The Cow Patti Theatre Company is kicking of their 24th season with Canadian Norm Foster’s The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby.
Cow Patti has produced several of Fosters plays and Cow Patti Owner AnnaMarie Lea, who plays Rhonda in the show, said she was thrilled to be able to bring this show to central Alberta after previously being part of it at Upper Canada Playhouse.
“Upper Canada Playhouse produced it. Linda (Goranson) and I were in it and while we were sitting in the dressing room, we said, ‘Hey we have to do this in Alberta’,” she said.
Goranson, who plays Sienna, and Lea both were in the play in Ontario which was produced by Donnie Bowes, who has come out to Alberta to direct the show at Cow Patti as well.
“Donnie has been very involved with Cow Patti, not just in Alberta but also when we produced in Ontario. I am absolutely thrilled when he agrees to come and direct a show. He is my mentor,” Lea said.
All the actors in this year’s production will seem familiar to Cow Patti regulars. Brian Young, who plays Kirk Douglas, and Goranson have both been in several productions; Liam Collins, who plays James Bell, was in both of Cow Patti’s productions last year; and Ali Mackay, who plays Melanie, was previously part Cow Patti when they produced The Butler Did It.
Lea guaranteed that the audience will get a laugh out of this play.
“When I was in the show, I enjoyed being in it so much and I observed how the audience reacted. That was key factor for me. I love producing Norm’s works and I think people love his shows. They have relatable people in relatable situations,” she said.’
Goranson admires the way Foster writes language and feels the audience will as well.
“The rhythms in his language are so beautiful. If you get the lines memorized, there is like a flow that is almost musical. He is just amazing,” she said
Bowes said Foster is Canada’s premier playwright because he is relatable and writes about small towns in Canada and this play is no different.
“He always develops interesting, funny characters and this play’s premise is ridiculous. There is a derby every year to hunt for this famous fish that was called Hollis McCauley because someone in town saw him and thought he looked like a guy in town,” he said.
“A stranger arrives in town and gets roped into enjoying the fishing derby. The stranger who Liam plays is a visitor from Toronto who’s car breaks down.
Lea said Foster epitomizes what she is trying to do at Cow Patti.
“I don’t produce theatre to really make people get deep. I think our job is to make people have a really good time and forget about real-world problems,” she said, adding that as an actor — Foster is a wonderful writer to work with/
“I love the way he writes women’s roles. I have been in a lot of his shows over the years and they are real. You can real identify with them and he lets you go that extra step with them. They are well-rounded,” she said
The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby runs from Nov 8 until Dec. 15 at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club. More information and tickets can be found at www.cowpatti.com.
Cow Patti’s next show Lunenburg will run from March 12 until April 5, 2020.