1990

1990-1999

Through the 90's we continued to participate in the One Act Play Festivals, while our full-length productions grew in scope and variety.

It became apparent that we were outgrowing the Seniors' Rec Centre, and we dreamed of leaving lights installed on a grid, a proper sound system, dressing rooms and maybe even some storage space. We felt we may have worn out our welcome at times. Peaksters resolved to build what eventually became the Sundre Arts Centre, but needed a separate society to build and administer it, lest it be seen as just for theatre. Sundre & District Arts Society was formed (comprised mostly of Peak Theatre members) and discussions, fundraising and planning began. By the end of the decade, we were in our new home.

1990

March

One Act Play/ADFA Festival

Scarecrow

by Don Nigro

Scarecrow was a seriously strange, eerie and sensuous one act play and great fun to work on.

March

Full Length Play

The Mousetrap

by Agatha Christie

Everyone knows about Agatha Christie, but we had no idea how much fun her scripts are to perform. The characters give you so much room to move and the stories are very engaging.

We took this show to Bowden as part of their dinner theatre.

June

Full Length Play

Arms And The Man

by George Benard Shaw

This play was another dinner theatre and our first to be performed in the round with arena seating. It was an opportunity to move off the stage and into a three dimensional world. 

October

Alberta Teachers' Association Convention

Commissioned Work

Teaching 101

by Brian Bailey

The Convention Board just kept inviting us back. They gave us a great audience and fee.

November/December

Full Length Play

Arsenic & Old Lace

by Joseph Kesselring

Arsenic and Old Lace was first written for the Broadway stage in 1939. It is best known as the Frank Capra/Cary Grant comedy movie. It was a great script to work on! 

1991

March

One Act Play/ADFA

Festival

Would You Like a Cup of Tea entered the Regional Festival but was overshadowed by The Komagata Maru Incident.

The Komagata Maru Incident, written by Calgarian Sharon Pollack, is actually a full-length play, written without an interval. We found the story so disturbing and compelling that we wanted to share it at the ADFA Festival. To get through the script in less than 60 minutes as specified in the rules, we set a breakneck pace, just made the time limit and won the Provincial awards for Outstanding Costuming, Most Outstanding Direction, Most Outstanding Actor and Most Outstanding Play.

Would You Like A Cup Of Tea

by Warren Graves

The Komagata
Maru Incident

by Sharon Pollock

June

Full Length Play

Return Engagements

by Bernard Slade

We chose this play to celebrate our tenth anniversary for several reasons. It is beautifully written, funny and celebrates the passage of time and our evolution through it. 

We held a gala night, with champagne and special meal included.

OctoberNovember

Full Length Play

Terra Nova

by Ted Tally

We learned so much working on Terra Nova about the excursion, the technologies and the hardships humans can and can't endure. Wearing full snow suits on a well-lit stage was only one of our hardships.

New staging techniques such as diffuse lighting and use of a scrim helped make this unique.

What we were most pleased to learn is that you can have so much fun working on such a tragic play.

December

Kids' Christmas Show

at the Elks Hall

Over The River

by Brian Bailey

1992

February

Full Length Play

Gone To Glory

by Suzanne Findlay

This was a touching little story, remembered by some for experiences with aging makeup techniques. There are remarkable effects and after effects of creating a mask from liquid latex.

March

One Act Play/ADFA

Festival

The Dumb Waiter

by Harold Pinter

Harold Pinter is well know for his moody plays, and The Dumb Waiter introduced us to the Pinter Pause: actors don't speak for extended periods, but must fill the voids emotionally.

We attended the Regionals in Airdrie this year as the Heartland Zone had collapsed.

June

Full Length Play

Move Over,
Mrs. Markham

by Ray Cooney & John Chapman

This was a very popular bedroom farce in the nineties, featuring impersonations, sneaking behind curtains and improvisations. Some were even written into the script.

It was another June dinner theatre.

October

Full Length Play

Appointment With Death

by Agatha Christie

We wanted to present a variety of theatre genres, and a whodunit was part of our loose rotation. When that time came, we always considered staging the Grande Dame.

This play is a particularly moody one, featuring the tyrannical Mrs Boynton and her downtrodden family.

December

Kids' Christmas Show

at the Elks Hall

Phineas Fillpot Finds A Friend

by Brian Bailey

1993

February/March/August

One Act Play/ADFA

Festival

We sent two strong and somewhat bizarre plays to the One Act Festival this year. In the end, A Slight Ache went to Provincials and was awarded Best Actor, Best Direction and Best Production. As a prize, A Slight Ache was given a birth at the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. We found ourselves in Acacia Hall, a tight, hot little venue. Houses grew throughout the festival until an excellent review in the Edmonton Journal helped us close with sold out performances. 

As an aside, Darrell realized he needed to distress and soil his costume to help create his character of the match seller. He was renting digs on a chicken farm at the time, and we were revolted by the sight and smell of his filthy apparel.

The American Dream

by Edward Albee

A Slight Ache

Harold Pinter

June

Full Length Play

Relative Values

by Noel Coward

This was our first Noel Coward play and we loved his wit and style.

