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New West Theatre celebrates 12 days of Christmas with lights and new content

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New West Theatre’s December shows have become an integral part of Lethbridge’s holiday celebrations, but Covid has prevented gatherings for entertainment.NEw West Theatre’s A Holiday Show of Lights runs until Dec. 25. Photo by Richard Amery
 So New West Theatre has adapted by putting their own twist on the 12 days of Christmas by launching  “A Holiday Show of Lights” beginning today, Dec. 14.


“We’ll be releasing new content every day on our Facebook page, like a song or something else,” said New West Theatre artistic director Kelly Reay.


“We have eight songs,” he said, noting they just finished the last of the recording 20 minute before the official launch of the first day of Christmas featured a new lighting show decking the halls of the Yates Theatre. It is accompanied by a four slide display including radio channel 90. 7 f.m. where you can tune in to hear a four song loop of New West Theatre veterans performing their favourite Christmas classics.

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Theatre Outré celebrates the holidays online tonight

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Celebrate Christmas with Theatre Outré tonight, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. Of, course, due to Covid restrictions, Theatre Outre’s Holigay show will be online through theTheatre Outré artistic director Jay Whitehead. Photo by Richard Amery Club Didi’s Facebook page as well as twitch.tv/theatreoutre.
“There will be poetry, music, videos and sketch comedy,” summarized Theatre Outré artistic director Jay Whitehead.


“We usually have a holiday cabaret at this time of year but due to Covid, we aren’t allowed to have audiences, or even be in the same room together,” he continued, adding they have been putting the show together for the past month.


“It’s all Christmas themed. It’s all original material. All of the music will be Christmas standards,” he continued.

“It’s a variety show,” he continued.

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U of L’s Identuality mainstage production is an online exploration of identity

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The University of Lethbridge Drama department has been forced to adapt to Covid , like all other arts groups, so their first mainstage production of the year will be a Zoom experience, which runs Nov. 17-21 online.
 Sixteen performers from all over the country have explored the idea of identity for the show, entitled Identuality.
“We’ve been working on a really interesting and dynamic piece of devised virtual theatre,” said director Jay Whitehead, noting devised theatre meant the cast and crew built the show from scratch.

The U of L's production of Identuality runs. Nov. 17-21. Photo Submitted
“ The whole show takes place over Zoom. It’s basically a collage of different reflections on different types of identity. Some are solo pieces, and some are group pieces. But ultimately its a reflection on a theme. And we go deep into these ideas and thoughts. The cast is very brave in sharing their stories.  And I think that people will find that though it’s being watched  via Zoom it through Zoom that it still feels like live theatre because  there is that connection to you through the camera  But and I thing people will be shocked and surprised by that,” Whitehead said.


“We didn’t start with a script as we typically would in theatre. We actually used the stories of the 16 cast members we’ve assembled to explore themes of identity and sexuality. So the piece contains everything from monologues, to original poetry and music. Really it is just an exploration of identity in all its various forms,“ Whitehead continued, noting despite the distance, the cast dug deep and bared their souls.


“When you’re talking about issues of identity, these are the things you hold really close to our hearts,” Whitehead said.
“We really delved into each cast member’s story and how they identify. As far as each cast member was willing to share. The process became very personal and personal stories that were shared around identity sexuality, gender, religious, racial, all kinds of identities,” he said adding he went into the process with a little bit  of trepidation about how to to create a theatrical production out of their stories.


 Whitehead was impressed with how close the cast congealed despite not being together.
“ The cast was able to become an ensemble just as if we were in the same room though we were scattered  scattered across two provinces and a territory,” he said.


Actor Kacie Hall enjoyed hearing the other cast members’ stories.

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Sin is in in Theatre Outré’s “Confessional”

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The Seven Deadly sins can keep you up at night, even just remembering what they are.Confessional has been extended until Nov. 1 at Didi’s Playhaus. Photo by Richard Amery


 So Theatre Outré explores lust, wrath, sloth, gluttony, pride, greed and envy, with a special one on one theatrical experience, Confessional which sold out almost immediately, but has now been extended to Nov. 1. I got the last ticket on Sunday. They announced the extended run earlier this week.


 Confessional is a spooky experience, so it’s very cool that it has been extended into Halloween, because it is ideal for the season.


The show is really seven separate shows performed live by Kathy Zaborsky who covers lust and gluttony; Anastasia Siceac, who covers sloth and envy  and Jay Whitehead, who’s pieces are the strangest examinations of wrath and pride, I’ve ever experience.
 Greed is covered by a multi-media  production incorporating images of money, and fancy cars and houses.
 Only one person , or two if they are in the same cohort, enter  “Didi’s Playhaus” #210 517a 4th ave. S for the show.


 Upon entry, you fill out a quick questionaire including  questions like “ What makes you angry?” “What is your favourite food?” and “What do you  have too much of,” which are then submitted to the cast who incorporate your answers into their performances resulting in a personalized theatrical experience. More so if you answer honestly. I was stumped by a couple of them.


 After you’ve answered the questions, an actor  in a bird-like plague mask guides you into the darkened room and gestures you to stand in a taped off box on the floor, while ensuring you don’t remove your own mask.
And you stand before a plexiglass box. The curtain opens revealing the actor performing each particular piece.

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