St. Albert Theatre Troupe new season
Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 06:00 am
Once a struggling newbie trying to get its foot in the door and keep an audience base, St. Albert Theatre Troupe is entering a new era of growth and maturity.
Heading into its fourth dinner theatre season, organizers have discovered a rhythm that suits local audiences.
This year, the season incorporates three dinner theatre comedies – Norm Foster’s Looking, Alan Ayckbourne’s How the Other Half Loves, and Susan Turlish’s Lafferty’s Wake.
In addition, last year the company experimented with introducing a straight drama. Paul Kane alumna Louise Large, a formidable actor-director, introduced the psychological thriller The Spider or the Fly, and invigorated the season.
She returns to direct John Murrell’s Waiting for the Parade, a Second World War play that looks at the point of view of five women left behind to wait and work while their men are shipped to battle.
“This is really an exciting time for us. The season is lined up. The directors have been brought in. It’s taken on a life of its own and that’s quite exciting,” says program organizer Katie Elliott.
She directs Looking opening the season on Nov. 6. Foster has thrown together four middle-aged singles searching for romance. Val, an operating room nurse, agrees to meet Andy after answering a personal ad in the newspaper.
“It’s similar to a lot of Norm Foster comedies. There’s innuendo, miscommunication, and misunderstanding. People are trying to communicate whether it’s obvious or not. But they have ideals. They’ve watched too many romances and the reality doesn’t fit the picture in their head,” says Elliott.
Sheldan Ishaq, a recent University of Alberta graduate, helms How the Other Half Loves opening in the new year on Jan. 29. It follows the misunderstandings caused by a couple having an affair and they cover their tracks using an innocent third party.
“Sheldan’s from St. Albert and he’s done some shows with us. We’re very happy to have him train and get experience with us,” Elliott notes.
Waiting for the Parade, a more thought-provoking examination of the war effort, is an all-woman show.
“We try to bring in different people who want to be engaged. There’s a lot going on in this play and Louise has done some great work with us.”
Director Mark McGarrigle wraps up the season with Lafferty’s Wake. This odd bit of fun set in an Irish funeral parlor opens April 23.
“This show brings a different energy to the season. It’s definitely going to be a fun show in a macabre way.”
Early season subscriptions are now available for 20 per cent off until Sunday, Aug. 31. For more information visit www.stalberttheatre.com or call 780-222-0102.