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Playgoers of Lethbridge preparing for two new Fall plays with open auditions

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There are a number of plays being staged in the fall and winter, so if you want to have some fun, meet a lot of great people and  be a star, your chance is coming up.

 

Playgoers of Lethbridge  winds up their 100 anniversary celebrations with a pair of great shows in October and  November.

 

The long standing theatre troupe is staging a dinner theatre of  Ken Ludwig’s 2012 comedy “ The Games Afoot below the Keg, Oct. 17-21 .

 Auditions are this Thursday, June 22 in the casa community room.

 

 Hatrix Theatre staged the production in 2016, but director Rita Peterson in 2016 but didn’t see it.

 

“I really love Ken Ludwig.  He has several plays, like  ‘Leading Ladies’ and ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ and a lot of others that are very funny,” Peterson said, adding Playgoer’s mainstay Shelly David, who produced Hatrix’s  production of the play, brought The Game’s Afoot to her attention. It‘s been about 10 years since they did it,” Peterson said.

 

“It’s a period piece. it takes place in 1936, and I don’t usually like to go back that far, but it’s such a cute play,” Peterson enthused.

 

The Game’s Afoot is about theatre veteran  and playwright William Gillette, who has written a long running play about Sherlock Holmes, and who sees himself as being like Holmes,  who  invites his friends in the cast to his mansion for Christmas Eve in 1936 in the middle of a storm as a poison pen theatre critic named Daria Chase pays them a visit, which leads to complications and hilarity as they hold a seance to find out who attempted to murder Gillette as well as the doorman at the theatre where they were performing.

The cast includes three men and five women aged 20 to 70 plus.

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Theatre Outré looks to next phase with Strange/ Familiar to close Didi’s Playhaus

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Theatre Outré winds up their tenth season as well as their tenure at Didi’s Playhaus, June 15-17, with an original auto-fictional play by Lethbridge playwright Liam Monaghan.

Kathy Zaborsky is part of Theatre Outré’s Strange/Familiar. Photo by Richard Amery

The play, Strange/  Familiar is an embellished story about Monaghan’s  experience growing up queer and adopted in Alberta.

 

“This show is about my experiences as a queer and adopted in Southern Alberta. It is about family, both the chosen, like the family at  Theatre Outré and  biological,” said Monaghan, whose play “How To Leave” was one of the first shows staged by Theatre Outré in 2014.

He has also been part of a variety of Theatre Outré shows particularly singing in their cabaret and tribute nights to queer icons like Dolly Parton, Cher and Judy Garland.

 

“ There is a lot of cabaret music in the show,” Monaghan said, noting he grew up  in Lethbridge , lived in Vancouver and  was looking back on his experience while working towards in his MFA at the University of Alberta.

“ I was thinking about  what to write about and thinking of adapting my life into this play,” he said.

“ It’s a very personal play about my experience,” he said. He has been involved with Theatre Outré for a long time, so it means a lot for Theatre Outré  to feature his play as their last in the downtown space upstairs on  Fifth street and 4th avenue south.

 

“It‘s about Liam, who  has just moved in with  his new boyfriend, who gets a letter from his birth mom, saying, his father has passed on and has left him something in his will,” Monaghan summarized.

 The show, starring some familiar local theatre personalities, Monaghan, Kathy Zaborsky and Graham Mothersill spans several genres including comedy, drama and music including some original compositions by Monaghan.

“ and there will be some theatrical surprises,” said Monaghan, whose favourite  Theatre Outer memories are performing in the cabarets.

 

 Opening night, Thursday, June 15 is sold out but there are still tickets available for Friday and the two shows  on Saturday.

 After the Lethbridge run, the show goes to Edmonton for three nights, June 22-24

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New West Theatre holding open auditions for eclectic new season

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As cliche as it sounds, New West Theatre really does have something for everyone this season. After a successful fundraising campaign last year, the long standing local theatre group is on more stable financial footing so they can focus on what they do best — making people happy.

