By Chris Brown on February 8, 2018.
Lovers of the grand old dame of downtown are looking to the past to help secure its future.
The Monarch Theatre will play host to “The House Stands Still, The House Still Stands” on Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 25. at 2:30 p.m. The performances are being sponsored by The Society of the Friends of the Monarch Theatre and are a fundraiser for the downtown landmark.
Local theatre performer Bev Botter and a group of six friends are putting on the shows. She was on the Friends of the Monarch board for seven years and is always happy to lend a hand to help the theatre thrive.
“All of us here are very committed to the Monarch,” said Botter, who beams with pride when discussing the heritage status it was granted a few years back.
In the fall Botter was asked by Friends of the Monarch president Lorraine Dalla-Longa if she could find a funny play to mount as a production that could serve as a fundraiser.
“I’ll help the Friends of the Monarch raise money if they need me for anything,” Botter said. “I really believe in her and in promoting her.”
What she found were the two related one-act plays “The House Stands Still” and “The House Still Stands.” Written by Calgary’s Karen King, who has waived royalties for the production, both are set in the same farmhouse in rural Saskatchewan in the late-1930s, one in the cold of winter and one in the sweltering heat of summer.
“It’s the same people in the same farmhouse, just different temperatures,” Botter said. “Husband and wife do their very best to cope with the bleakness of their situation because various unforeseen elements work against them.”
Botter says the play is a “coarse” one, but not in the sense the language or subject matter is for a mature audience.
“It’s a type of play that is designed to incorporate stage disasters (horrible directing, bad acting, anything that goes wrong) but the actor believes he must carry on and the audience will never notice,” she explained, adding it’s a very funny play.
“My hope is people come out not only to see a funny play but because the Monarch deserves to be kept hale and hearty.”
Tickets, $20 or $10 for those 12 years old and under, are available at the Monarch Theatre, by calling Lorraine at 403-977-1363 and online at Eventbrite.
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