BY MARK WEBER
Central Alberta Theatre (CAT) is heading back to the Black Knight Inn for its regular season of dinner theatres starting this fall.
“It’s the perfect marriage for us,” said Craig Scott, CAT’s first vice president.
The theatre troupe had formerly held dinner theatre shows at the Black Knight Inn for several years, but had headed up to the Quality Inn about three seasons ago.
At the end of the day, Scott said the Black Knight Inn is ultimately a great partnership and an ideal location to begin staging shows at once again. “It has to work for both sides and you have to work collaboratively,” he added.
First up this fall is Fox on the Fairway by Ken Ludwig, who has had six shows on Broadway and seven in London’s West End.
His plays and musicals have been performed in more than 30 countries in over 20 languages.
That show is followed by Making God Laugh by Sean Grennan.
Grennan is a playwright, lyricist and librettist who began writing for the stage as co-librettist for Phantom of the Country Palace, produced by Marriott Theatre in Chicago in 1995 and subsequently published by MTI.
His plays and musicals — most of them published by Playscripts, Inc. — have gone on to hundreds of productions around the world, including the U.S., Canada, Russia, Australia, the Middle East, England and Spain, according to his web site.
Making God Laugh premiered in 2011 at Peninsula Players Theatre. It has gone on to receive more than 30 productions.
Rounding out the season are Soul Mate by David Belke, who launched his theatrical career as a designer and has since gone on to establish himself as a prolific writer of heartfelt, literate plays, and The Melville Boys by Norm Foster who has been described as the most produced playwright in Canada every year for the past 20 years.
His plays receive an average of 150 productions annually making him, by far, the most produced playwright in the history of this country, according to his web site.
Meanwhile, there are other highlights coming up as well, including Red Deer’s newest comedy group ‘Improv Jelly’, which is all about hilarious sketch and short form improvisation and features Paul Sutherland and Nicole Leal. Both actors are well-known to local audiences having appeared in several productions over the years.
“We are so excited about these guys – they also hope to do three or four shows next year.”
Shows run May 27th-28th at the Nickel Studio at the CAT Studios (beside the Memorial Centre).
Doors open at 7 p.m. with curtain at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the shows are $8 for students and $10 for adults.
The annual One Acts are also set for June 2nd and 4th and June 9th-11th at the Nickel Studio as well. There is also a One Act Dessert Gala on June 3rd.
Tickets are $10 a night with performances from Lindsay Thurber students as well as CAT. One dollar from each of tickets sold of the One Acts and Improv Jelly will be going to the Red Cross for the Fort McMurray fund.
Scott added that, “As well next season we will be continuing to donate one dollar of each of our ticket sales to five different charities. This past season we donated over $1,600 to local charities,” he said.
“The four this past season were the Women’s Shelter, the Christmas Bureau, the Food Bank and the Suicide Prevention line.”
Also upcoming is the annual CATena, which offers the audience a sneak peek at highlights of the coming season. CATena runs Sept. 5th at the Memorial Centre.
“The other really exciting news that’s coming up for next season as well is we’re going to have the first high school improv festival in Red Deer. We’re going to invite teams from Calgary and Edmonton, and points north and south – anywhere in between – and we will see how many high schools come,” he said.
“We also hope to have some workshops for the kids that weekend as well.”
The festival is set to run in October.
CAT’s mandate as a Society is to promote and recognize artistic, literary and cultural talent in the performing arts and to develop community interest, to maintain an active organization dedicated to the production of first rate performing arts on a community level. According to their web site, the organization, which was first formed back in 1970, also works with other community organizations and non-profits to help one another achieve important goals and milestones.
For more information about all things to do with Central Alberta Theatre, check out www.centralalbertatheatre.net. Watch for ticket information by visiting www.blackknightinn.ca.