THE KEYBOARD COMMANDO – Live theatre is a great joy, as the LAHF Troupe shows

Mac Olsen,
Smoky River Express

Local live theatre is something that everyone should take in at least once a year, for the experience of seeing performers showcasing their talents.
In our case, that source of live entertainment is the Local Actors Having Fun Troupe. And bravo! What a Troupe!
This year, LAHF Troupe is celebrating its 10th anniversary and is holding three performances of ‘A Stiff on Moonshine Hill’. Check out the front page, as well as Pages 8 and 9, of this week’s paper for a story and lots of photos. Also, check the Smoky River Express’ Facebook page for a video clip.
Not that I’m an art critic or have a background in theatre. But I do appreciate how much work goes into a theatrical production.
LAHF Troupe offers murder mystery dinner theatre for their performances. From start to finish, that means developing the script; planning and creating the costumes, props and sets; holding rehearsals; meal planning related to the theme of the production; decorating the hall; selling tickets and promoting the event; and finding the necessary volunteers to help with all the behind-the-scenes work.
That’s no small task for a group like LAHF Troupe. Yet every year, these actors and actresses show their knack and experience to get everything completed for a memorable experience.
On Feb. 21, the Sunday before the first performance, I attended a dress rehearsal at the Jean Cote community hall. I could see the genius of what the cast was doing and I knew then that I had to plan my coverage for the first performance on Feb. 27. I got to see the cast rehearse the hill billy version of ‘Thunderstruck’ and I knew then that that was going to be one of the key moments I had to get pictures and a video clip of.
Of course, there’s the production crew to thank, as they make it possible to open and close the curtains on cue, generate the right sound or light effect at the correct moment, and so on. And the director has the Herculean task of ensuring that the production stays on schedule, that everybody knows their lines and hits their marks.
So there are many people involved in a live theatre production and we should take in their performances when we can and offer our applause and thanks to them for providing such great entertainment.
I really came to appreciate live theatre when I worked for the Thompson Citizen in Thompson, Manitoba. The Thompson Playhouse held many great performances and one of their actors was a judge from the Thompson Provincial Court. He was a very different person when he was acting with the live theatre group. And I really enjoyed their performances as a whole.
As part of my trips to Vancouver, I go to a live theatre production with my aunt and uncle. They, too, are great lovers of theatre. During my last trip to Vancouver, I even helped build a couple of sets for the theatre company my uncle volunteers for.
So, I encourage everyone to take in a live theatre production when you can. You never know what you will see, and the experience is outstanding.

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