Liverpool theatre festival attracts troupes from around the globe

by Scott Costen

Queens County is preparing to welcome amateur theatre companies from across the globe for the 14th time since 1992.

The 2018 Liverpool International Theatre Festival (LITF) will feature 12 productions from 11 countries. "We are thrilled to have returning troupes from places like Mexico, Peru, Nepal, Mexico, Wales and Egypt," said festival chair Jean Robinson-Dexter. "We know the calibre of their performances is excellent."

In addition to these returnees, the festival will also welcome some "exciting newcomers," she said. "We have new troupes coming from countries that we haven't had before, such as the Central African Republic."

The festival's artistic directors, Andrew Bursey and Jon Paterson, unveiled the event's full lineup May 3 at Liverpool's Astor Theatre. The host entry for the Oct. 18-21 festival will be Oliver's Bench, performed by Queens County's own Winds of Change Dramatic Society.

"Oliver is a simple, unassuming man who happily spends his days sitting quietly on a bench in a park beside a lake," said Bursey, describing the local entry. "Comfortable in his safe world of routine habits, he is forced to let down his walls when a quirky woman finds her way into his world."

Organizers are always on the lookout for volunteers, said Robinson-Dexter. "If folks are interested in being involved in the festival, they can get in touch with us through our website or Facebook page. There are a lot of different opportunities to be part of it."

Held every two years, the LITF is a competitive amateur theatre festival that debuted in 1992, with companies visiting Nova Scotia from as far away as Alaska and the Republic of Georgia. Organizers describe LITF as one of the top amateur theatre festivals in the world.

Full festival passes are now available online and at the Astor box office. Flex packages and individual tickets will go on sale at a later date.

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