Community Director Ashley Freimark might be new to Theatre; Just Because, but she’s definitely not new to either theatre or Fort McMurray! With over ten years of theatre experience, Ashley caught the bug after taking vocal lessons leading to musical theatre classes at Keyano Theatre. “I had to be a part of theatre everywhere I could! All my options courses in school were theatre and performance based; this included extracurriculars as part of my high-school's Theatre Appreciation Group, where we would go to workshops at the Citadel theatre in Edmonton and then follow up with one of their season's performances (first of every Tuesday this happened). All the way through college as I took Drama and English focus studies in Red Deer College before taking a different direction with Professional Communications at Grant MacEwan University. After I moved away from Fort McMurray with my family in 2008, I had gotten involved in community theatre where I had decided to expand my horizons further with not only acting in various performances and talent shows, but also give producing, stage managing and directing a shot. For 9 years I volunteered on the Sheeptown Players Drama Society board of executives, starting as Membership Director and working my way through Communications, Secretary and finally President of the board in my last year.”
Having returned to Fort McMurray in 2018, Ashley is back in the swing of the theatre things! She’s one of the Community Director’s for the Theatre; Just Because productions entered into the ADFA Acting Out! One Act Theatre Festival, celebrating our fifth anniversary. She chose to take on the classic David Ives piece Mere Mortals.
“Mere Mortals by David Ives is a 20 - 30 minute one act that listens in on a lunch time conversation of three construction workers. As the play progresses, the stories of each worker become more incredible. To me, this play somewhat covers the idea that even though we are seemingly ordinary people on the outside, it's what we think of ourselves and the ideas that we impose on ourselves that make us grander in our own eyes.
I decided to apply to the Community Directors programming after having been away from the Fort McMurray community for 10 years before I moved back, I found that it was hard to get myself out there on my own to meet new people. If it weren't for work, school or volunteer opportunities I would have a very hard time meeting new people on my own.
When this opportunity arose, it couldn't have come at a more perfect time! I had been back living in town for about 4 months by that point, and had been looking everywhere for opportunities to get back into theatre, my first love. By that point I was getting a bit stir crazy just having the routine of going to work, coming home, cleaning or reading a book and then sleep. I needed friends! And the friends that have stuck around with me the longest I met because of our shared passion of theatre (or karaoke!). So this was the perfect opportunity to meet new people with similar interests as well as get my fill of theatre and get out of the house!
So far, this process has been incredible! A very fun experience! Finding solutions to problems like sound and set design, to just working with the cast and figuring out what works best both for them and the play itself has been very rewarding. This experience has brought me more out of my... well... somewhat of my "newcomer" shell in the community (as new as I can be, having grown up here and then being away for so long before coming back). It's opened up new doors, new connections and, most importantly, new friends. I'm finally getting the social life that I'm used to again.”
Experience Mere Mortals directed by Ashley Freimark at the Acting Out! One Act Theatre Festival on April 13 at the Keyano Recital Theatre.