AMHERST - The Anglican Parish of Pugwash/River John wanted to hold a fund-raiser for Autumn House, and, perhaps unsure whether they wanted to put on a sale or a play, they decided to put on a sale within a play.
The church will present a wine cheese theatre evening in support of the women's shelter on Sept. 23-26, when the Maple Players of Oxford will out on Eric Mosher's new play, The All Souls' Summer Tasting, Art Show and Bazaar.
"One of our missions as a parish is we look to make a difference in people's lives, and be a visible presence of the Kingdom," said Rev. Bill Cook, associate priest at the parish and one of the play's eight cast members.
"Someone heard Autumn House was chronically under-funded, but they have to respond to a wide variety of needs for people like women and children in crisis," he continued. "Because we live in Cumberland County, Autumn House does this work in Cumberland County and surrounding areas, we thought Autumn House was a good cause."
The play will be performed by The Maple Players, a long-running amateur theatre company based in Oxford, and written and directed by Mosher, who has teamed with the church to produce many successful dinner and dessert theatres in the past for various causes.
But this show has a unique twist in that it invited the audience to become a part of the show, according to Cook.
"This is a play about a church group trying to raise money through a wine tasting and art display and sale," he explained. "So, in our wine and cheese theatre, the audience will be invited into the play during intermission to a wine and cheese reception, almost like they are taking part in the play."
The show will run for four nights at the newly refurbished Capitol Theatre in Oxford, sponsored by the likes of Jost Vineyards, Fulton's Pharmacy and Office Experts, all of which have been very generous, according to Cook, who said rehearsals have been a joy.
"It has been a lot of fun," he said. "The Maple Players have come together to provide the acting ability, it is very funny, and I think people will really enjoy it."
The eight-member cast has been rehearsing now for about two months, every Wednesday in an area of Mosher's store. When September comes, they will set their stage up in the theatre for a more earnest rehearsal schedule as show time draws nearer.
Tickets are available at Mosher's Store in Oxford, C. G. Fulton Pharmacy in Tatamagouche and River John, and Jost Vineyards in Malagash.