By Lawrence Belanger
Local Journalism Initiative
The Georgeville Theatre Troupe, a local community theatre group based out of Georgeville, is preparing to put on its first production since 2019. Marcia Kash and Douglas E. Hughes’ comedy Jack of Diamonds is set to run at the Murray Memorial Hall in Georgeville from Dec. 2-4. The Canadian comedy is directed by Charles Peacock, the Georgeville Troupe’s main director since taking on the role in 2014.
His eighth production, and first since the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have been lifted, Jack of Diamonds is a raucous, absurd comedy set in a luxurious retirement home. Peacock explains that the play is about Jack, “a retired diamond dealer who lives in this rather luxurious residence,” who invests all the life savings of residents into a Ponzi scheme, only for it to fail and have the perpetrator of said scheme wind up in the very same nursing home. “We’re having a great deal of fun rehearsing for it,” Peacock adds.
In addition to directing, Peacock is involved in the play’s other behind-the-scenes work, working on building the sets, lighting and sound cues, and identifying props. “[Peacock] is a machine”, marvels SuzAnne Tremblay, who plays Flora in this year’s production. Tremblay, who retired from the Eastern Townships School Board in 2017, began acting with the Troupe the following year, after being intrigued by seeing a few of the troupe’s plays.
Flora is a grandmother who makes jewellery, and who has somewhat of a shady past – all the more complicated by her memory issues. Speaking about the creative process of the production, “it’s such a fun play to rehearse together,” says Tremblay, adding “we have to concentrate on what we’re doing because we can double over laughing.”
After a false start in 2020, where they were struggling to act through masks and stay COVID-free, the troupe has been honing the play in rehearsals since this September.
Due to the time and dedication it takes to rehearse a play from the first reading to the final curtain, and the fact that they’re all-volunteer, they’ve only occasionally had younger actors, and as per the troupe’s page on the Community Association of Geogeville website, “sometimes we have to be flexible in our casting as to gender and age”. Peacock says that “most of us otherwise are retired folks who enjoy live theatre.” Although not specifically chosen to avoid “flexible casting”, it is nonetheless fitting that this year’s production is well-suited to their usual actors.