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Makiisma to be part of local filming of Roku’s RiseUP series about touring musicians

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Megan Brown and her band Makiisma are excited to “Rise Up” on streaming service Roku.


The local doom folk band are part of a new series called RiseUP exploring the effects of Covid on touring musicians, which will be filming at the Slice, Tuesday, Oct. 26.


Makiisma play a special filming of RiseUP at the Slice on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Photo by Richard Amery

“ The series follows five different bands as they tour across Canada and the U.S.,” Brown said, adding she was excited when Slice owner Derek Hoyle approached her about being part of the Lethbridge shoot, which features Calgary singer songwriter Kyley Styles supporting his album  ‘Creating my Colours,’ Edmonton rap rock band Revolution Engine, Mexican hard rock band the B34st, Vancouver musician Tim Steinruck and Edmonton heavy rock band Sun of the Moon.


 This episode begins with  the Lethbridge date starting the Albertan leg of the tour in Lethbridge, Oct. 26, followed by Red Deer, Canmore, Calgary and ending in Edmonton.


Brown noted Makiisma will only be part of the Lethbridge show and expects the episode to air in the Spring.


 Makiisma includes Megan Brown on vocals, guitar and violin, drummer Keenan Pezderic, keyboardist TJ Waltho and bassist Kieran Swinney. His brother James Swinney will play extra guitar when Brown is playing violin.


“ We’ll be playing  a half hour, the other bands will be playing about 20 minutes. It will be a great night of music, ” she said.


“ I was so excited when Derek asked me to be part of it. I’ve never been on a reality TV show ,” she enthused.


New West Theatre cautiously announces first part of new season

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New West Theatre is proceeding with caution due to Covid, so they have only announced two new  shows in their upcoming season.


“We’re still proceeding with caution,” said New West theatre artistic director Kelly Reay, who is excited to be back in the Yates Theatre.


New West Theatre has announced some of their new season. Photo by Richard Amery

He noted the Yates and Sterndale Bennett Theatre are both part of the vaccine exemption program, so patrons will have to show proof of vaccination, medical proof of exemption or a negative Covid test and wear masks while enjoying the show.


“ But we’re still optimistic. So we’re only releasing the schedule a piece at a time,” Reay continued, noting with so much negativity in the air, it is all the more important to spread joy and positivity.


 The first big show will be “Ode To Joy,” another of New West Theatre’s much enjoyed comedy-music revues. It will run in the Yates Theatre from Dec. 15-31.


“It will star the usual cast of characters performing new and old favourites,” he continued.


“Given the way the world is today, we really feel like our duty is to bring joy and laughter to people. Live performances bring people together. We want to provide a little bit of levity,” he said, adding they will announce more shows as things hopefully improve.


University of Lethbridge ready to bring the laughs with Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors

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The past couple years have been scary and depressing, so the time is right for some laughter.Quinn Larder is part of Dracula: A Comedy of terrors, oct. 5-9 in University Theatre. Photo by Richard Amery


The University of Lethbridge will provide those much need laughs as they get into the Halloween spirit a few weeks early with Dracula : A Comedy of Terrors, running in University Theatre, Oct. 5-9.

The one act play, penned by Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen is a comedic take on Bram Stoker’s Dracula.


“It’s very meta,” described Quinn Larder, who plays Dracula and actor number 4.

 The show is set up like a radio play featuring five actors, two folio/ sound effects performers and pianist/ composer Kathy Zaborsky, who also double as part of the cast. All of the actors play multiple characters.


“ The source material is Dracula, but it’s very funny. The actors know it’s a show,” Larder continued.

“We’re a theatre troupe hoping to put on  a production of Dracula,” added  Lilliana Gaggero, who plays Lucy, Driver and one of the actors.

“It’s been exciting watching everything come together with the music, folio and actors. There’s lots of physical comedy,” she continued, adding she has enjoyed playing three different characters in the play.


“They all have different characteristics, physical attributes and accents to tell them apart. The driver is all hunched over from driving all day.  It’s been a really fun exercise” she said.


Larder is excited to be part of Dracula: A Comedy of Terrors.

“We did Dracula in high school. But it was more serious and I was too shy to audition. So I’m excited to be on stage in a comedy,” laughed Larder, a fourth year student who has been in several  University of Lethbridge productions.


Theatre Outré's new play explores love amidst chaos of Toronto bath house raids

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Theatré Outré returns to the stage with a harrowing new play penned by local playwright and performer Jay Whitehead, Sept. 28-Oct. 2.


“333 is an exciting new play by Jay Whitehead,” said director Kathy Zaborsky, who is also composing the soundscape for the one act play.


“It’s a fictional love story set amongst the bathhouse raids in Toronto in 1981,” she continued.


Garry Williams performs a scene in 333, Theatre Outré's new play. Photo by Richard Amery

 The play stars Andres Moreno from Edmonton, Halifax actor Garry Williams and Calgary resident and U of L graduate John Tasker.


“It’s the collision of a young man trying to find himself amidst the chaos and destruction of the bath house riots. It was the largest mass arrest in Canadian history and the birth of the Pride movement in Canada,” Zaborsky summarized.


“Veteran performer Garry Williams plays Rue-Barb Crumble, an aging queen who finds herself caught up in the raid,” according to a Theatre Outre press release about the play. Wiliams is co-founder of Da PoPo Theatre and a frequent collaborator with Theatre Outré.


“ Rue's story bridges the gap between the earliest gay rights movements and a much broader and sophisticated kind of queer activism we see today,” Williams says in the press release.


 The cast and crew have been rehearsing and workshopping the play since Sept. 12  and fine tuned th eplay with Calgary dramaturge Jennifer Taylor.



“She helped structure the play and checked the historical references and helped it’s dialogue,” Zaborsky said, adding she was familiar with the bath house riots before she started working on the production.


“I was just a child then. It’s been great to work  with everybody in this raw and personal journey,” she said, noting tickets are going quickly for the show as there is limited capacity in Didi’s Playhaus due to Covid restrictions.

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