Kamsack Players begin rehearsals of comedy to be staged in December

Although much is still dependent on how the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the Kamsack Players theatre group has decided to begin the process which would result in a production in mid-December.

The Players have been accustomed to producing a comedy as a dinner theatre in the OCC Hall each December, but because of COVID, it was decided not to hold a dinner theatre this year, but instead to proceed with a play that will be staged at the Kamsack Playhouse, said Jack Koreluik, a member of the Players who has taken on the job of publicity.

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“We selected The Big Five-Oh by Brian Mitchell,” Koreluik said. It is a comedy in two acts, with a total of four scenes and requires a cast of three males and four females.

A number of the regular members of the Players met at the Playhouse on September 15 for casting and a table reading of the script, he said.

“Whoever said life is better after 50 had better be right,” said a synopsis of the play. “George Thomas is turning 50 on Saturday and it has been a terrible week. His dog is sick, his son is a slacker and his daughter wants to marry a Republican.

“With a neurotic wife and a widowed neighbour providing more challenges than even George can overcome, this may be the worst week of his life,” the synopsis says. “Through these trying days, George will discover the wonders of family, the responsibilities of parenthood and the results of is latest physical.

“The Big Five-Oh is a hilarious, sometimes touching account of a grown man coming to terms with his age, his relationship with his son and his future. It is the story of a middle-aged man finally growing up.”

Although the casting is not absolutely firm, Koreluik has agreed to take on the role of George, a professor of sociology. Ellen Amundsen-Case is his wife, Marie; Tanya Riabko will portray their daughter Julie; Adrian Hovrisko is their son Eric; Tim Lebedoff is Julie’s fiancé, Douglas; Karen Tourangeau is Kathy Walters, a widowed neighbour, and Casey Dix plays Sara Donovan, a student of George’s.

Members indicated an interest in having a couple of understudies involved who would be able to step into roles if needed, Koreluik said.

Nancy Brunt and Karen Koreluik will be directing the play and several members will be working behind the scenes, including Nicole Larson as the stage manager and Shelley Filipchuk who has taken on the task of house co-ordinator.

Because the Players are restricted to one-third seating capacity of the Playhouse, it means that a maximum of only 60 persons, with designated seating, can be admitted for each performance so the Players have agreed that depending on the number of tickets sold, up to four performances may be staged.

Instead of a meal, it was agreed that drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be available.

“There are a lot of logistics to be worked out, for example all the hors d’oeuvres will have to be pre-packaged and distributed,” Koreluik said, adding that plans are that between each scene there will be a break when the refreshments will be served.

“The read-through was good,” Koreluik said, adding that the cast and directors plan to rehearse once a week starting now, and tickets for the production should be available for sale in about a month.

“But still, so much depends on COVID,” he said. “If the virus situation worsens, we will be prepared to postpone the production.”

Karen Koreluik is the Players’ president; Shelley Filipchuk, the secretary, and Zennovia Duch, the treasurer.