The man who lend his name to the town theatre is returning home on Saturday to perform his one-man show, Scraping the Surface. The performer says he is excited to come back to Bonnyville for the show that’ll certainly entertain all.
“It’s always been very good to come home. It’s been awhile since I’ve done this show, I feel pretty good about it,” Victor, as he’s known by friends, said he’s looking forward to seeing familiar faces.
The playwright was raised on a farm outside of Bonnyville. He attended school in the community and worked on the theatre as it was being built in the late 1970s and early 1980s. When the theatre opened in 1982, Victor said he was humbled for it to be named in his honour.
“It’s been quite an honour. When it happened I wasn’t sure I desired it… I still don’t,” the playwright said with a slight laugh, “I appreciate the support that Bonnyville has given me.”
Member of the Bonnyville & District Fine Arts Society, Pat Perry, asserts that Lyle Victor Albert most certainly desires the honour.
“We were very proud of his accomplishments. He’s won awards, performed in Europe, all over the States, even in the Kennedy Centre, and in Australia,” Pat said the Society is proud of what he’s bee able to achieve.
He has twice won the Alberta Culture Playwriting Award (1982 and 1986), and a Sterling Award (1996).
Published plays include: The Prairie Church of Buster Galloway Playwrights Union of Canada, 1987; Cut!: Five From the Fringe NeWest Press, 1986; Scraping the Surface: Three Plays by Lyle Victor Albert, NeWest Press, 2000.
Scraping the Surface is a look at Victor’s life with cerebral palsy: Jumpin’ Jack (One Yellow Rabbit 2002); Objects in the Mirror (Saskatoon Fringe Festival 1997); Scraping the Surface (Vancouver Men’s Fest 1995).
Albert’s most popular play, Scraping the Surface is a monologue in which the actor becomes the playwright, becomes the basic human guy. It ironically explores the trials and tribulations of a “jumpy” young man with cerebral palsy, his evasions, disappointments, and triumphs, including shaving with a straight razor. For the past ten years, he has toured this play throughout North America and Europe, including the Kennedy Centre in Washington D.C. – Canadian Theatre Encylopedia
“I never intended to for it to be about cerebral palsy, it just kind of went that way,” Victor explained, “what I like most about the play is that it allows me to explain who I am, without being heavy handed about it.”
“I never wanted to write about having a perceived disability, it just evolved bit by bit.”
Victor will be performing Friday as a benefit for the Bonnyville Fine Arts Society’s New Theatre Fund. Tickets are $20 advance at Tellier Guardian Pharmacy, Norglass (2002) Ltd. and ACFA Bonnyville. If available tickets are $25 at the door. Doors open at 6:00 pm, with the show starting at 7:00 pm.