THERE’S A NEW THEATRE COM­PANY IN COR­NER BROOK

Cor­ner Brook woman starts new theatre com­pany

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - DIANE CROCKER

COR­NER BROOK, N.L. — Sarah Thomp­son grew up in the din­ner theatre busi­ness, so when the for­mer ra­dio broad­caster was look­ing for a new ca­reer path she turned to what she al­ready knew.

Thomp­son is the owner of the New Found Fam­ily Drama Com­pany, which will launch its first pro­duc­tion at the Elks Club in Cor­ner Brook on June 27.

Thomp­son’s dad, John Thomp­son, runs the Queen Street Din­ner Theatre in Grand Falls-Wind­sor. Her in­volve­ment with the Queen Street ven­ture has been “a lot of this, that and ev­ery­thing” over the years.

“So, re­al­iz­ing that we didn’t have a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties for tourists to do things that in­volved both their en­ter­tain­ment and their meal at the same time, I thought of an op­por­tu­nity to let peo­ple do it all in one place.”

And it seems like Thomp­son’s idea was a good one.

In con­ver­sa­tions with the De­part­ment of Tourism, Cul­ture, In­dus­try and In­no­va­tion, she learned that din­ner the­atres were a gap that has been iden­ti­fied in the mar­ket here.

She took her idea to a Pitches and Pints event hosted by the Nav­i­gate cen­tre in Fe­bru­ary. The event pro­vided her with the per­fect net­work­ing op­por­tu­nity and connected her with rep­re­sen­ta­tives with NLOWE, the New­found­land and Labrador Organizati­on of Women En­trepreneur­s, and the De­part­ment of Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion, Skills and Labour.

She is now a par­tic­i­pant in the de­part­ment’s self-em­ploy­ment as­sis­tance pro­gram that is pro­vid­ing her with an in­come as she does the work to build the busi­ness.

She’s also work­ing with Fu­turepreneu­r Canada on fund­ing of the busi­ness.

While she has stage and di­rect­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, Thomp­son said she in­tends to be run­ning things from the back­ground.

A nov­el­ist and writer, she’s also started to try her hand at play­writ­ing and will be writ­ing the shows.

The first show she’s writ­ten — the one the com­pany will launch with — is “Leroy’s Diner.”

It’s about a man who comes to Cor­ner Brook with the dream of hav­ing his own diner. He purchases Leroy’s Diner and is hold­ing a grand re-open­ing cel­e­bra­tion to help him get on his feet with the new ven­ture.

It’s a com­edy of er­rors from there.

“What­ever can go wrong, goes wrong through­out the night.”

The com­pany will also be pre­sent­ing a “Va­ri­ety Night” that Thomp­son said will in­volve mu­sic, en­ter­tain­ment and im­prov, some­thing dif­fer­ent ev­ery time.

“So, you never quite know what you’re go­ing to get when you show up to see that one.”

Thomp­son is in the process of com­plet­ing the hir­ing for the com­pany that will con­sist of about eight per­form­ers/servers and three kitchen staff.

She said all the shows will be fam­ily friendly and will fea­ture two meal op­tions, with desserts pro­vided by Sugar Street Bak­ery.

DIANE CROCKER/THE WEST­ERN STAR

Daniel Tucker, left, is the graphic de­signer/kitchen su­per­vi­sor and Sarah Thomp­son is the owner of the New Found Fam­ily Drama Com­pany. The new com­pany will be of­fer­ing a din­ner theatre at the Elks Club in Cor­ner Brook.

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