HANN’S POINT PLAYERS

Expanding the dinner theatre

Stacey Hoffe editor@pilotnl.ca
Published on July 13, 2011
Sara Dorey stars as Patsy Cline in the new production by Hann’s Point Players entitled “Sweet Dreams Still”. Submitted photo

LEWISPORTE – One of the eminent attractions in the Lewisporte area during the summer months is the Hann’s Point Players dinner theatre.

LEWISPORTE –One of the eminent attractions in the Lewisporte area during the summer months is the Hann’s Point Players dinner theatre.

Known for their young talent and creative performances, the dinner theatre has provided countless nights of entertainment for audiences of all ages. This year will be no different.

In fact, the Hann’s Point Players have made some modifications to the structure of their dinner theatre in hopes of making this summer better than any other.

A committee decides how the dinner theatre should run each year and this year its been decided to expand the dinner theatre by adding an additional show.

“Sweet Dreams Still” is one of two stage plays they have chosen to perform this year.  Based on the novel entitled “Sweet Dreams”, the play narrates the life of country music legend, Patsy Cline. 

The play evokes a number of emotions as you journey through the troubles and triumphs of Patsy’s Clines life. The powerful theatre with a fusion of memorable music is sure to create a wonderful evening.

The other show the Hann’s Point Players will be performing is called “The BBC Variety Show”. Audience members who attended last year’s production won’t soon forget laughs and entertainment that the Baymen Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) provided. They are back – however, this year they will be presenting a new entertaining collection of Newfoundland skits, stories and songs, which includes an excerpt from the BBC’s program, “Newfoundland’s Got Talent”.

This sure to be hit is a great opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy an evening of laughter.

For the past number of years, the dinner theatre has been directly associated with Lewisporte Collegiate. Typically, the dinner theatre would be composed of high school students who were a part of the drama club at the school.

This year, the committee decided to separate the dinner theatre from the high school. The reason for this change is to expand on the type of plays the members perform. The group would not be as restricted to choose plays specifically for teens, for instance. Instead, they can choose selections that would be of more interest to a wider range of audiences.

The idea to detach from the high school also allowed Hann’s Point Players to hire individuals with more experience.

There have been many talented performers who have worked with the Hann’s Point Players throughout the years while attending Lewisporte Collegiate. However, once they graduated, their time with the dinner theatre also came to a close.

The dinner theatre had originally been comprised of high school drama club students who had already been practicing and performing throughout the year – leaving little or no room for extra cast or crew members come the summer. Separating from the high school also gives the dinner theatre the opportunity to hire Hann’s Point Players alumni and high school students. It allows them to pick individuals who are best suited for particular roles and performers or crew members who have experience.

 Lorne Goulding, the director of this year’s dinner theatre is quite happy with the new modifications and is excited to see what the summer will bring.

“Expanding allowed us to get people with more talent and more experience,” said Mr. Goulding.

Local talent

Sara Dorey began her journey with the Hann’s Point Players in 2009 when she was in Grade 11 at Lewisporte Collegiate. She started as the “prop girl”, setting up the stage and helping with scene changes. She also unveiled her voice to the public during a few performances as the featured singer that particular year.

Then, in 2010, Sara was chosen to be the featured musician of the dinner theatre and also performed some small acting roles.

The changes to the dinner theatre this year gave Sara the opportunity to work with Hann’s Point Players once again.  With her musical background, Mr. Goulding felt that Sara would be the perfect to play the lead role of Patsy Cline in the play “Sweet Dreams Still”.

“It’s the best job ever,” said Sara.

Megan Rowsell is another alumni of the Hann’s Point Players dinner theatre. She began working with them in 2006 after being a member of the Lewisporte Collegiate drama club.

As soon as Megan heard about the modifications to the structure or the dinner theatre, she immediately contacted Mr. Goulding and applied for a position this summer.

Although she has not been involved with the Hann’s Point Players since the summer of 2008, Megan has continued to pursue her passion for theatre while she was attending university. This includes a production created as a fundraiser for the Janeway Children’s Hospital. She would also be sure to visit the dinner theatre groups formed after she graduated, and help out whenever she could during the summer.

This summer, Megan is not only acting in both plays, but she is also the assistant director to Mr. Goulding.

“I needed someone to help me out and I knew what Megan was capable of,” said Mr. Goulding.

Megan has seen exactly how the dinner theatre has been organized for the past few years, but feels that the changes that have been implemented this summer is certainly for the best.

“It’s great – we’re really expanding on what we did before,” said Megan. “A Newfoundland show might not be you’re thing, it really gives people options.”

The final major change that is planned for this summer is the menu. In previous years, there was a two-course meal prepared, however, this year they have changed it to a three-course meal. This includes soup or garden salad with roll, pan fried cod, stuffed chicken breast or hot turkey dinner and a traditional Newfoundland dessert.

The opening show of “Sweet Dreams Still” is scheduled for July 21 and “The BBC Variety Show” is scheduled to debut on July 25.

The shows are being held at the Brittany Inns in Lewisporte every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday night throughout the summer with the exception of the final week where they also have one Tuesday show scheduled.

Mr. Goulding would like to remind the public that Hann’s Point Players will also be continuing with their lunch hour concert at the Lewisporte yacht club every Friday beginning on July 22.

It’s bound to be a summer full of music, theatre and laughter.

For more information or to make a reservation for a show, call 535-2533.