Entertainment

New group presents dinner theatre

Clockwise from top left, Sheena McCorquodale, Donna Gladstone, Anthony James, Valerie Stewart and Heather Keller are all acting in Opened Mail, presented by the Qualicum Bay Theatre Group Feb. 15 at the Lighthouse Community Hall. - LISSA ALEXANDER PHOTO
Clockwise from top left, Sheena McCorquodale, Donna Gladstone, Anthony James, Valerie Stewart and Heather Keller are all acting in Opened Mail, presented by the Qualicum Bay Theatre Group Feb. 15 at the Lighthouse Community Hall.
— image credit: LISSA ALEXANDER PHOTO

LISSA ALEXANDER

reporter@pqbnews.com

A new theatre group in Qualicum Bay is offering an evening of entertainment Feb. 15 promising laughter, dinner, beverages and live music.

The Qualicum Bay Theatre Group was formed by members of the Lighthouse Community Hall Society. They are presenting their premiere show Opened Mail next Saturday night at the Lighthouse Community Hall, which is a collection of short sketches based on exchanged letters. The theatre group will be putting on its second show, Tea-A-Ria on April 5.

“I think anybody who appreciates humour will enjoy both {productions},” said Teri Petz, who is acting in both shows and also does some promotional work for the group. “Opened Mail is satirical and Tea-A-Ria is a perfect portray of cultural clashes.”

Petz hails from Hungary where she used to be heavily involved in theatre. Although she took a rather long hiatus (around 30 years) she said it was on her bucket list to get back into theatre, so she auditioned for the upcoming performances. She plays the neurotic mother of a soldier in Opened Mail and a dramatic Italian busy-body in Tea-A-Ria.

Sheena McCorquodale said when she and some others in the Society announced they were looking for people in the community to start up a community theatre group she thought they would get around 12 people. But 38 people showed up for the meet and greet and now 62 people are registered.

“I was blown away,” McCorquodale said. “There is obviously a strong interest.”

Donna Prima is directing both shows, a veteran of theatre who has won awards for directing, acting and producing in the past. She is a founding member of the Orpheus Players in Fort Myers Beach, Florida and the Attic Theatre Society on Lasqueti Island.

She said she chose the play Opened Mail because she has experience with the production and it’s a good introduction to theatre for those without much acting experience. It’s also very funny, she said. The five short sketches include one called Switching Rooms involving two nuns.

“These two nuns are in moral combat over switching their rooms they have been in for over 40 years,” she said.

The evening ends with a “fairytale menage” which Prima describes as  “racey” involving Cinderella, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel.

There will be live piano music between skits by local musician Bob Steele. Dinner takes place before the show at 6 p.m. and features organic and locally grown items. A salad will be served and then a choice of chicken or prawns for the main course, followed by dessert. The food is being catered by a local professional chef. The play will begin around 7 p.m.

Advance tickets for the show are $25, and they will be $30 at the door. Tickets include dinner and beverages will be available at the bar.

Tea-A- Ria will be another night of dinner theatre in April, this time with audience interaction and an Italian menu. Get tickets for Opened Mail at The Salish Sea Market and The Georgia Park Store in Bowser, The Shoe Inn in Qualicum Beach, and both Mulberry Bush Book Stores in Qualicum Beach and Parksville.

For more information about the events visit www.communityhall.ca and find the group’s facebook page called Qualicum Bay Theatre Group.

 

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