Thursday, 29 December 2016 08:00

Claresholm Arts Society presents Willy Wonka in January

Written by  Stephanie Labbe
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By mid-December tickets were already 80 per cent sold for the Willy Wonka production coming to Claresholm Jan. 13-21.

The Claresholm Arts Society is presenting this play at the Claresholm Community Centre.
This is the third play the Claresholm Arts Society has put on and organizers are excited to see the interest in this selection already.
Carmelle Steel, promotions co-ordinator, says preparations for the play have been progressing well. In December, the crew has been busy building larger pieces for the set, selling tickets and the performers have been practising three days a week since the beginning of October.
“We went through a lot of plays to figure out what we wanted to do,” says Steel.
Costumes are pretty much finished with just final touches left before they can get into the community centre to start setting up.
Over the last two years, the plays they chose weren’t focused on including children. This year, they wanted to choose a play that was both more family friendly, but also gave children within the community a chance to take part.
“(We wanted) just to fill a gap in our community. We don’t have drama in our high school anymore and so it was actually started by some people at the school looking to fill that gap by doing community theatre,” adds Steel.
The CAS began as a way to support the band program at the school. The band instructor actually ended up being the first director for the first play they hosted. There is still a band program at the school, but it’s limited.
Everyone acting in the play are local children and adults from Claresholm Stavely and Fort Macleod. Some of the people from Fort Macleod were in the play last year as well.
The CAS is all volunteer-based and Steel says they have an awesome group.
One of the volunteers is a part-time DJ and is doing the sound and lights.
There is a volunteer in construction who also has a son in the play, who is building the sets.
“We just sort of have this perfect little scenario right now, because of the kids that are involved in the play and the people in our community that have those talents that we really have a great production crew right now,” adds Steel.
There will be seven showings of the play between Jan. 13-21 with shows only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday each week.
As of Dec. 8, one show was completely sold out with others being close. Last year, the ticket sales were strong. This year, they’re expecting great crowds.
Money from the ticket sales will be going back into the production costs. The crew has to pay for the rights of the show in American dollars.
Steel says organizers are predicting to break even this year. Any profits from the ticket sales, would be used for improvements to the community centre where they hold their plays.
If people want to purchase tickets to any of the showings, they can go to the Linderman Law office in Claresholm.

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