We decided we needed a tile floor look in the set, and our set designer diligently painted the hardboard outside in winter and moved it into our storage shed with some space heaters to dry. Days later when the paint appeared to have dried we installed it on stage. Next day there was an angry call about gas fumes in the building and that two carpet bowlers had been rushed to hospital, overcome by fumes. The paint had apparently frozen, not dried. When it thawed it was still very sticky and stinky. The seniors were soon released from hospital without harm. 

It was our June dinner theatre.

October

Full Length Play

The Melville Boys

by Norm Foster

The Melville Boys was an important show for us, partially because it introduced us to our favourite Canadian playwright, Norm Foster.

We constructed one of our most rustic sets primarily out of pine log cabin siding. Construction was challenging, because we had to disassemble and erect the set and tech gear for several shows in Bowden and Red Deer, where we had good houses. 

December

Full Length Play

Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's Production of
A Christmas Carol

David Mcgillivray & Walter Zerlin

We took a year off from our kids' Christmas show primarily because we found this deliciously funny spoof. We had some technical issues where our sound effects cassette tape jammed, but we quickly hooked up a microphone and recreated the sounds live backstage.

1994

March

Full Length Play

And Then There Were None

by Agatha Christie

This is perhaps Christie's most well-know play, and the characters, plot and mood demonstrate why.

June

Full Length Play

Opening Night

by Norm Foster

Our second Foster, this one involving one of our favourite obsessions: theatre. There were some memorable lines: "Sweatin' first thing in the mornin', sweatin' through lunch, sweatin' through the scorch of the afternoon, sweatin' through dinnertime, even sweatin' in your bed when the sun ain't nowhere to be found. Sweatin', sweatin', sweatin'."

And "Do you have an escort?" "No, a Toyota." 

October/November

Full Length Play

Hunter Of Peace

by Sharon Stearns

One of the great things about theatre is exploring the background stories. We all became fascinated by the tales of Bill Peyto, Mary Schaffer and the other pioneers of the Canadian Rockies.

Another exciting thing about theatre is the organic nature of set building. There was a fair amount of deadwood used, and after a day or two of warm indoor temperatures the hives of ants ventured forth to explore their new home, the Seniors' Rec Centre.

December

Kids' Christmas Play

Lemmings' Christmas

by Bailey

This was to be our final kids' Christmas show. It appears that lemmings really do jump off of a cliff and into the sea.

1995

March

One Act Play/ADFA

Festival

The Madness of Lady Bright

by Lanford Wilson

This was a disturbing story which Ed Longwill wanted to undertake for the festival. He walked away with the Provincial Best Actor award, but we fell short of Outstanding Production.

March

Full Length Play

Rough Crossing

by Tom Stoppard

Our second full length Stoppard was about theatre folk and was set on a luxurious art deco style ocean liner. While not considered a true musical, there were songs as characters rehearsed their roles en-route to New York.

May/June

Full Length Play

The Importance Of Being Earnest

by Oscar Wilde

We performed The Importance of Being Earnest in the round at the Seniors' Rec Centre. Audience risers were constructed to improve sight lines for those in the back rows.

Half the shows were dinner, half dessert buffets.

Work would soon commence on the Arts Centre. 

November

Full Length Play

The Long Weekend

by Norm Foster

This was another Foster, with his signature self-deprecating humour, human characters and stories.

1996

March

Full Length Play

The Lion In Winter

by James Goldman

This was our only play set in the medieval period. We learned lots about the machinations of royalty and about using crepe hair. 

May/June

Full Length Play

Tribute

by Bernard Slade

Tribute was one of our earliest plays, and the first one we remounted. We still loved the characters and the story. 

We did learn early in our occupancy of the Seniors' Rec Centre to do our messy and dusty work outside, and they were (mostly) very patient with us. Sadly, there was one cut that needed to be done on the set, a power saw was used, but the blade guard stuck open. The saw was set down on the recently replaced floor and scooted about a foot, leaving a tidy but permanent scar.

November

Full Length Play

Broken Up

by Nick Hall

This was a light-weight script which had a few laughs and an excellent tequila party scene.

1997

March

Full Length Play

Jake's Woman

by Neil Simon

This was Ed Longwill's last dramatic role, as he was beginning his struggle with cancer. 

June

Full Length Play

Hotel Paradiso

by Georges Feydeau

Hotel Paradiso was a very fun Feydeau farce to work on. We had actors as young ten years of age in the cast.

It was our final production staged in the beloved Seniors' Hall and one of our last dinner theatres.

1998

Peak Theatre Players and various community members spent thousands of hours constructing the Sundre Arts Centre. We decided as a group that we would suspend doing theatre so that we could build a theatre. 

1999

March

Full Length Play

Noises Off

by Michael Frayn

We had been itching to do this play for years, and now that we were in the Arts Centre we could actually build a two story, revolving set. So we did. The itch was scratched and it was a perfect introduction to our new stage.

June

Full Length Play

Ladies of the Camellias

by Lillian Groag

Ladies of the Camellias was a unique script, passionate and intelligent, with beautiful words. The theatre personalties and lifestyles of this era were an eye-opener.

This was another dinner theatre/dessert buffet option.

November

Full Length Play

Office Hours

by Norm Foster

Another Foster! This script was very cleverly conceived and designed, the characters so unique and memorable. 

Y2K was just around the corner, so we had to have some fun while the world still existed.