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Wednesday, 04 March 2015 15:10

Tickets selling fast for Swift Current Little Theatre’s spring production

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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A guys-only weekend at the cabin takes an unexpected turn in Swift Current Little Theatre’s upcoming spring production of the comedy Beer for Breakfast by U.S. playwright Sean Grennan.

The community theatre group is hosting five performances of the comedy between March 19 and 28.
Shayla Kulferst, who is directing the play, said tickets have been selling well since the Feb. 26 ticket blitz at the Swift Current Mall.
“Pharmasave is selling tickets and they are selling really quickly,” she noted. “The dinner theatre is nearly sold out already.”
The dinner theatre performance takes place March 20. There will be three pub nights March 21, 27 and 28.
“The last performance is nearly sold out and the other two performances are getting close,” she said.
Opening night will be March 19 with a regular performance. The shows take place at Beatty Playhouse at Great Plains College.
All performances will start at 8 p.m. The doors open at 7 p.m. for the regular performance and at 6:30 p.m. for all other performances.
Audiences can look forward to a lot of laughter and quite a few surprises during this comedy, which includes adult content and some mild language.
Four friends in their fifties have planned a weekend of nostalgic music, beer and food that is bad for their health, but not all of them arrive at the cabin.
“Three of them show up and they’re wondering where their fourth friend is, and then all of a sudden the fourth friend’s wife shows up instead,” Kulferst said. “There’s a little bit of animosity between her and one of the other guys and some chaos ensues. There’s a battle of the sexes to see which gender is superior.”
This is the first time that Kulferst is directing a play for Swift Current Little Theatre, but she is enjoying the experience.
“I was a choir director but that’s a whole different ball game,” she laughed. “This is my rookie play. It is going really well. There’s a lot to learn, obviously. It’s a huge task, but it’s extremely rewarding.”
Her biggest challenge as a director has been to transform her vision of the play into reality on the stage.
“The whole point of directing is to get your artistic vision out there and you have to portray that not only to the audience but you have to first portray it to the actors and to the set designers, to the set detailers,” she said. “There’s so much behind the scenes — props, make-up, costumes, lighting and sound — and you have to get all of that across to everyone that helps make this production actually happen.”
She gained some directing experience in 2013, when she was the assistant director of the Swift Current Little Theatre spring production of the Norm Foster play Old Love. This time she is in the director seat with Ron Toles as assistant director.
“I’m usually on the stage,” Kulferst said. “I really like to act. I’ve been acting all through high school and really enjoyed it.”
Her involvement with Swift Current Little Theatre started in 2010, when she acted in the play The Remarkable Woman in You by local playwright Wendy Lockman.
According to Kulferst it is a big jump from being an actor to the role of director, but there is also a benefit.
“It’s a huge jump actually,” she said. “You learn so much as an actor if you’re directing.”
For example, a director must pay attention to blocking. This term refers to the movement of actors on stage to ensure they do not obstruct the audience view of other actors.
“So as the director you really see that because you’re looking in as the audience,” she said. “I learned some more about blocking and I’ve learned articulation, projection, things like that for your voice. … It will make me a better actress, that’s for sure.”
The four actors in Beer for Breakfast are experienced members of Swift Current Little Theatre and it has made her task easier.
“The veterans just know where to go and they know that you have to move somewhere with purpose,” she said. “I would say it’s probably easier to direct a veteran, that’s for sure.”
The three male roles are performed by Bruce Rayner as an angry TJ, Ken Johnson is the jobless reporter Mark and Kurtis Bakanec is Richard, who has a speech disorder after a recent stroke. Teresa Cole is the female protagonist Jessie, the wife of their friend Adrian.

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