by Lucy Carleton

Dirt On Tait McKenzie PhotoIn their upcoming production The Dirt on Tait McKenzie, playwright Fern Martin and director Thora Pugh once again combine their musical talents to commemorate a Miss Mills hometown hero.

The play, produced by the Valley Players, will be presented at the Almonte Old Town Hall in a four-performance run November 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 7:30. Dress rehearsal is on November 12 at 7:30 (by donation). Tickets are $20 (general) and $10 ( students) and available at Baker Bob’s, Pakenham General Store, Clayton General Store and Read’s Book Shop.

After the success of their 2011 collaboration, Naismith is Colourblind and He Can’t Drive, Martin and Pugh have teamed up with a seasoned cast of players for an entertaining, family-friendly show. The musical opens with a fast-talking, anything-for-a-story reporter Robin Doo-Little (Kris Riendeau), sent to unearth some “dirt” on Dr. McKenzie. Aided by a tech-savvy young skateboarder (Andrew Jahn) and his time-travelling “uPod”, the audience is transported into the past. Dr. McKenzie (Mark Piper) and Ethel McKenzie (Heather Douglas) are supported by an 11-member chorus in a series of flashbacks highlighting the achievements of Dr. McKenzie in the fields of medicine, rehabilitation therapy, physical education and art.

When playwright Martin delved deeper into the life and times of this distinguished local figure, she began to learn more about his many accomplishments. “He truly was a Renaissance man,” says Martin, “with interests in a variety of fields—everything from gymnastics to botany, Greek mythology to mycology. It’s no wonder that he achieved international recognition for his work in three fields of endeavour – medicine, teaching and art.”

If you are interested in learning more about the lives of Dr. R. Tait McKenzie and his wife, Ethel, come out to this performance. You may not find “dirt”, but you will find the truth about this remarkable Canadian man.

For further information contact Lucy at 613-256-2018.