Klaglahachie shakes it up with new play

new production from the Klaglahachie Fine Arts Society seems to have the necessary pieces of the puzzle to put on a show to remember.

A new production from the Klaglahachie Fine Arts Society seems to have the necessary pieces of the puzzle to put on a show to remember.

Jake and the Kid, is from W.O. Mitchell’s short stories and was adapted by playwright Conni Massing who grew up in Ponoka. Set in the 1940s and ’50s, the story follows three main characters, Jake, a hired man on the farm who explains the world to the Kid, and Gate, an older “frienemy” of Jake, explained director Danny Lineham.

“Jake is full of tall stories; he kind of plays fast and loose with history,” Lineham said.

Read-through rehearsals started in May, and now the cast is working on serious rehearsals Lineham expects they should be in costume relatively soon.

This is the first time in several years Klaglahachie has moved away from a musical as well, which the director looks forward to trying. “The idea is to branch out doing more things.”

When Lineham spoke to Massing about possibly putting on Jake and the Kid in Ponoka, he found her eager to have it presented in her hometown.

“What she has done with this play is combined five different elements from Mitchell’s stories. It’s very touching but incredibly funny,” he said.

There is a host of characters who complement the town and despite their smaller roles, Lineham feels it is their characters who make it come together. “All the other parts are the seasoning for the plate.”

The hope in this last month before the play starts is to polish the play a bit more; one of the keys to this play is the three main characters, Massing told Lineham when the play was at its early stages.

The hope for Lineham is for Klaglahachie to put on more shows throughout the year. “I would love to get an improv group here and also have workshops.”

The director is no stranger to the performing arts; he studied drama at the University of Alberta and has acted in several television shows such as Xena and Hercules, and performed in Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners. He feels his experience is an advantage when working with the actors.

Jake and the Kid will show Sept. 7, 8, 14 and 15 and performances start at 7:30 p.m. Attendees can also purchase dinner theatre tickets, which will be a prairie styled beef on a bun to coincide with the play’s theme.