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TheatreFest 2024 swings into action as tickets sales launch

Tickets will go on sale March 1, and can be purchased by phoning the Dekker Centre at 306-445-7702 or by visiting the box office.
The banner on the Battleford Community Player's website introducing TheatreFest

THE BATTLEFORDS — This year's provincial theatre festival, hosted jointly by the Battlefords Community Players (BCP) and Theatre Saskatchewan, is swinging into action as more details have been released about the week-long event in April.

TheatreFest will be held at the Dekker Centre from April 21 to 27 and will feature a play each night from seven community theatre companies, followed by adjudication, workshops, parties, and an awards ceremony on the final night, all open to the public. 

"The Battlefords Community Players have co-hosted a few TheatreFests with us ... and working with [BCP] has just been a dream. Things are falling together really well, and just that excitement is really starting to ramp up," Nena Hawkes, Theatre Saskatchewan's executive director told, saying that she's thrilled.

"And we're getting our workshops lined up ... it's just really nice to feel like things are falling into place," she added.

The full list of plays and attending community theatre companies includes: 

  • An Inspector Calls, Drama, Battleford Community Players, April 21
  • Looking, Comedy, Cochin Community Players, April 22
  • Dogbarked, Comedy, Odyssey Productions Prince Albert, April 23
  • Here on the Flight Path, Comedy, Melfort Amateur Dramatics, April 24 
  • Agnes of God, Drama, Yorkton Paper Bag Players, April 25 
  • The Tin Woman, Comedic Drama, Last Mountain Theatre Company, April 26
  • Spirit Control, Drama, Moose Jaw Community Players, April 27

"Obviously, BCP is excited about hosting. It's been over seven years and this is the first really full showcase that we've had of seven groups and seven plays," Donna Challis, BCP's executive producer told the News-Optimist/

"There are seven really unique presentations being done, some dramedy, some comedy ... it's something for everybody. And I've always felt that if I don't see one of them, sure as heck that's going to be the one that wins ... I won't miss any if I can help it."

"It's exciting, things are coming well ... our next step of course is selling hundreds of tickets," she added.

Each show will start every night at 7:30 p.m., doors open at 7, with an awards ceremony will follow the final show.  

Tickets for adults and seniors will cost $35 per show, and tickets for students cost $25, though a festival package including tickets to all seven shows costs $145 if purchased between March 1 and 31.

Tickets go on sale, Friday March 1 and can be purchased by calling the Dekker Centre at 306-445-7702 or visiting the box office.

"We examined the options very carefully and we thought, 'the thing that we want to do is make it very, very affordable for those people that really like to see the whole festival. So their costs for seven shows, if they purchase in the month of March, is extremely, extremely easy for the wallet. 

"We're quite pleased we were able to do that."

Beyond the shows, the public will be able to attend adjudication the following morning after each show from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30, aimed to help the cast from the night prior to improve.

"The facilitator ... will meet with the cast and anybody else that wants to come and they will discuss the play, they will workshop it ... but it is open to the public."

"And from someone who's learned, I would say everything I know from taking part in those things ... I encourage people to come." 

Other workshops will be announced at a later date, and there may be a small cost attached.

And for those who have purchased tickets, they will able to attend a 'green room' party each night, offering the public an opportunity to mingle with the cast, and celebrate the play they've just seen at the Dekker Centre. 

"It's just really a social chance to celebrate, have fun, meet old friends ... and just talk to people who are in theatre, talk about what people are doing next."

For member groups of Theatre Saskatchewan, applications for this year's apprenticeship program - which allows budding actors from across Saskatchewan the chance to develop professionally - will open soon, with facilitator Ian Harmon.