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Noises Off, a Community on Stage
“There is a saying that it takes a whole village to raise a child, and I’m beginning to think it’s the same for producing community theatre.” Key City Theatre Managing Director, Patrick LeBlanc has been impressed by the community commitment to the British farce, Noises Off, gracing the stage of the Key City Theatre in January.
Nine actors ranging in age from 17 – 90, an understudy, two directors, a costumer, props people, a stage manager, an assistant stage manager, six stage hands, a pack of committed set builders, with a dozen movers and loaders, painters, two theatre technicians to run sound and lights, 15 volunteers for each of the six nights of performances and of course the theatre’s box office and administration staff have all put in months of work to create this play. Local businesses have also jumped on board: Twice as Nice, Pippins Consignment, Bedroom Furniture Gallery, Yuill Paint and Decorating, Ellie Bay Yarn and Show Repair, and the College of the Rockies Trades department.
“It’s all worth it”, proclaimed director, Dalton Hamilton, placing the last screw in the steps of the biggest set ever seen on the Key City Theatre stage, “and it spins”. Hamilton and his wife, Mary, agreed to co-direct Noises Off during what was supposed to be a year off. The pair is on sabbatical from teaching positions at Mount Baker High School. “I never expected to have to build the set. Thankfully Scott Yuill from Parkland was able to take the lead on the set building. We couldn’t have done this without him.”
“We don’t have room to build sets at the Theatre. It’s another of the shortsighted flaws we deal with,” said LeBlanc. “If it wasn’t for the College of the Rockies welcoming us into their Trades wing, Noises Off wouldn’t have happened. I would have hated to cancel the show after all the work the actors and directors have put into it, and it’s going to be a wonderful production.”
Coming from Cranbrook and Kimberley the cast and directors have been rehearsing three nights a week since September. “There is a huge range of acting experience in the cast,” said LeBlanc, “but they have all gelled really well.”
For the youngest cast members, David Popoff and Brad McCue, this will be their first productions outside of high school, while Bud Abbott first started his acting career over 65 years ago. Some of the faces are recognizable; Tanya Laing Gar, Stephanie Best, Dean Nicholson, Kirsten Kasner, Bud Abbott, and Susan Hanson have all acted in dozens of local productions, while Trevor Lundy is new to the local theatre scene.
“Each of the cast members has discovered something new with Noises Off, which was the whole point”, according to LeBlanc. “I produced professional theatre in Vancouver for almost 20 years, and it’s obvious to me that working on a bigger stage with a bigger set, for a bigger audience helps actors to evolve. They reach new heights and that’s what we wanted to see happen. Noises Off is stretching the actors and the directors, and what they have created is something really special. I hope the community comes out to support their neighbours.”
Noises Off runs at the Key City Theatre January 19, 20, 21, 26 & 27 at 7:30 pm and January 28 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $15 plus tax and are available by visiting or calling the Key City Theatre box office at 250-426-7006.