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L.A. Beat

Hootenanny will be afternoon fun for all ages

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A new theatre company hopes Hootenanny will be a hoot in  Galt Gardens for  the whole family all through July.

 “Hootenanny” began todKenya Gimson, Jon Zimmer and Erik Hohmann star in Hootenanny this month. Photo by Richard Ameryay, July 3 and runs  at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.  Wednesday through  Saturday all July.

“It‘s a free family play. We want it to be accessible to children, but we also want adults to be able to enjoy it too,” said said co creator and director  Nicola Elson, adding despite being  Hootenanny, it isn’t a show about cowboys, though the three clowns performing do improvise horseback riding on colourful suitcases.

“It’s about Ordinary Garry, Ordinary Mary and Ordinary Barry, who  think everything  that is different is bad until they are transported to a magical world where everything that is different is good,” summarized Elson.
“It’s a very visual and physical show,” she described.

 She  and Julia Wasilewski  built the show backwards.

“We found the props and costumes first and created a story around them. The story came after,” Elson said.

“Because when you’re performing outdoors, you can’t often hear the dialogue,” she continued, adding the visual aspect and the energy of actors and University of Lethbridge students Kenya Gimson, Jon Zimmer and Erik Hohmann is paramount in this show.

“There’s mask,  puppetry and clowning in the show,” she said adding there is a lot of energy in the half hour show, which is designed with a mobile set, which will be moved  all over Galt Gardens.


 “We can move it under the trees so people can sit in the shade. And we want it to be close to the fountain as well where people are going to be anyways,” Elson continued.
“Just look for the bright blue wagon,” said Elson, who  is married to New West Theatre’s new general manager Kelly Rheay.

“But it isn’t a collaboration with New West Theatre, though I will be directing their theatre for young people’s show in December,” she said, adding she is hoping Hootenanny will be a success and will lead to annual performances by the company.

“We’d like to bring a new show every year. We’ll probably name the company Hootenanny because branding is important. And we’ll probably create the next show in  the same way,” she said,,adding her co creator  Julia Wasilewski recently joined the University of Lethbridge faculty.Kenya Gimson, Jon Zimmer and Erik Hohmann star in Hootenanny this month. Photo by Richard Amery

“And she saw a  need for a family show in the summer,” she said, adding Hootenanny will be a memorable show for audiences of all ages.

The show runs at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Admission is free.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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