© Herald file photo
Odyssey Productions, one of the theatre groups in Prince Albert, is looking for a new venue since the gym at École Valois, where they have performed many plays including "Strangers Among Us" in April, is no longer available.
After losing their venue at École Valois, Odyssey Productions is looking for a new place to put on dinner theatres and other productions.
“With the school expanding, they need more of the room upstairs and the schedules were getting too difficult to work with I guess,” Cara Stelmaschuk of Odyssey Productions said. “It is a good news story for the school -- they need the room to expand -- but it does mean we need to go somewhere.”
The group has been looking at a few different options, including the E.A. Rawlinson Centre and the Wesley United Church hall.
“We have kind of been weighing our options and doing a lot of what-ifing,” Stelmaschuk said. “We have a couple irons in the fire right now. What we are trying to do is see if they pan out and then we have to come up with what we are going to do.”
Depending on what happens, they may be using a few different venues for the upcoming season.
“We might be looking at multiple venues this year, which means we will want to make sure the shows we pick will suit with the type of room it is and the size of the crowd we could have,” Stelmaschuk said. “We want to make sure we are using the space we do end up with in a way that will work for it.”
Right now, the Odyssey Productions board is weighing the pros and cons of the different options.
Stelmaschuk would like to see the group perform in the Rawlinson Centre, but to do that they would either need to raise the ticket prices or get more sponsors.
“We need sponsors to come through for that because that is looking at basically what we were paying for rental for three weeks per show at École Valois it is almost the same amount for one week at the Rawlinson Centre,” Stelmaschuk said.
Dinner theatres would still be possible in the Rawlinson, they would just be run differently. Instead of eating during the show at a table, the dinner would be before the show, much like the Rosthern Station Arts Centre does for their shows.
“What we would do is offer the dinner almost as an add-on to the ticket,” Stelmaschuk said. “You could just decide to go to anyone of the shows for a certain amount and for another however many dollars, add the meal on.”
The tables could be cleaned during the show, instead of after, making it a shorter night for volunteers and caterers.
“If you want us in the Rawlinson Centre, we will need more sponsorship money to keep the price close to where it has been,” Stelmaschuk said. “Otherwise the ticket prices are going to go up and we don’t like to do that.”
On the other hand, using a facility like the Wesley United Church hall would allow the group to continue putting on their traditional dinner theatres and keep the costs down.
Stelmaschuk said the roadblock they are facing is whether or not alcohol can be served in the hall.
“They need to have a congregational vote to see if they can serve alcohol in the hall,” Stelmaschuk said. “That is kind of where we are sitting at right now.”
Since the venue space is still up in the air, the information for the 22nd season could be late coming out, Stelmaschuk said.
“We want people to stay with us,” Stelmaschuk said. “We are getting there and we will figure it out. It might be a very interesting year of big, big changes. We are kind of joking calling it the season where we either laugh or cry, comedy/tragedy because we just don’t know yet.”
As soon as they have a set venue and plans in place, Stelmaschuk said they will post it on their Facebook page.
“Season ticket holders will be informed first by mail like they always are of what our plans are,” Stelmaschuk said. “We are just trying to make it as painless as possible when we do release everything and let people know what we are up to.”
Although they do not have a venue, Stelmaschuk said they still need their faithful volunteers and sponsors to make the season a success.
“We want volunteers, we need sponsors -- those are the two things we are trying to get right now and it is difficult if you don’t know what you are doing yet,” Stelmaschuk said. “We are just trying to get all our ducks in a row and when we are ready to launch we hope people will like what we picked enough to become a sponsor, buy a season ticket and volunteer.”
Even though the Odyssey Productions group does not yet have a set venue or season, their sister group, Odd-yssey Improv Troupe, will be holding a medieval feast fundraiser at the P.A. Brewing Company on Oct. 26.
“That will be a bit of a fundraiser for us,” Stelmaschuk said. “They will be selling poems and roses and all just to get a little extra money. I think they are going to try to get the stocks out again. You can pay to have someone thrown in the stocks for a little while. It should be fun.”
Stelmaschuk said people are encouraged to come in costume and tickets will be available at the P.A. Brewing Company.