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"Hairspray" has successful weekend

Estevan's Triple Threat Theatre's first production Hairspray: The Broadcast Musical had a very successful weekend of performances.

Estevan's Triple Threat Theatre's first production Hairspray: The Broadcast Musical had a very successful weekend of performances.

Evanne Wilhelm, one of the show's directors and one-third of Triple Threat Theatre, said that the show received overwhelming support from the community.

"Each show, we'd ask the people in the audience to tell everyone they knew how wonderful the show was. Each time that was said, the audience grew the next night."

Attendance was well over 500 people for every performance other than Saturday's show, in which Wilhelm said attendance was considerably lower, but still very good.

Sunday featured the strongest attendance, with people lining up outside the doors to purchase tickets, and eventually delaying the performance by 15 minutes.

Social media also played a part in generating ticket sales. Wilhelm said the cast members used their Facebook accounts to spread the word about the show.

"Through Facebook, (the cast) was able to tell people how wonderful the cause was, and encourage people to come out."

Money raised through ticket sales will be donated to the Salvation Army to support local flood victims. Wilhelm said the total is still being calculated, and that she expected that the donation would be made sometime next week.

The show, which ran Aug. 18-21, featured a cast of locals, many of whom were university students home for the summer months.

Wilhelm said that the rehearsal hours got a bit lengthy as the performances neared, and expressed her thanks towards the cast, many of whom worked full-time during the day, before often rehearsing late into the evenings, and as many as 14 hours daily on the weekends.

"It's important for the community to know that we only had 21 days rehearsing all together as a group," Wilhelm pointed out, citing the cast's dedication as one of the reasons for the show's success.

The future of Triple Threat Theatre isn't clear, however. Wilhelm said the she and co-directors Arlene Lafrentz and Sharlene Holiday were unsure how to proceed, and that they hoped they could discuss their plans with the Souris Valley Theatre in the near future. She said that they were interested in possibly teaming up with Souris Valley Theatre, and thought that the success of Hairspray had proved that community theatre could work in Estevan. Regardless of a partnership, she said that there was possibility for more Triple Threat Theatre productions, though at an earlier date in the season, something she would liked to have happened this year.

"We're all teachers and it makes it difficult going back to school in a week," she said. "We'd choose for performances to be earlier in the season, so we would have time off before going back to school."

Of her experience with Hairspray, Wilhelm said that she most enjoyed meeting for group prayers with the cast before performances.

"A lot of (the cast) said that this had been a life-changing experience for them. Some of them said they hadn't been in a great place and that this had lifted their spirits. The fact that this really made a difference in these peoples' lives, as well as the lives of the flood victims, made it a really positive experience."

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