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L.A. Beat

Experience theatre debuts with original play about siblings on the family farm

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A new theatre company  gives up and coming actors  more chances to “Experience” theatre without leaving Lethbridge. Their first play “I Hear Abel Singin’ in the Fields,” penned by local playwright Jess Serrat, runs at the casa community room  April 21 at 2:30 p.m.  and at 7:30  p.m., April 22, 24  and 25.


Jesse Thibert, who played Hamlet with The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society’s  production of Shakespeare’s renown tragedy Hamlet  a couple of years ago and who directed Taming of the Shrew last summer, brings his new theatre company Experience  Theatre to life with Jess Syratt’s original  play “ I Hear Abel Singin’ in the fields.”

Jesse Thibert and Logan Hockley rehearse I Hear Abel Singin’ in the Fields. Photo by Richard Amery


 “I wanted to have more opportunities for actors especially those  graduating from the University of Lethbridge.,” Said Thibert on founding Experience Theatre company.


“Lethbridge is a growing city. We have a great theatre community of students and  professional actors, so I felt  they should have more opportunities to perform  here without having to move to another city,” Thibert said.


Experience Theatre has been rehearsing for their first production since January. They will be staging two more this year.

“We  hope to double that next year,” Thibert said.


He has wanted to do Syratt’s play for a couple of years.

“It’s about two  brothers. One wants to stay on the family farm and the other wants to move to the city,” said Thibert, who  plays the brother who wants to stay on the farm. 

 The play features Thibert as James, Logan Hockley as his brother Noah and  Aiden Boon as  Eden.

“ James is a rough and tumble guy who wants to stay on the farm,” Thibert  said of his character.

“ There’s treachery and there‘s betrayal. It’s definitely not a comedy,” he said of the play, which he  has been wanting to produce since he read it several years ago when hie was in university.

 All of the  cast, crew and director are University of Lethbridge students or recent alumni.

Playwright Jess Syratt noted she was inspired to  write  “I hear Abel Singin’ in the Field,” after reading  Gwen Pharis Ringwood ’s “ Still Stands the House

“ I was inspired by and  I Saw Abel Singin In the Field grew out of it,” Syratt said.


“My mother is from a farm in England. I was fascinated by the relationship farmers have with the land . it turned in to a play about sibling relationships, regrets and the things that are important to us,” she said.

“ It’s very surreal, but it has an deceptively hopeful ending,” said Syratt who is excited to work with friends on the show.

Director Carson Rafuse is excited to be  part of the show and the theatre company.


“ Jesse has been wanting todo tis play for a few years. The goal of the company is to support local actors. So I’m super pumped to  part of it.

“ It’s been exciting to dive into this play,” he said.

“ I’m hoping people who see it will really connect to it,” he said.

“It’s a brand new play that has never been fully developed before,” he said.


The next play Experience  Theatre will be staging is Mason Arsenault’s “ Mama  Di’s Baby Food presents the legend of 9-11,”  Sept. 11-15.

Noelle Smith’s absurd comedy “Pants,” about a homophobic pair of pants will be the last show of this season.

“I Hear Abel Singin’ in the Fields,” penned by local playwright Jess Serrat, runs at the casa community room  April 21 at 2:30 p.m.  and at 7:30  p.m., April 22, 24  and 25. Tickets for the show are $15 through the company’s website

— By Richard Amery, L.A Beat Editor

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