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The Birds and the Bees brings laughter, relationships to the stage

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Theatre Tillsonburg is presenting a unique Canadian play this February, with Mark Crawford’s The Birds and the Bees.

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Director Vicky Coward, a long-time contributor to Theatre Tillsonburg, is looking forward to the production.

“I first saw the play in Port Dover about three years ago,” she said. “I didn’t know anything about it. It was hilarious!”

The play stuck with her, and when Theatre Tillsonburg approached her and sister Becky Coward to co-direct a new play this season, The Birds and the Bees came immediately to mind.

“It’s written from a current events perspective, with Canadian content, and talks about issues facing farmers and bee keepers in today’s environment,” said Vicky.

The story unfolds in adjoining bedrooms, upstairs in the Ontario farmhouse of Gail, who is a bee keeper. Her daughter, Sarah, a turkey farmer, comes to live with Gail after a marriage breakup. Across the road lives Earl, who rents Gail’s land, and has opinions about farming and life. Gail’s honeybees are dropping dead, and 23-year-old Benjamin, a Masters student, is here to study the declining bee populations. The four characters deal with sex, love, science, family, and the artificial insemination of turkeys.

“There is some adult content in this play,” said Coward. “I just want people to be aware, but I know they’ll find the characters compelling, and the play wonderfully funny.”

Like all community theatre productions, the production has had a couple of challenges to overcome.

“It took a while to assemble our crew, and now we have a top notch one in place.

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“Getting a set built to reflect the upstairs of a farmhouse took some work, and I think it turned out quite nicely. Finding appropriate costumes was also a challenge, and we got that figured out too.”

The Birds and the Bees stars Laurie Deven, Lisa Carron, Jim Konopetski, and Andrew Gregoire.

It opens Feb. 6th, and runs Feb. 7th, 8th, 9th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th. Thursday-Saturday, curtain time is 7:30 p.m., and matinee Sunday performances start at 2 p.m.

The Otter Valley Playhouse is located at 144789 Potters Road, Tillsonburg, and reserved tickets are available at, or by calling 519-688-3026.

“It’s been a great experience, and a lot of fun,” concludes Coward. “People will love this play. And the whole point of community theatre is for everyone to have fun.”

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