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Wednesday, 02 July 2014 14:36

Gary Has a Date is a true comedy of errors

Written by  Rachel Wormsbecher
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For Emily Windler performing her play Gary Has a Date is not only a way to push her physical comedy skills to the max, it’s a means to engage audiences of all ages in a truly joyful live theatre experience.

“Gary Has a Date is not really a roller coaster of emotions,” says Windler wryly. “It’s more like enjoying the things that can go wrong when you are trying to prepare for a really important date when you want everything to go right. But, of course, nothing does go right. It really is for all ages. I have had a wide range of people coming to the show — kids, seniors, teens. I feel everybody can have a good time at this show.”
Windler first came up with her play’s central character Gary when she was still a student at the world famous Dell’Arte International theatre and clown school in northern California.
“He’s a bit of a bumbling not too popular guy. I got the idea for him while I was in school. I can’t remember the nugget of where he came from, but he slowly evolved into this weird but sweet guy. And then I thought, how would this guy approach the dating world?”
Gary, who is a biologist specializing in the study of snails —yes snails — is such a sympathetic character and a such a total louse at the same time Windler says audiences tend to fall in love with him despite his weirder traits and social awkwardness.
“Gary is very kind soul when it comes down to it. He is a lovable guy and he’s a romantic as well. He’s really wanting to find someone to be with and go on dates, but he doesn’t know the first thing about it. He is a researcher and biologist and spends a lot of his time writing books about snails. That’s what he spends all his time doing so women to him are like snails would be to the rest of us. Women are a foreign entity to him.”
Windler says much of the humour in the play is derived from her brand of purely physical comedy as the clumsy and nerdy Gary is put through one trial after another while getting ready for his date.
“People coming out should expect full-on physical comedy. Each time I do the play I work to add in new bits and new jokes. I feel like it’s getting stronger and stronger after every performance which makes me feel good. I think I can get some really big belly laughs from the audience. Wherever I go people have responded really well to Gary, and I am very excited to bring this play to Swift Current, for sure.”
Gary Has a Date will be performed on Saturday, July 12 at 7 p.m. as well as Sunday, July 13 at 2 the Chautauqua Festival’s Lyric Theatre Stage. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for kids. The play is open to all ages.
Opening acts for Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 12 are musicians Marc and Amanda Ruel and Swift Current Improvisational Theatre. 

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