1981-1989

The '80's were characterized by energy, exploration and evolution.

The Seniors' Recreation Centre became our home. We infested the building several times a year, to the chagrin of a few seniors. Paint was spilled, objects dragged across the floor, lights hung from the roof structure and audience risers and stage extensions were erected. We rode that fine building pretty hard, often put it away wet. Two weeks later, all was taken down and apologies were issued.

The comedy cabarets encouraged novices, collaboration and laughter. The annual Christmas shows gave us a wider profile, and the one act festivals taught us so much about theatre. Our mainstage shows gained some sophistication.

1981

May

An Evening of One Act Plays

Peak Theatre Players mounted their first production on May 29, 1981. It was an evening of two one act plays, The Storm and The Ugly Duckling, both directed by Henry Bowen. The gymnasium of Sundre High School hosted large and supportive audiences. Tickets were $1.50 for adults, $1.00 for students and seniors, $0.50 for children.

We learned that rehearsing and performing were fun, that cast parties can last all night and that we never wanted to perform in a gymnasium ever again.

The show was taken to Caroline, where a decent crowd was in attendance. The school band kicked off the evening. When they finished, the audience shrunk to a family of five. The show went on.

The Storm

by Donald Payton

The Ugly Duckling

by A.A Milne

December

Kids' Christmas Show
at the Elks Hall

Jug Band Christmas

Adapted by Brian Bailey

This was our first Christmas Show, which we staged at the Elks Hall. We wanted to entertain children in the community as a Christmas treat. Actors donned fuzzy ears, painted on shiny noses and whiskers and played jug band instruments.

A visit from Santa closed the evenings.

1982

February

Comedy Cabaret
Comedy Cabaret

Peak Collective

The comedy cabaret was the brainchild of Henry Bowen. He described a series of short skits, music and dance, with food and drink. The audience was invited to express their approval or disapproval by hurling styrofoam balls at the stage. Each table got their own basket of balls. The balls didn't hurt, but the baskets could. We hired a DJ for a dance afterwards.

This was our first event at the beloved Seniors' Rec. Centre, now known as the West Country Centre.

May/June

Full Length Play

Too Many Misses

by unknown

Too Many Misses was our first attempt at a full-length play. We were looking for a comedy, and at the time didn't realize we were staging a farce. Several members had taken a makeup course and failed to distinguish the different techniques of male or female applications. It was directed by Henry Bowen, held at the Seniors' Recreation Centre. We also bundled the show up and took it to Olds College where we drew in an audience of about twelve. 

October

Comedy Cabaret

Cabaret De Styrofoam

Peak Collective

Our second comedy cabaret: more dance, more music, crazy skits followed by a social dance. We discovered styrofoam as a set building material.

December

Kids' Christmas Show
at the Elks Hall

Emmet Otter's Missed Tree

by Brian Bailey

This was a sequel to Jug Band Christmas, but this time with a bit of mystery, hardships, fuzzy ears, music and in the end, triumph. 

1983

July

Alberta Summer Games

One-Act

Playwrighting Competition

MountainView County was hosting the Alberta Winter Games and Peak was approached to manage and stage a playwrighting competition. Two plays were selected and performed by us in Olds.

The Race

by Grace Snow

If I Should Die Before I Wake

by Joe Woytowich

November

Full Length Play

How The Other Half Loves

by Alan Ayckbourn

This was our first dinner theatre and our first exposure to the genius of Alan Ayckbourn. Our goal was to give our audience an complete evening with cocktails, dinner, the show, then visiting until the wee hours.

The play was originally to be held the previous June, but was postponed due to cast and directorial issues. 

December

Kids' Christmas Show
at the Elks Hall

Mole Family Christmas

Adapted by Brian Bailey

This was our third Christmas special for kids at the Elks Hall. These near-sighted rodents dug their way out of a tight spot.

1984

February

Comedy Cabaret

Cabaret D' Amour

Peak Collective

In our first themed comedy cabaret, celebrating Valentine's Day, we spoofed some love stories including Rod and Brooke (Romeo and Juliet,) Mate Your Date and Sgt. Preston of the Yukon and the Fair Rosemarie.  

June

1981-1989

Full Length Play

Murder In Company

by John Boland & Phillip King

Murder In Company was our first exploration of the murder mystery genre, and another dinner theatre. It was also the first production that Ed Longwill walked the boards with us.

August

Greenwood Days

Greenwood Days

Peak Collective

For several years, the Town of Sundre hosted a celebration called Greenwood Days. We organized a travelling minstrel show, complete with snake oil sales.

November

Comedy Cabaret

Peak Freak Night

Peak Collective

In celebration of all things scary we hosted a Halloween comedy cabaret including Ghost Busties, The Tell Tale Heart, Quasimoto Quintet, The Curse of Dracula...

December 1984

Kids' Christmas Show
at the Elks Hall

Critters' Christmas Concert

by Brian Bailey

Back at the Elks Hall, we assembled a more diverse, large and inclusive group of critters.

1985

March

Comedy Cabaret

Soap and Suds

Peak Collective

We thought we should clean up our act, so we drew aim on daytime television soap operas, As the Wheel Turns, Zest, Phallus along with cheesy daytime commercials.

Full Length Play

Meanwhile, Back

On The Couch

by Jack Sharkey

This was a fast-paced farce in the tradition of fast-paced farces.

