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This article was published 5/1/2018 (647 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
In the depth of a Manitoba winter a light-hearted comedy is perfect for taking audience members’ minds off the weather.
For the 16th year, the Domain Players cast and crew are presenting dinner theatre and a matinee lunch show onstage at Domain Hall. This year’s production is Next Stop... Dusty Hollows. Director Janice Harrison, of La Salle, describes it as a comedy based in an Arizona town in the early 1900s. The townsfolk of Dusty Hollows must work to convince a benefactor from Boston that the town is a booming metropolis.
Harrison has been involved in the amateur theatre company for 14 years.
"I just love it. It’s fun developing the script," she said. "It has to have humour."
Veronica Black, of La Salle, helped Harrison co-write the Dusty Hollows script which includes a large cast of 17 members. She too has been part of the Domain Players for 14 years and is glad to be back onstage playing the role of Gert, a stagecoach driver, after a health issue prevented her from performing in 2017.
"I love being onstage. To be productive and to make people laugh," Black said, adding the annual production gives her something fun to do each winter.
She said she enjoys seeing many of the cast and crew members who return each year.
Harrison agrees and singled out Ed Baldwin as having been active in every one of the Domain Players’ shows. He now looks after the sets.
"He’s invaluable," she said.
"We become like a family," Black said. While involved in the annual production, she sees people who live in neighbouring communities and former family members she met while working for many years in a local day care.
The Domain Players’ productions typically include roles for youth who might not be able to gain onstage experience otherwise. Harrison said Dusty Hollows features roles filled by six students, with her 12-year-old grand-daughter and a friend coming from Elie to join this year’s cast.
Harrison said she always enjoys seeing the interaction between pairs of parents and children who participate. In the current production, there are two mothers and daughters and father Jamie Scharf and his son Elie, 14, from Sanford.
Jamie said it’s his second performance with the Domain Players, but he previously appeared in five Starbuck Dinner Theatre shows before that company closed a few years ago.
"It’s (acting is) something that I enjoy," he said.
In Dusty Hollows he will appear as Opal Crabtree, a middle-aged school teacher. "It was the role that was left," he said, admitting that his appearance when dressed as a woman should generate a few laughs.
Jamie said having Elie join him in the production is a good experience as it allows them to spend time together.
Elie said he and his dad will run their lines while driving to and from rehearsals and to other events.
"He gives me lots of tips." Elie said of his father.
The Grade 9 Sanford Collegiate student has taken a few theatrical workshops in Winnipeg and hopes to continue performing with the Domain Players.
The Domain Players are offering dinner shows on Sat., Jan. 27, Fri., Feb. 2 and Sat., Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for adults are $40 and $20 for children.
A matinee show featuring a lunch is planned for Sun., Jan. 28 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children.
All shows are held in the Domain Hall, with catering by Taylor Cole.
Reservations can be made by calling 204-736-2613 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Community journalist — The Headliner
Andrea Geary is the community journalist for The Headliner. Email her at email@example.com Call her at 204-697-7124