MACKLIN — Macklin Adult Community Drama group was organized by Kevin Burningham, and he also serves as director. After being an English/drama teacher at Macklin School for 31 years, where he directed over 50 plays, Burningham missed directing. He saw the incredible talent in Macklin and gave adult live theatre a shot.
The MACD is rehearsing for the coming year’s production, “Disaster,” set to be staged the weekend of April 19, 2024. Burningham says there are 16 cast members so far but there is always room for anyone interested.
The theatre group has been entertaining Macklin and area residents for several years. It is comprised of various members of the community, ranging in age from retirement to high school.
The group has performed seven musicals in the past nine years including popular cult classics like Leader of the Pack, 9 to 5 and Mamma Mia.
In 2022, the group ambitiously undertook a performance of “We Will Rock You” based on the popular rock band, Queen. “We Will Rock You” was one of the most ambitious shows the group has ever done. The music by Queen was challenging. The amount of choreography was also intimidating. It took an incredible amount of dedication by the 21 cast members, six band members, set designers, costume designers and stage crew to create such a successful show.
“These theatre productions have anywhere from 10-20 actors, and although there is always some turnover of people, there have been a few who have been there since the beginning and quite a few who have been part of it for at least four years,” Burningham says.
Asked why people joined drama in the first place some of the comments were:
“I got hooked on drama in high school and I like the feeling of being a part of a different family and doing my part for the arts council.”
“I had been to most drama performances and thought, do I have the nerve to do this because it looks like it would be a blast? It has been one of the most enjoyable, scary and rewarding experiences I have ever had.”
“I enjoy drama because it pushes me way beyond my comfort zone and proves to me that I am capable of so much more. It also has given me the opportunity to develop relationships with people I would otherwise not have the opportunity to.”
“I grew up loving speech and musical theatre. Participating in drama has allowed me to rediscover that love.”
Asked why he prefers directing musicals, Burningham replied. “A musical allows you to get a large number of people in the play whereas a drama or comedy quite often has a limited cast. I do not want to turn anyone away who has an interest in being on the stage.”
The adult community drama group is sponsored by the Macklin Arts Council who, in addition to hosting the four performers who are part of the Saskatchewan Concert Series, provide the necessary funding for the musical productions.
“The wonderful thing about the arts council is that all proceeds go back into funding the arts in our community, whether it be stage lighting, sound systems, wireless microphones or bringing in world-class performers,” says Burningham.