by Stephen Dafoe

Morinvillians will have a variety of performing arts to select from during the Morinville Community Cultural Centre’s sixth performance season year.

This year’s lineup includes four Mainstage Series acts, five Kids Series shows, and another pair of Family Series performances. One of the Kids Series and One of the Family Series acts will be free performances under the Theatre Matters branding.

“We are bringing in a lot of new talent, a lot of different talent,” said Chris Fish, Morinville’s Community Services Business and Operations Manager, adding he feels people in the community will be excited about this year’s lineup. “We’re catering to the demographics that are within Morinville. The demographic is getting a little younger, and we are still maintaining that piece that has not necessarily missing. We want to hit the kids. We want to hit the young families and the seniors as well.”

Fish says this year’s lineup is a little more vibrant and alive than may have been present in the past, though he is quick to point out the cultural centre has had some excellent shows in its first half-decade.

One of the acts Fish and cultural centre staff are excited about is juggler Bob Cates, who will perform the second of the Theatre Matters free performances next March.

“He’s won numerous competitions for his plate spinning,” Fish noted. “He adds so much humour to the stage; they are going to die laughing.”

Another act people should be excited about, according to Fish, is Lisa Brokop, who offered a sampling of her talents at last week’s Active Living Fair. Brokop will be bringing her Patsy Cline Project to Morinville Nov. 5.

“Where we’ve had tribute bands come in and do those types of musicals—people enjoy that,” Fish said “Lisa Brokop is big within Nashville. She is big within Alberta and Canada. She’s definitely going to offer a hometown feel.”

Fish says this year’s lineup offers a lot of individuals that are going to offer something the community has not seen. “As long as we can promote ourselves, we are going to get the buy-in that we need,” he said.

Getting that buy-in started early with the official season launch Sept. 9 complete with a colour brochure of all the upcoming acts.

Mainstage series

The Mainstage Series kicks off Nov. 5 with a dinner and show featuring Lisa Brokop, and continues Jan. 24 with Cowboy: A Cowboy Story. The latter performance promises the old west as it’s never been seen before. The multi-media comedy show is being billed as part homage, part spoof, and entertaining throughout.

Peter N’ Chris and the Kind of OK Corra takes place Mar. 31 with three-time Canadian Comedy Award winners Peter N’ Chris, a sketch comedy troupe.

The final Mainstage Series act takes place Apr. 22 and features three-time June Award-winning Scott Cook and the Second Chances, an evening of roots, blues, soul and country songs.

Kids Series

This season’s children’s series kicks off with Norman Foote, an entertainer who has appeared at the cultural centre in the past. Foote’s Oct. 20 show is the first in the Theatre Matters Free Performance duo. The Juno Award-winning Foote will bring a Halloween-themed show to town.
February will see the return of the highly-popular Missoula Children’s Theatre, a group who assembled a cast of approximately 60 local actors last year for The Jungle Book. This year’s show will be Treasure Island.

Faust Mask Theatre’s performance of Little Big Frog, a show that mixes masks, puppets, poetry, music and comic dance in a retelling of the famous Grimm’s Fairy Tale takes place Feb. 25.
The final Kids Series show takes place Apr. 2 when Axis Theatre Company brings Hamelin: A New Fable to the stage.

Family Series

This year’s Family Series shows will bring Duffle Bag Theatre’s T’was the Night Before Christmas to the Stage Nov. 25 during the Light Up The Nite Festival and juggler Bob Cates hits the Stage Mar. 5.

Fish said it is important to showcase arts and culture in the community to embrace the existing culture and to keep people in the community.

“We want to be that community that stands out,” he said. “we want to be able to show all the local communities–look what Morinville is doing. It doesn’t matter if you are in Legal or Bon Accord; if you are doing something that pulls people into your community, that’s always a plus. Anything we can do that steps outside the box a little bit and generates that buzz–why not. Let’s get people coming here instead of going somewhere else.”

For more information on the series visit Morinville.ca

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