New community theatre group meeting in Parrsboro

Bright lights, small town

Andrew Wagstaff
Published on May 15, 2014

Parrsboro Community Players was formed in recent months and is working on its  first play, Office Hours.

PARRSBORO – For 30 years Parrsboro has been known for its professional theatre, but now there is another outlet for those with creative and artistic minds – a community theatre group.

The Parrsboro Community Players was formed in recent months, and has been rehearsing for its upcoming production of a Norm Foster play, Office Hours.

The idea for the group came from Amber Brewer, a local spa owner. The idea picked up steam as more and more from the community jumped on board.

Some have past experience, some do not. All are in it for fun.

“I think every community should have a community theatre,” she said. “It’s a type of therapy, and it’s a way to connect people. It’s also a way to connect the community with the Ship, and a great way to get people more interested in theatre because it’s one thing watching a production, but to actually be involved, it feels amazing to be out there on stage.”

Brewer, who studied theatre and has performed on film and stage, took her idea to Ship’s Company Theatre artistic producer Natasha MacLellan, who not only provided encouragement, but also came on board as an advisor to the group.

Amber’s husband Jamie, who is among the performers, said MacLellan has been a great resource.

“We’re pretty lucky, with a schedule like Natasha has, that she even wants to be involved and do this for us,” he said.

Word was spread around the community, and those who were interested gathered at town hall.

“After we gathered so many people, we all talked about what productions we would like to see done,” she said. “We broke it down to three plays, read them all, and chose one.”

Office Hours was chosen unanimously by the 13 members of the group, much to the delight of Brewer, who was familiar with Foster’s work through another community theatre group she belonged to in Woodstock, Ont.

A comedy with a large ensemble cast, Office Hours was the perfect fit, she explained.

“I like it because it is a bunch of different stories but they all come together,” she said. “So I thought it was a good opportunity for a first production because it allowed people to do as many parts or as few parts as they wanted, or their time allowed them to.”

Bringing the diverse group together for weekly rehearsals has been the most challenging part of the process, as everyone has busy schedules, but the play is coming together, and will be ready for a performance in two weeks.

“We’re pretty much just getting to the point where we’re dropping scripts now,” said Mr. Brewer. “We’re finishing up the blocking, next will be dress and then go.”

The play will be performed at the Parrsboro Band Hall on May 31, with tickets available at Amber Lee’s Beautiful Me on Main Street.

The hope is that the first production will encourage others in the community to get involved in future shows.

Twitter: @ADNandrew