Milton Players’ Theatre Group begins its 40th anniversary season in November. It was started by a group of 14 people in 1979 who answered a newspaper ad. The first performance was: Goodnight, Mrs. Puffin. The group has grown to perform three plays per season, with six performances of each play.

Starting off this season is a comedy called Dixie Swim Club. It’s about five women with lifelong friendships who meet once a year at a cottage to renew those friendships. It’s directed by a first time director Katie Busuttil. She first read the play as part of the reading committee. “I like to say the play was haunting me,” she explained. She got excited about what it could look like on-stage.

Busuttil started with the company as an actor five years ago. “I felt like there was something I could be doing as a director that I couldn’t as an actor,” she said of the transition. She described the environment as being “really supportive.” She looks forward to seeing what the cast do with the material.

Busuttil connected with Dixie Swim Club on an emotional level. “It makes you feel so many things. Nostalgia for the relationships of the past, and grateful for the friendships you have, as well as a longing for better friendships. Hopefully we’ll walk away feeling grateful for the friendships and the people in our lives,” she said. The play stars Janine Heaven, Gillian Taggart, Heather Smith, Kim Evans, and Jennifer Brown. “I’m so excited to see what they do with it. They’re really incredible,”Busuttil said. She is hoping to do something unique with the staging.

The rest of the season consists of two other comedies: Perfect Wedding, and a Norm Foster play: The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby. She described the second play as a “fast-moving farce. Busuttil believes audiences should relate well to the third play. “It harkens to that small town Canadian feeling,” she said.

Performances from the Milton Players’ Theatre Group are at the FirstOntario Arts Centre Milton at 1010 Main St (corner of Main and Thompson). The Dixie Swim Club is scheduled for November 8-10, and November 14-16.
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