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Taber Players ready for a fun run of shows

Posted on March 6, 2024 by Taber Times
Times File Photo ACT OUT: Pictured here are some photos from last year’s Taber Players performance called Chance Encounters.

By Cal Braid
Taber Times
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Taber Players are returning to the Legion with a run of shows from March 12-16. Each show will feature four individual one-act plays interspersed by live music from Olivia Blue. Different actors and directors will present each play and during the set changes the live music will keep the momentum going. It’s not the first time the Players have adopted this format. 

“What we find is people that know and like theater come for the four one-acts and people that know and love live music come for the band,” said Jocelyn Steinborn, a Players director. “What’s really cool about that is people who come to hear the live music go, ‘Wow, I never knew this was a thing, I didn’t know there were actors in Taber.’ So I think we have some new patrons because of this format.”

The Taber Players have been active for many years, and generally do a full-length play in the fall and then a one-act with music format in the spring. Afterward they take the one-act plays that have been workshopped, practiced and performed and submit them in the Chinook One-Act Festival by the Playgoers of Lethbridge.

“We’re very well practiced,” she said. “We won best play last year and our members have other awards as well.” This year’s plays are titled Rumple Schmumple, Audition, Axel F, and Inside the Department of the Exterior, which is directed by Steinborn. Her synopsis of Inside the Department is, “Man comes to a zoning office and all he wants is to get a mailbox, and there’s a lot of confusion with getting just the right form,” she chuckled and added, “I think people will relate to it, because I think we’ve all been in a situation where there’s bureaucratic rigamarole. I hope that’s what will resonate with the patrons, that they’ll find that funny.” LeeAnn Anderson and Darryl Croft are the actors in it.

Another play, Audition, directed by Jessica Nguyen and assistant Victoria Simmons, is about “An ambitious, haughty performer (who) takes out her stress on her piano accompanist while waiting to audition for a well-regarded theater composer, but when the time comes for her to strut her stuff, things take a turn for the hilarious.” Nguyen’s play features three actors and runs about 11 minutes.

In Rumple Schmumple, Sarah Lee directs actors in a spin-off of Rumplestiltskin, where “an evil queen is more than willing to give up her baby to the fiendish Rumplestiltskin,” the poster synopsis says. “It’s reverse psychology. It’s a comedy,” Lee said. She has a theater background and after moving to Taber 17 years ago, she found the Players and has since acted in their productions. It’s her second time in the director’s chair.

The fourth play, Axel F, is summarized as “Two sisters prepare words of congratulation at their father’s second wedding reception,” and is directed by Angela Renner. Steinborn said that each play clocks in close to the 15-minute mark, and between the acting and the music, the evening should run about an hour and a half. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. each night. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. at the Taber Legion. Tickets are $25 and are available online at taberplayers.ca or at the door.

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