MUSKOKA LAKES - They may be small in size, but what they lack in amplitude they make up for in talent.
The New Actors’ Colony Theatre is back for its second season in Bala with two main stage plays and a family show.
In their opening season last year, the company produced four main plays and a family show.
“We’ve compacted our efforts,” said Eva Moore. “Until we’ve established a strong enough audience to carry a full complement of plays we need to proceed within the demographic and how many nights over the summer they’re willing to go out.”
Last year the company performed at the community centre and had to build and tear down with each performance.
This year, they’ve turned the curling club into a makeshift theatre.
“It’s a matter of trying to build the company at the rate the community is learning about it. We’re just trying to start a little slower. Last year we were incredibly ambitious and nearly killed ourselves,” said Moore. “It’s going to take awhile until we have enough staff to do all the shows. We’re relying entirely on volunteers. It’s a challenge.”
Another challenge is spreading the word about the company and its work.
“Our biggest challenge was letting people know we were here,” said Moore. “But what really surprised people when they came was the quality. Annette (Procunier) and I are both professional directors, so neither one of us is willing or even capable of doing second-rate work. The quality of the productions is as good as you’ll see anywhere.”
Being a small crew, the actors also take an active role with production.
“There are no divas in the company,” Moore said. “They’re all willing to do whatever they need to do to keep it going because everybody really believes in the project, which is to establish a permanent, professional theatre in Bala.”
The plays they’ve chosen this year are light and entertaining to match the feel of summer. From Storm Warning to Last of the Red Hot Lovers to Munschapalooza, there’s no shortage of laughter during the performances.
“They need to see a show once and if they see it once they’ll be back,” said a confident Moore.
Storm Warning is a Norm Foster play about a damaged Second World War veteran and a free-spirited woman who tries to change his outlook on life.
Last of the Red Hot Lovers by Neil Simon is about a middle-aged restaurateur feeling the desire to roam and follows his attempt at seduction.
The family show Munschapalooza brings together five Robert Munsch stories in a colourful and fun performance.
Storm Warning opened on July 18, Last of the Red Hot Lovers premieres tomorrow (July 21) and Munschapalooza opens July 25.
For tickets, visit www.newact.ca.