The inaugural Josh Oskrdal Children’s Series opens at the Hudson Village Theatre with a performance by a trio of goofy fellows named The Cowguys on Saturday.
Ottawa’s Brian Wilson, Nick Miller and Johnathan Lockhart juggle, perform magic tricks and draw inspiration for their comedy by interacting with the audience. A clowning workshop follows for an additional fee of $10.
The series is named for Josh Oskrdal, a 12-year-old St-Lazare resident, who died under tragic circumstances in February.
“Josh really liked improv and bold, in-your-face theatre,” series curator Mary Vuorela said.
Josh was a regular participant in the annual Christmas pantomime put on at the Village Hudson Theatre. After his death, his parents asked that people make donations to two of his favourite places, the St-Lazare Library and the Hudson Village Theatre. Those donations helped lay the financial groundwork for the Saturday children’s series, which is also sponsored by the Hudson Merchant’s Network.
“Josh was a natural talent,” Vuorela said. “He was writing a play with a friend before he died. The play was per-formed at the graduation ceremony at his school.”
The children’s series continues with the In Your Face Entertainment production The Clown Prince on Oct. 20. The play tells the story of an arranged marriage between a mute prince and an unhappy princess.
“Live theatre engages children so much more than television or movies because it’s happening … right in front of their eyes,” Vuorela said.
Geordie Productions brings the puppet play Whispers in the Air to Hudson on Nov. 24. The Attila Clemann story, directed by renowned puppeteer Clea Minaker, is about the friendship forged between a mute boy and Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of radio.
Black Theatre Workshop performs the Chimwemwe Miller play When Elephant was King on Feb. 16.
Panadream Theatre’s Yorgo and the World targets 2-to 6-year-olds. The string-puppet play is about a little boy who finds the courage to go in search of his lost dog. A puppet-making workshop follows the performance for an additional fee of $10.
The series closes with the bilingual play Karius and Baktus, performed by Théâtre bilingue de Montréal on April 27. The play is an adaptation of a Norwegian story about two-tooth trolls who live in a boy’s mouth and thrive on his sugary diet, chipping away at his teeth until a trip to the dentist becomes an imperative.
Each play in the series will be performed only once, so reserving in advance is recommended.
The Josh Oskrdal Children’s Series begins with a performance by The Cowguys, at the Hudson Village Theatre, 28 Wharf Rd., Saturday at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $8. Parking is free. For reservations, call 4504585361 or visit www.villagetheatre. ca.