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Quaint, Quirky and Queer helps Theatre Outré celebrate 10 years

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This years Quaint, Quirky and Queer festival has a cornucopia of good times as the cornerstone of Theatre Outré’s tenth anniversary, April 6-22.

 So to celebrate, Theatre Outré welcomes a variety of acts, several old freinds and two major productions happening at the Owl Acoustic Lounge, Good Times Comedy Club and Did’s Playhaus.


Theatre Outré has been hosting Quaint, Quirky and Queer for over 20 years even before Theatre Outré was founded to showcase Lethbridge artists, particularly LBGTQ artists.

“The space that Theatre Outré has created in Lethbridge is really, really rare and really, really precious,” said actress Ash Thomson.


DJ Rabbyt stars in  How To Make Electronic music as part of Quaint Quirky and Queer This Year. Photo by Richard Amery

“I know, for myself, having this community of people has sort of given me strength to challenge some of those really common social narratives.”


Quaint, Quirky and Queer has evolved from a one night cabaret/ variety show to a two week long festival this year.


“There will be something happening almost every day. I think we only have three dark days,” said David Gabert, who has been involved with Theatre Outré since 2016. He stars with Ash Thomson in improvised tragicomedy “ No Way Out.”


There are two feature presentations bookending this year’s festival. “How to Create Electronic Music” is a theatrical music experience coming back to Theatre Outré after a sold out run in February created by Deonie Hudson and Lyndsay Labreque, aka  DJ Rabbyt .

“We both came down with Covid over the Christmas break and we created it then,” Hudson said.

“ How to  Create Electronic music” runs April 6-8, 2023 at  8 p.m. every night at Didi's Playhaus - 517a 4th Ave S.  It is about music lover Megan who has decided she wants to learn how to create music and be a DJ. She orders Rabbyt's course to learn the ways of her musical hero. Rabbyt guides Megan through the five steps to becoming a musical mastermind. 


“ It’s very visceral,” Gabert said.

The show combines several of Labreque’s passions— electronic music and  multi-media.

“The screen is in front of my and I’m performing behind it,” Labreque said.


“ It’s about  electronic music, but it’s also about the arts as a way of life,” Hudson said.

“I found a way to blend acoustic and electronic instrumentation, and smash it together with my background in visual effects to create an exciting, emotional and perhaps a slightly educational experience," Labreque said.

“ No Way Out” is a popular improvised tragicomedy created by  local improv troupe Impromptu.


“ It”s different every night. We take audience suggestions at the beginning of the show  and choose one. But the audience doesn’t know which one we’ll be doing,” he said.

 Gabert and Thomson.


The cast features David Gabert, Ash Thomson, Erica Barr and Greg Wilson plus special guests each night including Jay Whitehead, Katie Fellger and more to be announced.

“It is about two siblings who have a conversation that there is no way out of,” Gabert summarized, noting they have explored a variety of  serious topics in previous productions of the show.

 Gabert and Thomson improvised a scene about a discussion between the brother and the sister about the sister coming out to their dying father at the media call for the event..

“ But that won’t be part of  the show,” Gabert said. 


U of L explores relationships and technology in TomorrowLove

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The University Of Lethbridge explores love, sex, technology and the future in four short plays  directed by four different directors including by Gail Hanrahan who will be retiring soon.

 TomorrowLove runs March 14-18

“This production will be my last show at the University of Lethbridge as a faculty member before my retirement,” said Hanrahan in a press release.

 “I’m really enjoying this process where our emerging directors are leading the processes more. And certainly, this entire production is about the students,” she continued.


“TomorrowLove” is a selection of four short plays written by Rosamund Small about love, sex, technology and the future. Audiences are immersed in four possible futures where technology and humans connect and collide.
”When director and Drama Department faculty member Gail Hanrahan began reading the collection of plays contained within TomorrowLove, she was drawn to the possibilities and challenges that putting on the production would present.

“I thought this would be very interesting for our students because each play has just two characters. The actors would be challenged to develop their characters on a much deeper level,” Hanrahan said. 


