Caviar Players set to take to the stage with one-act plays

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by Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Pastries, plays and philanthropy will mix Apr. 11 when the Caviar Players take to the Morinville Community Cultural Centre’s stage. Billed as a Dessert Theatre, the evening of one-act plays will offer a pair of productions: Cut by Lyle Victor Albert and Bad Auditions by Bad Actors by Ian McWethy. Five dollars from each $25 ticket purchase will be donated to any non-profit group a patron chooses to support with the purchase of their ticket.

Caviar Players treasurer and producer Brady Hughes said the theatre group is excited about the opportunity to perform on the Cultural Centre’s stage again, something they have not done since the opening in 2011. “We performed on the stage during the opening celebrations of the Cultural Centre, and have been itching to get back on that stage ever since,” Hughes said, adding their production Hamlette, a gender switch on Shakespeare’s great play, was performed in one of the meeting rooms. “Performing in one of the meeting rooms last year was an innovative way for our organization to continue doing some sort of theatrical production. We had lost the use of our trailer and weren’t able to travel around to other small communities in the area. This created a huge cut in our operating budget with the loss of that revenue stream. The atmosphere of performing in the meeting rooms was very unique and intimate for the cast and audience. And we’ll definitely be using that idea again in the future, but it doesn’t compare to the electricity and energy you feel when performing on a large stage under those hot, bright lights for a potentially larger audience.”

The Caviar Players start work in September when the theatrical group begins reading scripts, selecting plays and holding public auditions. By mid-December a play has been selected, a cast chosen and work begins in earnest learning the lines and bonding as a cast. Full rehearsals begin in January with the annual shows beginning at the end of March or beginning of April.

The system has worked well over the years, but is not without its setbacks. “There always seems to be a couple people that drop out for a variety of reasons,” Hughes explained, adding the situation happened again this year, prompting the group to start from scratch, switching from the single play they were rehearsing to two one-act plays. “Everyone has been working very hard at memorizing lines and get[ting] into new characters. Our rehearsals have been full of laughter and I’m very excited to see the final product. We’ve never had this short of a time frame for rehearsals, but I think the actors themselves are going to be very surprised at what they are capable of.”

The group is known for their comedies and family friendly shows, but Hughes said the current group does not want to limit their options and are eager to explore all types of styles and genres to present to the community.

Another Caviar Players tradition is providing a fundraising avenue for other local non-profit organizations, traditionally a dinner theatre partnership where the host non-profit covers event planning, Caviar the show. The loss of the group’s trailer has limited their ability to perform in Radway, Gibbons, Bon Accord and other communities in the region, but they are looking to resume those road trips in the future as well as explore other performance formats.

Hughes and his fellow thespians are hoping residents will come out to the Apr. 11 Dessert Theatre evening. “It’s always good to try something new and different,” he said, adding attending the performance supports local performers and non-profit groups.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Apr. 11 with the show starting at 8:30 p.m. tickets are $25 per person and available at caviarplayers.ca and at the door the night of the show. There will also be a silent auction raising funds for the ALS society that night.

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