June 25th, 2024

Theatre patrons hungry for ‘A Dinner Party’

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on February 5, 2022.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Danielle Baker (Darling), Kacie Hall (Boo), Claire Smith (Sweetie), and Carter Debusschere (Baby), stage a scene from the University of Lethbridge's upcoming theatre production A Dinner Party by Christopher Duthie.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The University of Lethbridge’s Drama Department is ready to welcome members of the community to enjoy their newest production A Dinner Party by Christopher Duthie.
The third Mainstage of the 2021-2022 season, A Dinner Party will run from Feb. 8 to Feb. 12 at 7:30 pm nightly on the University Theatre stage. 
When asked what the play was about, director Kelly Reay said it was a loaded question as the play is about many things.
“The premise of the show is old friends have come together for literally a dinner party, after many years of not seeing each other,” said Reay.
He said the play lures you in as you think you are getting into a gentle, natural dinner party and then slowly as the scene progresses, reality starts to unwind.
“We take some really big absurd twists and take turns in places that the audience is not expecting and you know there’s even some polite cannibalism,” said Reay.
Reay said the play is based three long time friends and one of the friends has a new partner. This includes the host couple, Boo and Darling, their old friend Baby, and Baby’s new younger lover, Sweetie.
Claire Smith who plays Sweetie, described her character as being 10 years younger than everyone else and kind of like “hippie down to earth yoga gal.”
“She’s a lot of fun… very crunchy granola nature, but she’s a lot of fun and she brings a lot of chaos,” said Smith.
Smith said the fact that gender was not specified for the characters, it is given them a lot of freedom as actors to explore what the character means to them.
“Our story is different from a cast that may have four men or four women. So we have let gender impact the story, but it has really created a space for us to really explore these characters on our own and let them be a part of us,” said Smith.
She said the characters are all extensions of them in a way, because they had the opportunity to make a lot of choices for themselves.
Reay said they have been rehearsing since the first week of January, five days per week to get ready for opening night.
“It’s been a wonderful privilege to be able to be here in person creating this show together, after so many months of being apart and not being able to do theatre in the way we’re used to doing theatre,” said Reay.
He said it is a very special opportunity and they are enjoying it every day.
Tickets for A Dinner Party are complimentary for all patrons, but ticket reservations are required through the University Box Office.
Tickets can either be reserved online at ulethbridge.ca/tickets or in person, Monday to Friday 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the University Box Office window. Seating is limited.

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