Ladysmith Little Theatre’s 10th season kicks off with Norm Foster comedy

Appropriately enough, the theatre's season opener is Opening Night, which runs Sept. 12-29.

The Calgary Herald has called Canadian playwright Norm Foster “one of the funniest writers of intelligent comedy in Canadian theatre today.”

Which makes him a great choice to kick off Ladysmith Little Theatre’s 10th season this month.

Ladysmith Little Theatre’s 2013-14 season will open, appropriately enough, with the Norm Foster comedy Opening Night, which runs Sept. 12-29.

Opening Night shines the spotlight on a couple’s 25th anniversary celebration at the theatre. Ruth and Jack celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary with dinner and a play. It’s a dream come true for Ruth, while Jack would rather be home watching the seventh game of the World Series, according to a press release from the theatre.

“Throw in a cynical director, his needy girlfriend, some actors with ‘issues,’ all put together with Foster’s witty, fast-paced dialogue and a great cast, and you have a hilarious comedy in which nobody escapes unchanged,” states the release. “The play’s intriguing, yet personable characters allow each and every audience member to feel an intimate connection to the storyline, a feat not often accomplished by playwrights.”

Opening Night is produced by permission of Melville Boys Inc.

Director Debbie Williams met Foster a few years ago and says he is just as gregarious and funny in person as he is with a pen.

“I’ve been in two of his plays,” she added. “He’s a brilliant writer, he really is.”

Williams has acted in Opening Night before, and she was thrilled to have a chance to do this play again.

“My first audition for Ruthie, I just identified with the character so much,” she said. “Each of the characters are clearly defined in their personalities. She was my soul sister, if you want to say that. Just the story and how it unfolds struck a chord with me.”

Williams says people who come to the theatre for Opening Night can expect belly laughs and also connections with the characters.

“I think they’ll be able to identify with the characters and parts of their lives,” she said. “It’s going to mirror a lot of people; you’re going to be able to relate with so much of what the characters say.”

Williams says that even though she has done this play before, new people always bring out something different in the play, which is exciting.

“Everybody brings something a little different to the characters,” she said. “It’s just a joy to see how someone can take the words someone has said and take them in a whole new direction.”

For this play, Ladysmith Little Theatre is welcoming two new young actors who have never been on stage before. Chance Nobert and Lee Cadwallader are both from Ladysmith, and Williams found them both at 49th Parallel Grocery.

“They are just blossoming,” said Williams. “They’re great kids.”

Opening Night is the first play of Ladysmith Little Theatre’s 10th season and the theatre’s first season after purchasing the theatre building on Christie Road from the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District.

“It’s a great experience working with the people here,” said Williams, praising producer Carol Sparham and sound designer Alison Baillie and lighting designer Wendy Potter in particular.

Opening Night runs Sept. 12-29 at Ladysmith Little Theatre at 4985 Christie Rd.

Preview Night is Thursday, Sept. 12. Admission for 2013 members is two-for-one, and doors open at 7:30 p.m., while the show starts at 8 p.m.

Evening shows will run Thursday, Sept. 19 and 26 at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. Dinner and theatre nights take place Friday, Sept. 13, 20 and 27 and Saturday, Sept. 14, 21 and 28. Doors open at 6 p.m., and dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. For theatre only, seating is at 7:30 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. Sunday matinees will be held Sept. 22 and 29 at 2 p.m., with doors opening at 1 p.m.

Tickets are $20 or $18 for members. Add $20 for the dinner.

For more information, click here or call 250-924-0658.