Since June 2015, Torchlight Theatre has been providing Airdrie residents with quality main-stage entertainment just minutes from their front doors. Its third season might be its most ambitious to date, according to artistic director Chelsea Restall – the company plans to present two main-stage productions and two youth productions.
Beginning March 15, Torchlight Theatre will be presenting the longest consecutively-running show in history, The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie.
“When I was going through plays trying to pick material for our third season, I wanted to find something I thought people would love,” Restall said.
“I think people love a good murder mystery, and Agatha Christie is the queen of crime.”
Since rehearsals for the show started in January, Restall said the cast has put in more than 100 hours of time into the production. As the theatre is classified as an “emerging” company, she said, rehearsals all have to take place outside of work hours – meaning actors are sacrificing their evenings and weekends to prepare for the show.
Set construction and costume development, Restall added, began even earlier.
“There really is a lot of manpower that goes into these shows, and a lot of it is volunteer,” she said.
“But people are excited about theatre and they’re really stepped up. We truly would not exist if it wasn’t for the support of the community.”
According to Restall, the goal of Torchlight Theatre is to supplement the offerings of Bert Church LIVE Theatre. While Bert Church brings in talent from across Canada, Restall said, Torchlight provides a more “home-grown” approach.
“If theatre is done well, it’s almost like you’re looking into the life of these great, grand characters experiencing something larger than life,” she said.
“It’s a chance to unplug from your day and disconnect from whatever stress you might have to sit in the auditorium and enjoy a collective experience watching this dramatic, emotional production take place.”
She added while theatre offers a wide range of experiences, The Mousetrap is primarily aimed at providing “good, old-fashioned entertainment.” The performance will be followed in May by a youth production of The Secret Garden.
Torchlight Theatre will present The Mousetrap from March 15 to March 17 each evening at 7 p.m., along with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on March 17. For more information, visit torchlighttheatre.ca
“It’s the same great show no matter when you come out,” Restall said. “We’re really excited about it, and we hope the audience is, too.”