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Shakespeare In the Park prepares for Macbeth and presents Shakespeare Meets Dickens

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The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society is excited to welcome back familiar faces as they bring back their popular fundraiser Shakespeare Meets Dickens, Dec. 14 at Casa. Jeff Graham and Bryson Brown performing in last year’s  Shakespeare Meets Dickens, which returns to Casa, Dec. 14. Photo by Richard Amery
“It’s the third annual Shakespeare Meets Dickens. It’s an important fundraiser for the Lethbridge Shakespeare Society,” said artistic director Kate Connolly, who won’t be part of this year’s event due to undergoing knee surgery. But there will be plenty of familiar faces taking part including talented singers and musicians Megan Wittig, Ken Rogers, Stephanie Savage and Chris Peterson.

There will also be a lot of familiar faces on stage taking part in the reader’s theatre including most of the Shakespeare Performance Society board members including Jeff Graham and Shelly David plus The Tempest director DJ Gellatly.

The Shakespeare Performance Society has presented innovative productions of Shakespeare plays  in Galt Gardens for the last seven years including a space themed version of the Tempest this year, a western version of A Comedy of Errors and Romeo and Juliet set in contemporary Italy before that.

“This year we’re excited to present Macbeth directed by an and coming young director who studied with Peter Hinton in Ontario, who has directed the Stratford Festival and the Canadian Stage Company in Toronto,” said  Connolly, noting Monique Danielle returns home from Toronto this year to direct a more traditional version of MacBeth.
“I think the board wants to keep it in a fairly traditional time and there’s even been talk of kilts! My vision involves not only a lot of Scottish culture and Shakespearean time period but also the involvement of Greek and Roman mythology, particularly with the role of the witches! I want to play with the ideas of gender, feminism, femininity and toxic masculinity. We’re taking on a lot of big ideas that are so crucial to where our society’s at today but with a talented cast I think audiences are going to be in for something pretty amazing, ” Danielle wrote in a Facebook message.


A Christmas Carol: The Musical on stage this week at Church of Latter Day Saints

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The Church of Latter Day Saints at 1912 10 Ave  presents Keith Ferguson and Bruce Greer’s musical the Christmas Carol, Dec. 5-8.Actors rehearse for the musical  version of A Christmas Carol at The Church of Latter Day Saints at 1912 10 Ave, which runs Dec. 5-8 at 7:30 p.m. photo by Richard amery
“It’s a musical version of the Charles Dickens’ story. It’s pretty close to the book,” said director Chelsey Campbell, who directed a successful version of the production last year for the first time.  

“I was looking for a version of this to do on Youtube and found this one,” she continued.
“It was written by two ministers, but don’t let that scare you,” she chuckled.

“I just love the story. It’s about how everybody has the capacity to change. It’s good Christmas fun, she enthused.
“But this year we have more men than women.  A lot of my boys came back this year. We had more women last year, but a lot of them got married or moved away,” she continued.
“ It’s unusual because you usually get more women auditioning.”
 The cast includes  25 young actors aged 18-30 plus 10 children.


Give a Texas sized 10-4 to Letterkenny live in Lethbridge

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The Crave TV show Letterkenny has become a cult favourite over the past couple years.Letterkenny live is at the Enmax, Dec. 14. Photo submitted
 It follows the misadventures of “hicks,” skids” and  “hockey players” hanging around the fictional Ontario town of Letterkenny, usually around the main character Wayne (played by series creator Jared Kesso)’s produce stand where he is joined by his friends Daryl (Nathan Dales), Squirrley Dan (K Trevor Wilson) and Wayne’s sister Katy (Michelle Mylett), who discuss the minutia of life in between “chirping” with the local hockey players and meth addled skids. It is like a mix of Seinfeld, Corner Gas and the Trailer Park Boys set in the country.

Letterkenny Live! The Encore brings the live experience to the Enmax Centre, Dec. 14.

“I met Jared in Vancouver and we started making two minute Youtube videos called Letterkenny Problems, which became really popular and the TV show came after for Crave TV. And now we’ve been doing them for three years. We never expected that to happen,” said Calgary born actor Nathan Dales, who splits his time working in Vancouver and shooting Letterkenny in Toronto and Sudbury.

“We‘re shooting season six now. When that’s done we’ll go on the encore tour because the first time was so successful,” Dales said, adding the live Letterkenny experience is a different than the televised version.
“We’ll be bringing the produce stand, so K Trevor Wilson, Jared Keeso and I will be in lawn chairs in front of the produce stand doing some of the favourite bits from the show. We’ll have new video and K Trevor Wilson will be doing a set of stand-up comedy,” he said.

 Mark Forward, who plays coach in the show will also be doing a stand-up comedy set.
“The Letterkenny Live is like theatre. You get an instant reaction from the audience, good or bad. It’s something really special,“he said.
Dales said he is similar to Daryl.
“I’m a lot like Daryl. He’s a supportive friend, he said.


Blank Space closed as A Gin Game and A Christmas Carol cancelled

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Bad news everybody. While local performers, arts groups and theatrical groups were really looking forward to being able to utilize the Blank Space theatre (located at Unit 3 1416 2 Ave S) for upcoming performances, especially after getting an advance peek at the place at the opening gala, Nov 1, the space has been put on hold due to obstacles arising with the City of Lethbridge.The Blank Space has closed after cancelling two upcoming shows. Photo by Richard Amery
 Two important fundraising shows have been cancelled as Black Space looks for a new location. Volunteers spent Sunday dismantling the space.
 The Gin Game, set to run Nov. 13-18 and Nov. 20-24 was the first to be cancelled. And unfortunately, they have also had to cancel an innovative production of A Christmas Carol, originally scheduled for the first two weeks of December, which would have had six actors playing all of the roles in the beloved Christmas story in front of a minimal set and utilizing music and  props to convey the different characters.

 A Christmas Carol Director Juanita DeVos is “gutted” by the news.
“We are now forced to do what we and every other small performance in Lethbridge has had to do for years: rent space in a venue that is not designed or zoned for the purposes of gathering people and equipment together for a performance... because we are not allowed to use our space which is not (yet) designed or zoned for the purposes of gathering people together for a performance,” she wrote on the group’s Facebook page.

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