 There are open auditions for the upcoming season.

New West theatre is excited about their new season. Photo by Richard Amery

 

 Artistic director Kelly Reay is looking forward to the  slightly tweaked season.

 

“There really is something for everyone. There is definitely a range of emotions for audiences,” Reay said.

In the past, New West has put on music comedy revues in July as well as August.

“ Not since I’ve been here,” Reay said.

 

“ We decided to focus on quality rather than quantity this season” he said.

 

 The summer music comedy revue will be “ Wonderstruck,” running Aug. 9-26 in the Yates Theatre.

 This summer, popular children’s program “Hootenanny,” will be under the New West mantle.

 

“ We thought it needed a more official producing  body,” he said.

 

“It is a non ticketed event running in the Galt Gardens,” he said.

 

This year’s Hootenanny is an original play “There’s a Turtle In my Tub”  about curious and creative kid Mabel, who discovers the turtle Seymour in her bathtub and he needs some help crossing the vast ocean to go home.

The show, directed by Nicola Elson,  runs  July 5-29 at 10:30 a.m. every Wednesday through Saturdays.

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Hatrix Theatre brings back The Foreigner

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Local theatre company Hatrix Theatre is revisiting the Foreigner, May 10-13 at McNally Community Centre.

“It’s the tenth anniversary of  our first performance of the Foreigner. It’s a lovely play,” said director Karolyn Harker.

Hatrix staged Larry Shue’s 1983 comedy 10 years ago. 

“ It’s fun and entertaining. But the play also has some important messages about the ability to change for the better and about the makings of friendships between people who didn’t expect to become friends,” Harker continued.

“They work together against a group of people who are greedy and power hungry,” Harker said.

Jocelyn Steinborn and Michael Dyck rehearse a scene from Hatrix Theatre’s May10-13  production of the Foreigner. Photo by Richard Amery

 

“The Foreigner” is about science fiction magazine editor, Charlie, who’s friend, army demolitions expert Staff Sgt Froggie LaSeur brings to Meeks Lodge in rural Georgia in the early ’80s to escape the stress of an ailing and cheating wife. Froggy convinces everyone Charlie can’s speak English so the occupants, a widow, a pregnant former debutante, a sinister minister and a Klansman will leave him alone.

 

“ Instead he hears a lot of deeply personal and sometimes alarming conversations he shouldn’t, and comedic mayhem ensues as Charlie helps them protect his new family and help them become better versions of themselves while acquiring a personality of his own,” Harker said.

 The production features a couple cast members from the first production including Richard Amery and Jeff Graham who reprise their roles of Ellard and Owen respectively.

 

“We have a wonderful cast. We have two people from the original cast and several new actors who have to drive long distances to give us the benefits of their great talent,“ she enthused.

 Maren Coates, playing Catherine and Michael Dyck who plays Staff Sgt. Froggy Laseur come in from Fort Macleod three times a week for rehearsals and Jocelyn Steinborn, who won the best actress award and best director in the Chinook One Act Play Festival this year with Taber Players comes in from Taber.

 

 The cast also includes newcomer Brent Cutforth playing ‘the foreigner’ Charlie. he was also in the Gazebo last year. Local theatre veteran Vittorio Oliverio plays David.

 

Jocelyn Steinborn has wanted to be part of the Foreigner since Taber Players put it on, also in 2013.

 

“I was just a grunt, the assistant director when Taber Players put it on. I loved it, so I jumped at the chance to play Betty,” Steinborn said.

 

“ I feel Ms. Meeks was once strong and vibrant, but after years of financial problems and after losing her husband, she’s in an existential slump, but the foreigner arrives and gives her joy and purpose,” said Steinborn of her character.

 She  loves the script.

“It’s funny. These are innocent, simple folks. It doesn’t make fun of them,” she said, adding  she also loves Betty’s belief in ‘Charlie.’

 Maren Coates plays ex-debutante Catherine. She  saw the Carriage House Theatre  put on “The Foreigner” and wanted to be involved.

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