Tuesday, 10 July 2012 09:05

Chautauqua continues to grow in Swift Current

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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This year's Chautauqua Summer Theatre Festival at Swift Current's Lyric Theatre provided a great opportunity to enjoy some impressive plays and feast on pie, homemade lemonade, and classic penny candy.

“I've heard nothing but good things,” explained organizer Rachel Wormsbecher. “It went really well, and I'm very pleased. Each play brought out such different emotions, and that's great to see.”
Each piece was carefully selected so that the festival lineup would offer something to appeal to everyone, and Wormsbecher was pleased to hear that everyone that she's spoken to has named a different favorite.
“My personal favorite was Loon, it was just right up my alley,” Wormsbecher admitted. “It was beautiful, whimsical, and unique. But Super Spectacular was very popular as well, and received a standing ovation on the final night of the festival before the performance was even finished. Everything was very well-received.”
Although they haven't figured out the numbers yet, Wormsbecher is confident that attendance to this year's festival has gone up some from last year's numbers. However, two performances didn't sell as well as the others, and Wormsbecher is hoping to change that for next year.
“Our numbers were up overall, but attendance was low for our Saturday matinée, and for our 6 p.m. time slot on Sunday,” she admitted. “I know that the people who came out had a fantastic time, but I think that certain times need a bit more of a push. I'm not going to be happy until we have a full house at each show, because that is really what these performers deserve.”
She is pleased to see so many people enjoying the Chautauqua each year, because it allows the theatre to finally serve its original purpose – housing live theatre performances. The venue has been much appreciated by the performers.
“All of these actors perform across the country, but they all speak very highly of the Lyric, how lucky we are to have it and how beautiful it is,” Wormsbecher said. “It's great for us to be able to use it the way it was intended. Plays are so unique – you get something from live theatre that you just don't get when you watch a movie or TV. We only get to have this festival once a year, but it's still another cultural event for our community, and it all helps improve the quality of life here.”
The festival also provides a chance for some talented locals to show off their skills. Opening acts for the plays included fencing demonstrations and author readings, making for a more vaudevillian atmosphere.
“We really try to think outside the box to find unique talents, because we strongly believe that this stage is for everyone in the community,” Wormsbecher noted. “This is such a huge part of who we are, so vital to our mandate, that we would be remiss if we didn't include the entire community. It's taken a while to get an event like this started up in a small community, and it's very exciting now that it's picking up momentum.”

Read 2454 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 10:50

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