Chet Greason, Gazette staff
Though a final tally wasn’t available as of press time, Eileen Smith, artistic director of the Springworks Festival, says attendance over the two-week event was substantially higher than last year.
“We have been having great feedback from presenters, audience, and students alike,” she adds. “We still have lots to learn, but each year I think we are getting better.”
The festival, a showcase of staged play readings, poetry, music, comedy, dance, and cabaret-style performances, wrapped up on Sunday, May 19 with a musical revue featuring three sopranos entitled, “Three Little Maids” at Factory 163.
With this being its third year, Springworks has been steadily gaining in size and scope with each incarnation.
Smith says this year’s festival, which kicked off on May 9, had a number of highlights, including Fairy Tale Ending, a children’s production that had audiences raving, and Gabi Epstein’s
“Gabaret,” which featured poignant songs and stories and which one audience member pegged as “incredible.”
New this year, the festival saw multiple venues opened downtown, including the Church Restaurant and Revel Caffè. Springworks also expanded with satellite sites in neighboring St. Marys and Listowel, which staged events under the Springworks banner, and its educational division saw a significant increase over last year’s outreach, with classes from multiple schools attending numerous productions.
In all, Springworks saw over 60 events and performances which, according to Smith, means the festival has doubled in size over last year.
“We are very proud of all the work our volunteers do making it possible to provide quality programming, facilitating venues, and doing all that is necessary for the tremendously talented artists to come and share their work.,” she adds.