Two Ponoka actors are playing major parts in the Cow-Patti Theatre Company’s latest stage performance that has been receiving rave reviews.
The company’s dinner theatre program is in its 17th year and Valerie Barrett has been with the troupe since the very beginning and is now cast in the lead role in Canadian playwright Allen Stratton’s “Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii.”
The play, a farce that revolves around the tricks of Nurse Jane, who seeks inspiration for her writing in small adventures she lives with a variety of characters, is described as great fun by both players and audiences.
“She lives in her own little world,” said Barrett describing the character she plays. “She has a naughty weekend with a married man whose wife hasn’t left when she was supposed to be away.”
“I love it,“ Barrett said of her role in the play, “It is great fun to be able to play someone who is positive,” and then she chuckles “She is a little bit nuts”.
Barrett says she traveled with the Cow Patti Theatre when they performed in Ontario several years ago and she has been with them since they returned to their base in Lacombe Golf and Country Club three years ago.
Describing her involvement with acting as a “sideline”, Barrett nevertheless thinks she can be considered a professional although she is not a union member.
And she believes the benefit performances of the theatre have always been great events.
“It is great to be able to give back to the community,” she says, praising the producer AnnaMarie Lea for her commitment to support community organizations.
Also a young actor from Ponoka, Sawyer Kiist, (20) is playing the part of Peter Prior, who was put up for adoption 25 years ago and is now in search of his parents, whom he believes to be living at the house where Nurse Jane is seeking inspiration for her next novel through that naughty adventure.
Coming from an amateur background, Kiist says he is new to the troupe, but enjoys his experience a lot: “This is my first year, first production with them.” Also this is his first professional play.
“I have done other plays in the area with Zap productions and Asker Church and others in Lacombe and Red Deer area,” Kiist said, but they were all amateur efforts.
“This is a great learning experience for me, everyone has been super nice, wonderful, great to work with professionally. I would love to continue doing it,” he says, adding “the food is great, too”.
Kiist hopes he could make a professional career of acting and that his experience with the Cow-Patti Theatre Company will help him achieve that goal.