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Castaways all washed up on Domain Hall's stage

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Domain Hall might not be a tropical isle, but the cast and crew of Gilly Gan’s Island will be wearing grass skirts and Hawaiian lei.


The Domain Players are performing this take-off on the popular 60’s TV show Gilligan’s Island as their annual dinner theatre production on Jan. 26 and Feb. 1 and 2.


Producer/director Janice Harrison became involved after her daughter Jodie resurrected the then-dormant local amateur theatre group about 11 years ago. She, assistant director Shirley Cole, Marianne and Dennis Litster, Ed Baldwin and James Cossette are some of the original group members. They are joined by some seasoned actors and a few novices in this year’s production.


Harrison said that one of the best features of their group is that it’s multi-generational, with local students Carleigh and Kyle Enns, Jenna Erb and Kathleen Watts joining their cast.


She has found that many local residents are willing to take the stage.


"All you have to do is ask," she said


Cole, who’s been a theatre buff and actress for years, said the amateur group gives young people the chance to sing and act in a supportive environment.


However, they and the adult cast members and crew have to be disciplined and committed because they devote hundreds of hours to rehearsing and performing. Rehearsals are twice a week beginning in October and then jump to three times a week in January.


Veronica Black is cast as the Skipper, and this is her ninth year in the theatre group. She said she doesn’t begrudge the many hours she spends preparing and performing.


"It’s so much fun," she said. "It’s my hobby."


Cole explained the Domain Players typically stage their performances in late January-early February so as not to compete with the schedules of amateur theatre groups in Headingley and Starbuck.


Like other dinner theatres, the costumed cast members greet their audience and help serve the meal before taking the stage.


Cole said each year’s production is a major community event, but people from as far away as Stonewall buy tickets.


The hall can hold about 150 guests for the dinner performances and 170 for the Sunday matinee. The proceeds of this year’s matinee are being donated to the Living Bible Explorers for their new camp near Hadashville, Manitoba for inner-city youth.


For more information and to reserve tickets, contact Cole at 204-736-2936.

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