Lyric The­atre unveils ad­di­tional ex­cit­ing plans

The Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - SCOTT AN­DER­SON SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

The Lyric The­atre un­veiled a se­ries of new ini­tia­tives for the 2018-2019 per­for­mance year.

Their ren­o­va­tion ef­forts are tak­ing a step for­ward in the com­ing weeks, with the con­struc­tion of a stair­well to con­nect all three lev­els of the build­ing. Fron­tier Con­struc­tion was granted a ten­der to in­stall stairs at a cost of $150,000.

“It’s noth­ing pretty. It’s not the out­side of the build­ing yet, but there’s just so many steps we need to take be­fore we get to that,” Lyric The­atre Board Pres­i­dent Denise Wall said dur­ing a press con­fer­ence on Mon­day.

At present, their stairs are not up to fire code, which lim­its the use of the fa­cil­ity.

“So we re­ally have been work­ing closely with the City and the Fire Depart­ment on mak­ing sure that we meet all of the codes for the build­ing.”

The project will also in­clude the re­moval of the of­fice space and Green Room which are lo­cated be­hind the stage, a de­ci­sion which will al­low for the stage to be re­lo­cated in or­der to in­crease seat­ing ca­pac­ity.

Once the stairs are com­pleted, the the­atre’s of­fice will re­lo­cate to a sec­ond floor space, and ad­di­tional im­prove­ment can be­gin on the up­per level.

“That will help us move for­ward with plans to use those floors. We’re not sure ex­actly what that will look like yet,” she ad­mit­ted.

Wall noted that the ren­o­va­tions are mov­ing for­ward in part to win­ning the re­gional prize of $30,000 dur­ing the 2017 This Place Mat­ters (The Na­tional Trust for Canada) for the Spirit of the Lyric cam­paign. She also for­mally an­nounced the Lyric The­atre re­ceived a $250,000 do­na­tion through the Dur­ward Seafoot Es­tate, which has kick­started this next phase of build­ing ren­o­va­tions.

“This is an amaz­ing sur­prise,” she said. “Since then we’ve been able to think about some of these fu­ture plans.”

A plas­tic sheet will be in­stalled as a bar­rier dur­ing ren­o­va­tions, so work will not have an im­pact on use of the the­atre.

The Lyric an­nounced they are less than a month away from launch­ing the first of a three play se­ries en­ti­tled Sparks In The Dark: Plays to Ig­nite the Imag­i­na­tion. This the­atri­cal se­ries comes in re­sponse to their de­sire to put more the­atre into their mix of of­fer­ings.

The Lyric’s newly ap­pointed Artis­tic Di­rec­tor Gor­don Mccall will be di­rect­ing the two per­former play Mary’s Wed­ding by Stephen Mas­si­cotte. The play, fea­tur­ing Amy Couzens from Regina and Swift Cur­rent’s Zac Oliver, will be per­formed seven times at the end of Septem­ber, with shows on Sept. 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, and 30. Ad­vance tick­ets for the per­for­mance are avail­able at Phar­masave.

Mccall ex­plained they are pre­sent­ing this Cana­dian per­for­mance in cel­e­bra­tion of the 100th an­niver­sary of the end of World War I, and in recog­ni­tion of Canada’s in­cred­i­ble con­tri­bu­tion to that con­flict.

“It’s ac­tu­ally a love story, on the Prairies. It’s about a young English wo­man who mi­grates to Canada with her fam­ily, to the Prairies, and one day en­coun­ters a young farmer, and sparks fly, and they fall in love,” Mccall said.

“And the war, as you can imag­ine, in­ter­venes. And like so many young men of that time, they thought they were go­ing to a party in many ways. They were young, strong, feel­ing im­mor­tal, very proud of their country.”

“We leave the rest un­til you come and see it,” he said. “It’s a beau­ti­ful, poignant love story.”

Mccall will also be di­rect­ing Merry Mun­sch, an adap­tion of the books of Robert Mun­sch, this De­cem­ber.

He is also ex­cit­edly di­rect­ing in March 2019 the pro­duc­tion Moth­er­hood Out Loud.

“It’ll tickle your funny bone on the way to your heart,” he said. “You’re go­ing to have a hard time not laugh­ing.”

Mon­day’s press con­fer­ence also fea­tured an un­veil­ing of their new brand­ing, The Lyric Presents.

“This is about fresh­en­ing up our ap­peal to the com­mu­nity, and try­ing to cap­ture some­thing from the past and move it into the present,” Mccall said.

“Ev­ery­where in our com­mu­nity we hear ‘The Lyric’, ‘The Lyric’, ‘We’re go­ing to The Lyric’,” he said. “We just thought well that’s what peo­ple are say­ing all the time, lets make it The Lyric. We know it’s a the­atre. So that’s where the idea came from.”

Aina Adashyn­ski, Gen­eral Man­ager of The Lyric The­atre, noted that the colour scheme of the new brand­ing let­ter­ing in­cor­po­rates some of the stained glass his­tory of the build­ing. Each of the let­ter colours is one of the colours in the stained glass.

Adashyn­ski also an­nounced a busy sched­ule of events planned for this fall. Their line-up over the com­ing weeks in­cludes the de­but Write Out Loud pre­sen­ta­tion, an even­ing of com­edy by Swift Cur­rent Im­pro­vi­sa­tional The­atre, Open Stage, the re­turn of Blen­ders, the first Youth Tal­ent Night of the fall, plus a per­for­mance by the Queer Song Orches­tra on Oc­to­ber 4 as part of their na­tional tour.

SCOTT AN­DER­SON/SOUTH­WEST BOOSTER

Aina Adashyn­ski, Gen­eral Man­ager of The Lyric The­atre and Artis­tic Di­rec­tor Gor­don Mccall joined with Lyric The­atre Board Pres­i­dent Denise Wall in un­veil­ing the new brand­ing The Lyric Presents dur­ing a press con­fer­ence on Mon­day.

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