Feast-ing on Island talent: Dinner theatre auditioning for summer show

Feast-ing on Island talent: Dinner theatre auditioning for summer show

If you have ever taken in P.E.I.'s Feast Dinner theatre, you have likely marvelled at how the cast can serve your meal, take drink orders, sing, act and clear the tables, all with great ease.

It takes some very special and talented people to fill those roles, and the theatre is looking for more of them.

Auditions are now taking place throughout the Maritimes.

Well-known Island musician Andrew Waite has just signed on as the new musical director for the dinner theatre, returning to a company where he had a performing role a decade ago.

He told Mainstreet: PEI's Angela Walker that the musicians need to be versatile and able to adapt quickly to the challenges of the shows.

"We have a very limited time to bring them up to speed on a new instrument or maybe an instrument that they are not as familiar with, but we have to have them at performance level," said Waite.

The cast this year will have a brand-new comedy to perform, with an impressive name already attached.

"The show is called Shucked, and it's being written by Mike Allison," said artistic director Sherri-Lee Darrach. "Mike is the head writer for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and he's brilliantly funny. It's based around a shucking competition on P.E.I."

Spark and spunk

Darrach will have her eyes open at the auditions for people with that certain something that will be right for this show.

"The spark thing is interesting, because it is something I often look for as a director, as a teacher, as everything," said Darrach. "Not everyone's going to have that spark, but a lot of people do come in and they're pretty spunky, and that definitely is a beautiful quality."

Like Waite, Darrach said the desire to pitch in anywhere is a big plus in the auditions.

"It's also someone who is able to at least say, 'Yeah, I'll try that,'" she said. "I got hired in the dinner theatre as a non-musician and played drums and keys. I was willing to try it and eager to try it."

Darrach said it's a great learning experience for young performers, because they'll develop skills such as improv and vocal work.

"We bring in people and we do some training, it's just an all-around really cool experience for any actor, musician, whatever you may be, because you'll grow," she said.

Auditions are scheduled to take place in Charlottetown on March 6 and 7. Contact feastdinnertheatre@gmail.com for more information. 

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