GWTG to stage heartwarming Christmas tale

A heartwarming Christmas-themed play will open the Grey Wellington Theatre Guild’s 2016-17 season this fall.

The guild is set to stage Frozen Dreams, Robert Ainsworth’s award-winning tale of a group of homeless people who band together to help one of their number find a way to cook a frozen turkey, gifted to him by a well-meaning charity.

Co-director Helen Craigie describes the play as a drama with comedic moments.

“It’s a Canadian play about the homeless in Toronto, who receive a turkey, frozen, and how they’re going to try and make the perfect Christmas, with no means of cooking a turkey” says Craigie.

Characters in the story include street dwellers, a social services worker and a police officer.

“It’s quite a diverse group of people … and you see a family, they become a family,” says Caroline Wollis, co-director.

“There’s kind of a roller coaster of emotions with this play. You’ll be up, you’ll be down, you’re going to be shocked, you’ll be sad and happy,” said Wollis adding the play will show audiences life from the very different perspective of people living on the street.

The story will take audiences through “every facet of emotion and it takes you from one to the other in seconds,” said Craigie.

“It’s just a really good story.”

In order to reflect the realities of life on the street, the play contains language some may find offensive, the directors caution. However, notes Wollis, “it’s not gratuitous at all.”

The cast of Frozen Dreams includes a mix of seasoned actors and newcomers to the local stage. Stage veterans Dave Moran of Mount Forest and Bart Penwarden of Guelph, join Chris MacKay of Palmerston and Ann Lawless, both in their first stage roles with the guild, in portraying members of the homeless community.  Minto resident Patricia Von Westerholt and John Hogg of Harriston portray a sympathetic social worker and a highly efficient police officer respectively.

Dedication ceremony

Opening night for Frozen Dreams, Nov. 18, will also feature the official dedication of the Patrick C. Smith Theatrical Auditorium in memory of the Grey Wellington Theatre Guild’s founder.

Frozen Dreams runs Nov. 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26 at 7:30pm and Nov. 20 at 2pm at the Harriston Town Hall Theatre. Tickets, $15, are available from Harriston Home Hardware, Walsh’s IDA in Mount Forest or call 519-338-2778.

In the spirt of the season, and the production, the guild will be accepting donations for local food banks at every performance.

For more information go to