home, watching the show on TV.

“It’s the perfect introduction to the play and then the fun begins,” says Anderson, who is having a busy summer.

Besides writing, directing and overseeing the production on performance nights, he’s got a plum role in another show.

He plays Aldopho in the Drowsy Chaperone at Kings Playhouse in Georgetown on Wednesdays and Saturday nights.

“He’s a Latin lover. The ladies love him and he proves that in the show every night.”

And while he’s happy about adding this Broadway musical credit to his resume, he’s equally thrilled to have his own work recognized.

“For self-confidence reasons, it’s nice to know that it’s not another flash in the pan, that it’s something that other people like as well.

“But it’s also nice to see cast members breathe air into the characters again and find their own versions of them.”

Sally Cole is an entertainment writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at or by phone at 629-6000, ext. 6054.

If you are going

- What: The Dating Scheme.

- When and Where: Thursdays at 8 p.m. at St. Peters Courthouse Theatre until Sept. 4.

- Tickets for performances are available online at or by calling the box office at 902 961-3636.

Organizations: Peters Courthouse Theatre, The Guardian

Geographic location: Georgetown, Broadway

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