Theatre troupe promotes young actors

A local theatre troupe is taking an innovative approach to dinner theatre as they prep for a delightful helping of humorous skits Friday.

The Phoenix Players perform “Phoenix Café” at the Knights of Pythias Hall, a concoction of nine skits infusing their own blend of funny and foolhardy entertainment.

“It’s mainly to promote the youth in the group but we do have a couple of seasoned players taking part,” said director Jean Wylie.

The players are made up of a dozen students from age 13 to 24 and a few more experienced thespians like recent Trail Citizen of the Year Laurie Ingersole.

This will be the Players last performance before they begin rehearsals in September for their annual Christmas production.

The café setting lends itself well to the home baked goodies and refreshments included with the price of admission.

Highlights include a short musical piece called “Flight of the Concord” and a comical interpretation of Tennyson’s classic poem “Crossing the Bar.”

“Honestly if you want to see something to make you laugh, it’s the funniest damn thing,” said Wylie. “Things aren’t as they seem to be.”

The group has been performing since the mid-90s rising from the ashes of the Trail Little Theatre and Theatre Unlimited, but every year is a struggle to keep the show going, Wylie said.

“All we want to do is provide a creative means of expression for people in the community . . . there has to be a place for acting in our society.”

The players provided the first steps onto the stage for many successful young performers, like Fruitvale’s Jeffrey Hill who recently sang at Carnegie Hall and Vancouver screenwriter Brian Turner, a Rossland native.

“So many of them have gone on to do very well.”

Wylie, a Montrose resident, has been involved in theatre, cabaret and dancing her whole life and started in the Players in 2000 as an actor and has directed, co-directed or produced ever since.

She encourages all to come out and enjoy the show and reminds residents that the theatre company is open to all regardless of experience.

“We’re waiting for sunshine but if people want a bit of laughter and warmth, come out on Friday night.”

The players will also have a modest silent auction thanks to vouchers from The Spot and Canadian 2 for 1 Pizza.

Showtime is Friday, 7:30, $8 admission at the Knights of Pythias Hall, above the Shoppers Drug Mart in Trail.