Community Players celebrate double

Prince Albert Community Players is one of the oldest theatre groups in Saskatchewan. (Herald file photo)

Theatre group marking 60 year anniversary and Arts Hall of Fame induction

It’s an exciting year for a volunteer-based theatre group in Prince Albert.

The Prince Albert Community Players (PACP) are celebrating both their 60th anniversary and their induction into the Arts Hall of Fame one weekend after the other.

Their 60th Anniversary Gala takes place on Oct. 5. The weekend before, on Sept. 28, is the Arts Hall of Fame Gala.

The amateur community theatre group usually puts on two productions every season. Their upcoming show, Jack of Diamonds, runs Nov. 15, 16 and 17.

President Gail Enright said it goes along with their “diamond year.”

“We’re still active and we’re still looking forward to entertaining the people of Prince Albert and area, because it’s not just Prince Albert people that come. We do have people that come, family and friends from Saskatoon, Regina,” she said.

Although this is Enright’s first season as president of the Community Players, she’s been acting with them for about 10 years.

The group encourages people to get involved not just in acting, but in all realms of theatre. These include lighting, sound and set production.

“We encourage people that have never been in the theatre at all to try to work together as a team to help ourselves, to improve each other in the different aspects,” emphasized Enright.

She said the Community Players have just signed for a rehearsal space in the Gateway Mall so they can house all of their props and costumes in one area.

Just last year, members started visiting seniors homes in Prince Albert, performing short skits for those who are unable to make it to their productions.

“We like to be able to give people a chance to laugh and just go and enjoy themselves,” said Enright.

She’s proud of the theatre group for its success over the past 60 years. The Community Players are the second oldest theatre group in Saskatchewan.

“When you have an organization that has been active for 60 years and (as) a volunteer-based organization, I think that that is really a cause for celebration.”

Their 60th anniversary gala is coming up in a couple of weeks at Plaza 88.

The event contains catering from My Place, music by Bryce Elliott and the band Flashback, a dance, speeches, decorations by Delicate Petals and a draw for a Fire and Ice diamond pendant from Bocian Jewellers.

There will also be a table dedicated to photo albums from the group’s 60 years.

“That’s going to be very interesting, especially because some of our members that were active many years ago and that have moved on, they can have a chance to look back and see themselves when they were acting,” said Enright.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails at 6, dinner at 7 and the program at 8 followed by the dance.

Their goal is to sell at least 100 tickets and they’ve sold over 70 so far.

To be inducted into the Arts Hall of Fame, Enright said the Community Players had to complete an application process through the Prince Albert Arts Board. The process included a description of their group and its history, as well as interviews.

Shona Stapleton, chair of the Prince Albert Arts Board, said the inductees were nominated and went through a lengthy application process so the board could make the right decisions.

“With the PACP, I think it was just fitting that they be nominated and inducted on their 60th anniversary. What better anniversary gift?” she asked.

A past president of the Community Players is doing a speech at the Induction Gala and Enright will be accepting the award.

The gala will take place at the John & Olive Diefenbaker Theatre at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre. Cocktails are at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6. The program will begin at 7:30 p.m. with speeches and presentations made for each inductee.

The two other inductees this year are the Watsonairs and Bruce Rusheleau.

Tickets for the 60th Anniversary Gala are available until Saturday at https://pacp.ca or at Canadian Tire. They cost $40 each or a table of eight for $300.

Tickets for the Arts Hall of Fame Gala cost $55.25 each and tables of eight cost $400. They’re available for purchase at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre box office.

For more on the other inductees into the Arts Hall of Fame, please see a future edition of the Daily Herald.