December

Kids' Christmas Show
at the Elks Hall

Squirrels' Christmas Carol

By Brian & Colleen Bailey 

This was another heart warming kids' Christmas presentation, relegated to the Elks basement due to a booking error. It featured an adaptation of the hit anthem "We Are the World" which became "We are the squirrels, we are the rodents. We are the ones who start the Christmas trees, so let's get cracking!"

1986

March

Comedy Cabaret

Looney Tunes

Peak Collective

This was yet another comedy cabaret featuring adaptations of famous musicals:

Off to See the Wizard, The Smell of Music and (award winning) Grit Side Tory, followed by a dance and midnight lunch.

June

Full Length Play

Tribute

by Bernard Slade

This was one of our more compelling early plays which was presented as our June dinner theatre. We included some effects with slides and a scrim.

This play selection was cause for some controversy as some viewers thought it was inappropriate to tell the story of a man who had less than perfect morals.

August

Greenwood Days

Nerd To The Rescue

by Brian Bailey

We took this '50's themed love story on the road around town on a flat-bed trailer, complete with poodle skirts, greased back hair and rock and roll.

November

Comedy Cabaret

Small In The Saddle

by Brian, Colleen Bailey, Bill Lough

Our first multi-media comedy cabaret, this was less of a variety show than a continuous, ridiculous romp set in the wild and wooly old west.

December

Kids' Christmas Show
at the Elks Hall

Wee Willie's Woes

by Shannon Simington

Yet another kids' Christmas show. Santa forgot the date, but after a long carol sing and hectic phone calls, Rudolf brought him to the Elks Hall.  

1987

March

One Act Play/ADFA Festival

​​After Magritte

by Tom Stoppard

We decided to participate in the Alberta Drama Festival Association One-Act Festival and in the process, discovered one of our favourite playwrights, Tom Stoppard. After clearing the Regional festival, we were happy to be invited to Provincials. It was thrilling perform on the Red Deer College main stage and to watch the works of other community groups. We danced away with multiple awards: Best Director, Best Design and Best Ensemble.

June

Full Length Play

Murder By The Book

by Duncan Greenwood & Robert King

This was our second go at a whodunit, and while many mysteries feature a disappearance there seem to be no programs or photos of Murder by the Book still in existence.

August

Alberta Teachers' Association Convention

Teach With Nothing

by Brian Bailey & Colleen Bailey

We were commissioned to present a one act play about the effects of budget cuts on the education system. We loaded up our sets and props and performed before this large convention. A main actor became ill, and fortunately we had a road hand who stood in. 

November

Comedy Cabaret

Don't Play It Again Sam

by Brian Bailey w/Bill Lough, Pam Friesen

While this was still called a comedy cabaret, it followed the model of a goofy, continuous story of a self-absorbed private detective. 

December

Kids' Christmas Show
at the Elks Hall

The Toys That Jack Built

Peak Collective

We were back in the old Elks Hall, when suddenly this terrifyingly insane character called Jack popped out of his box. He was a totally different character than had been developed during rehearsals. I don't know how the kids felt, but the cast was horrified.

Mind you, it may have had something to do with space limitations as we were forced to assemble props and do costume changes in the rear emergency stairwell...

1988

March

One Act Play/ADFA Festival

Emboldened by our experience at last year's ADFA Festival, we mounted another rather bizarre Tom Stoppard one act. Best Ensemble and Best Design were again awarded.

We did mount another one act, An Inspector Answers, in order to host a full evening's entertainment in Sundre.

An Inspector Answers

by Norman Phillip Hart

The Real Inspector Hound

by Tom Stoppard

June 1988

Full Length Play

Bedroom Farce

by Alan Ayckbourn

This was another intriguing Ayckbourn script, which we presented as a dinner theatre with another experiment: our only seniors' bus tour show.

August 1988

Alberta Teachers' Association Convention

Connections

by Brian Bailey & Colleen Bailey

Of course we were delighted to go back on the road to entertain a gymnasium full of educators, and this year the theme was making positive connections with students.

November 1988

Comedy Cabaret

Dusk To Dawn

Peak Collective

A drive-in movie night gave us the inspiration to transform a handful of B grade movies into C grade skits. The writing had become uneven, and this was to be our last comedy cabaret. The young couple parked in their convertible beside the stage will be long remembered.

December 1988

Kids' Christmas Show
at the Elks Hall
Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas

Adapted by Brian Bailey

Another fun kids' Christmas show with improved costuming, which ironically had to be put on in the rear stairwell again.

1989

March

One Act Play/ADFA Festival

We took Hughie and Passion, Poison and Petrifaction to the Regional Festival in Red Deer (along with 7 other entries) and Hughie was sent to Provincials in Whitecourt. It was awarded for Outstanding Technical Production.

Hughie

by Eugene O'Neil

Passion, Poison & Petrifaction

by George Bernard Shaw

June

Full Length Play

On The Razzle

by Tom Stoppard

We were excited to find this little known Stoppard adaptation and it was to become our largest, most lavish production to date. Elaborate period costumes, a multi-scene set with sizzling dialogue made it a treat for the ears and eyes. 

October/November

Full Length Play

Frankenstein

By Tim Kelly

Frankenstein was a wonderful adaptation of Mary Shelly's classic horror story, and gave us the opportunity to study extreme makeup techniques and gothic set building.

December

Kids' Christmas Show
at the Elks Hall
'Twas The Nut Before Christmas

by Brian Bailey

The squirrels are back with a carol sing and Santa.