New Comedy Next for Kanata Theatre

Jim Holmes Kanata Theatre

Kanata Theatre continues its 43rd Season with a brand new comedy. 

Friends, With Benefits by Kate Horzempa and L.E.Hines looks into the lives of the young and upwardly mobile. 

When Ben and Lily met at university it was “friends at first sight”. She’s now a career-minded magazine editor and he’s a successful marketing co-ordinator. Enter a gaggle of well meaning but meddlesome parents, acquaintances, business associates and, yes, friends. Everyone is reluctant to believe that Lily and Ben have remained “just friends”.  Is Ben and Lily’s friendship destined to mature into something more? Can it survive all this interference? Is true happiness a realistic objective for young moderns?

Brett Kelly directs Kanata Theatre’s production of Friends, With Benefits.

 Returning to the Kanata stage are Jenny Brooks as Lily, Geoff Williams as Ben, Lee Powell as Matthew, Derek Barr as Kyle Shelley Jean Harrison as Ava and Ian Quick as Pierre. Making their first appearance for Kanata Theatre are Judy Beltzner as Lydia,  Jennifer Walker as  Faye and Jillian Drummond as Melody.

Friends, With Benefits was written in 2010. Kanata Theatre's production of the play will be one of the first on any stage.  The play has no relation to the movie with the same title.

Friends, With Benefits runs Tuesday to Saturday, March 27 to 31 and April 3 to 7. Performances are at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, 1 Ron Maslin Way in Walter Baker Park, just off Terry Fox. Tickets are $18.  For tickets call the Kanata Theatre box office 613-831-4435. For information visit

Kanata Theatre presents
Friends, with Benefits

Carolyn Johnstone Kanata Theatre

EMC Entertainment - Kanata Theatre is preparing for the debut stage production of "Friends, With Benefits."

This original comedy, written by Kate Horzempa and L.E. Mines, is hilarious and up-to-date, with an easy flow and a wonderful host of characters.

Those characters are now being brought from page to stage by a team that's loaded with chemistry, synergy, commitment, and a great sense of fun.

The raw talent of the nine-strong cast is being exploited beautifully by director Brett Kelly, whose experience spans nearly 20 years in stage and film.

Kelly said he has learned that 75 per cent of the director's work is casting, and he is thrilled with the cast he's found for this production.

Jennifer Brooks plays Lily, an independent young woman with career aspirations.

Geoff Williams portrays Lily's friend, Ben.

Judy Beltzner shines in her Kanata Theatre debut as Lydia, Ben's loving mom, who wants to see her boy find true love and isn't shy about taking steps to help things along.

Lee Powell is Matthew, Ben's father. Jennifer Walker is Faye, Lily's life-long friend and co-worker.

Shelley Jean Harrison is Ava, Lily's co-worker. With six previous spins on the Kanata stage, Harrison said she is enjoying the new experience of tackling split scenes and tableaux.

Derek Barr is Kyle, Ben's co-worker, in his third Kanata production.

Jillian Drummond plays Melody and Rebecca (a server, and a childhood friend of Ben's, respectively). Having previously performed in various children's productions before taking a hiatus from theatre to attend university, this is Drummond's first experience in what she calls an "adult" play.

lan Quick also delivers a dual performance as Pierre (a caterer) and Phil (Ben's cousin). With nearly 20 years of experience as a stage magician, Quick brings a unique flair for the extra touches, small flourishes, and, as he said, "wackier than usual" antics that make his performance rock.

"Friends, With Benefits" will run from March 27 to 31 and April 3 to 7.

For tickets and information visit the website at www. or call the box office at 613-831-4435.