Jesse Thibert playing Addison (blue shirt) and Parker Hickerty playing Pat (orange shirt) in “Perfect” Photo submitted

“The playwright created characters she said could be any gender, which would really open up possibilities and opportunities for our directors and actors to explore each script.” 

Hanrahan selected four plays from the collection, choosing to direct “Evidence”, and invited student and alumni directors to direct the other three short plays. 

“It was really important to me to work with these emerging directors, who have already been doing excellent work in our theatre community,” says Hanrahan.
Alumni Anastasia Siceac (BFA ’20), director of “Reality Hurts”, along with Jordyn Nixon (BFA ’21), director of “Eight Legs Two Hearts” return to their ULethbridge theatre roots. Current student, Kacie Hall, director of “Perfect” and intimacy director of “Evidence” caps off her student experience directing a Mainstage show before she graduates this spring. 


“ Tomorrowlove is actually a bigger collection of plays than what we’re doing. They’re all by Rosamund Small. They all focus on the idea of human relationships and the impact of technology. So we’re looking at the impacts of technology that has on on human connection  and on human nature. So the ones we picked delve primarily on romantic relationships. Though we do have one about a set of strangers who are brought together by technology,” said  Hall  in provided footage. She directs the third play in the series “ Perfect” 


“So I’ve really been thoroughly enjoying it just because it’s really nice to think that connection doesn’t have to change just  because technology does. That humans a lot of times will stay the same. And there’s things  that I relate to  with every single one of these characters because of that,” Hall continued.


“I’ve been truly fortunate to have really wonderful actors and I’ve told them time and time again that they’ve  really bring this story to life. And this story is really near and dear to my heart. it’s very special. I won’t give too much away, but there’s really nice representation in it that doesn’t often get to be seen in media in general let alone live performance. And my actors have done such a fantastic job in taking so much care and consideration and compassion with this story. I’m just really excited for people to seem them bring these characters to life,” she said. 


New West to let their freak flags fly for Nightlife Cabaret

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New West  Theatre is excited to “ Let  their freak flags fly,” with the long awaited return of  their “Nightlife” cabaret, Feb. 23, 24 and the gala performance, Feb. 25 in the Sterndale Bennett Theatre.

 As the Feb. 23, and 24 shows are already sold out, the audiences are eagerly anticipating it too.

Scott Carpenter is performing in New West Theatre’s Nightlife Cabaret, Feb. 23-35. Photo by Richard Amery


“It’s completely different than our music comedy revues,” said New West Theatre Artistic Director Kelly Reay.


“It’s a chance to use jokes we come up with in rehearsal that aren’t suitable for a family show, so we do them in a cabaret style setting for adults or rated R for 16 and up,,” he continued.

New West Theatre veterans Erica Hunt, Scott Carpenter and Kathy Zaborsky and local funk rock trio Adequate and some special surprise guests will be providing the “Nightlife.”

“There will be a lot of hilarious, naughty jokes. Naughty , but not gratuitous, but you will get to hear words come out of Scott Carpenter‘s mouth that you don’t usually hear,” Reay continued.

 In addition to jokes, there will be funny songs from musical comedians including Steven Lynch, Tim Minchin and Flight of the Conchords.

“Nightlife ” will be set up cabaret style with  tables instead of formal seating and a bar open throughout the show.


“It’s a chance to see New West theatre up close and personal in a little more informal setting,” Reay continued.


Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society holding auditions for Taming of the Shrew

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The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society  brings Shakespeare’s comedy Taming of the Shrew to stages all over Lethbridge this summer.

Jesse Thibert directs Taming of the Shrew this summer. photo by Richard Amery

Jesse Thibert, who played Hamlet in last summer‘s production of Hamlet, will be directing this summer’s show.


 Auditions for the  show will be at Casa, Thursday, Feb. 23 and Friday Feb. 24 from 6-9 p.m.. Callbacks will be 2-4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 26.


 Auditioners will be asked to prepare a short monologue from a Shakespearean work, preferably Taming of the Shrew and may be asked to perfom additional cold readings from the script.

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