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Playgoers of Lethbridge celebrating 100 years with a Taste of the Arts this weekend

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Playgoers of Lethbridge is celebrating their 100th anniversary by giving the community a taste of the arts this weekend.

 There will be workshops, performances, film and a chance to dance and sing at the  Yates Theatre and Sterndale Bennett Theatre, Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22.


Mayson Merkle, Cole Fetting and Jaclyn Elfring perfoming in  Alternative Accomodation. photo by Richard Amery

“ Move between the two venues, stay for the day or come and go. The longest performance is 45 minutes. So come and see what you like and maybe learn a little about Playgoers’ history,” said Nancy Purkis, Playgoers of Lethbridge Board member and one of the festival‘s organizers.


 Planning the two day event has been in the works  for a year when Playgoers started applying for city, provincial and federal grants to cover the costs of the event and to ensure that everything is free to attend and to ensure the performers receive an honorarium.


“ It’s certainly snowballed,” Purkis said, adding they had to submit a tentative schedule to apply for the grants, so Playgoers was pleased the Lethbridge arts community answered calls through the Allied Arts Council and on social media.


 The opening ceremonies at 5 p.m., Friday, April 21 and plaque unveiling featuring speeches by Mayor Blaine Hyggen, Playgoers of Lethbridge president Elaine Jagielski and Dr. Mike Bruised Head, has been moved inside due to concerns about the weather.


“The Southern Accord Chorus are going to sing Happy Birthday to Playgoers at 5:50 in the Yates Theatre. And The Lethbridge Big Band will be performing  “Going Up” from the first musical comedy Playgoers of Lethbridge ever did,” Purkis continued, adding local dance companies including Beyond Limits will perform and provide an opportunity for the audience to dance if they desire.

 There will be historical photos of Playgoers of Lethbridge from the Lethbridge Historical Society as well as art from local high school artists in the Yates Theatre mezzanine  to check out between performances.


 In addition to performances there will also be a couple interactive workshops beginning Saturday at 12:45 with Theatre Basics by Em Carlson, Stage Combat with Brent Clark at 1:45 and  Stage Makeup with Kacie Hall at 2:45.


 MCs  Mark Campbell, George Gallant, Jason Schilling, Mike Spencer and Mark Campbell will keep things moving along.

If you missed the Chinook Region One Act  Drama Festival this year, over Easter weekend, catch the encore of all three Taber Players’ entrants— Julia Cho’s ‘The Break Up’ and Pam Valentine’s “ A Dog’s Life and “Alternative Accommodation.”


 The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society will get you in the spirit for this summer’s production of  “ Taming of the Shrew.”

There are several local dance companies, singing groups and more.


There is plenty of live music. 

The Geomatic Attic curates an hour of music featuring Ryland Moranz to wind things down at 8 p.m. in the Yates Theatre where the festivities end with a 1920s  cocktail party in the mezzanine.


 A Taste of the Arts runs Friday, April 21 at 5 p.m. with the opening ceremonies and ends  at  8:45 p.m. with Dan and the Technicolour  Suit Jacket at 8:45 in the Sterndale Bennett Theatre.

Things resume at noon on Saturday with the film Becoming Unlimited in the Sterndale Bennett Theatre and  local percussion dup the jamani duo in the Yates Theatre.

 Friday, April 21 

Sterndale Bennett Theatre

5 p.m. Opening ceremonies  and plaque unveiling

6:15 p.m. Lethbridge Community Taiko association

 7:15 p.m. Metis Jigging with Roy Pogorzelski

8 p.m Bridge Brass

8:45 p.m. Dan and the Technicolour  Suit Jacket


Yates Theatre

 5:50 p.m. Southern Accord Chorus

6:45 p.m. Alternative Accommodation Taber Players

7:45 p.m. Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club

8:30 p.m. Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society 

Saturday, April 22

Sterndale Bennett Theatre

noon: Becoming  Unlimited film

12:45 p.m. Theatre Outre — Impromptu Improv Workshop

1:45 p.m. Haptic Dance Arts

1:55 p.m. The Little Mermaid Jr. (excerpts). Father Leonard  Van Tighem  Performing Arts

2:30 p.m. It‘s All About Music

3:30 p.m. Dance Images

4:30 p.m. the Break Up ( Taber Players)

5:10 p.m. Beyond Limits Dance Collective

7 p.m. Priscilla Pringles Predicament— Lethbridge Musical Theatre 

Yates Theatre

noon Duo

1:15 p.m. The Band Formerly known as Karen Lewis and Pam 

2:15 p.m., A Dog’s Life  Taber Players

3:10 p.m. Sing For Joy Concert and Singalong

4:25 p.m. Lethbridge and District Music and Speech Arts Festival Showcase

 6 p.m. Lethbridge Big band

7:40 p.m. Hoop Dance with Sandra Lamouche

8 p.m. Geomatic Attic Hour— Ryland Moranz and Friends

9 p.m. 1920s Cocktail Party Yates Mezzanine

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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