The award-winning Educating Rita, previews Thursday and opens on Friday at the Al Whittle Theatre in Wolfville.
Pamela Halstead, artistic director of Lunchbox Theatre in Calgary, directs the Valley Summer Theatre Production, which runs to Aug. 18.
Educating Rita was originally commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and received the 1980 Laurence Olivier Award from the Society of London Theatre as the Best New Comedy.
The play, written by Willy Russell, author of hit plays Shirley Valentine and Blood Brothers, tells the story of Rita, a brash, young hairdresser with a free spirit who is hungry to improve her lot in life. When she enrolls at the local university, she discovers a passion for literature and turns her boozy and burnt-out professor’s life upside down.
Todd Duckworth stars as Frank and Andrea Lee Norwood in the role of Rita.
Duckworth is originally from Texada Island, off Canada’s west coast and now lives in Ottawa with his wife and son.
He has acted at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre in The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, Macbeth, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Hamlet, The Winter’s Tale, Twelfth Night, Hard Times, School For Wives (with Soulpepper Theatre) and The Tiger of Malaya (with Factory Theatre).
He has been a guest star on TV shows including MacGyver and The Twilight Zone and was a lead in the miniseries Brothers By Choice.
Norwood has starred as Hero in Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare By the Sea), Sister James in Doubt: A Parable (Neptune Theatre), and Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (Neptune Theatre).
She was awarded a Robert Merritt Award in 2008 for outstanding actress for her portrayal of Keller.
She has also performed as a puppeteer with Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia.
The design team includes Victoria Marston, set and properties, Janet MacLellan, costumes, Leigh Ann Vardy, lighting and Sandy Moore, sound.
Show times are Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. with matinees on Sunday at 2 p.m. There will be Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. on July 28 and Aug. 18.
Tickets are $18 and $15 for students for preview night, on Thursday; $25 and $20 for students for opening weekend shows and $30 and $23 for students thereafter.
Tickets are available at Box of Delights Bookstore, Wolfville, by calling toll free 1-877-845-1341 orwww.ticketpro.ca