Entertainment

Ignition Theatre announces brand new season line-up

Ignition Theatre is proud to reveal their 2017/2018 lineup after previously announcing a return to seasonal programming through 2020.

"When considering our programming over the course of the next three seasons, we decided that in order to best satisfy the appetite of our patrons, we needed to diversify.

"Our focus this season was to present a broad range of entertainment options, to encourage and support new work, establish meaningful relationships with other content creators and cultural supporters in our community and, as usual, push the boundaries of expectations while delivering high caliber, professional productions," said Matt Grue, the company's artistic director.

"This season, rather than producing three conventional plays, we are beyond pleased to present an original feature film, an original comedy sketch/variety show and, of course, the kind of dynamic and rewarding professional theatre from which we've established our reputation as one of the province's most exciting and prolific theatre companies.

"In the past, we're customarily produced our work in 100-plus seat venues (ranging from 100 to 700 seats), but this season we've made the very conscious decision to transition to extremely intimate work in the Nickel Studio, which for theatrical productions will only seat 34 patrons an evening."

Grue said they've also engaged their patrons in several surveys to best suit their needs and requests for upcoming seasons and have implemented several changes in addition to broader programming options.

Tickets will now be available exclusively online and at the door.

Curtain will remain at 7:30 p.m. for evening performances.

First up is Break on Through, presented in association with Red Deer College and Red Deer College Motion Picture Arts Oct. 14th-18th at the Welikoklad Event Centre.

Shows run nightly at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee screening on Oct. 15th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 and are available at the door.

A group of strangers find themselves trapped in an abandoned, isolated farmhouse during a potentially cataclysmic world event. As their fear and confusion mounts, they must learn to trust one another if they have any hope of survival.

"After successfully adapting our original stage musical Year After Year into a feature film (with five AMPIA nominations), we were eager to get back behind the camera to create something entirely original.

"We want Ignition to be known for more than just great theatre; we want to be known for great art.

"Having assembled top tier talent from across the nation and combined with a bold, exciting script, we're thrilled to present the first theatrical run of Break On Through in the same backyard in which it was made," said Grue.

Following that is The Strapping Young Lads which runs Nov. 30th-Dec 2nd and 5th-9th.

Shows run in the Nickel Studio at 7:30 p.m. nightly. Tickets are $25 for the Fridays and Saturdays - all other shows are $20.

Tickets are available at www.ignitiontheatre.ca or at the door.

The production features a, "Shining collection of brand spanking new material as well as some of the Lads' best stuff compiled throughout the years.

"Their funniest sketches, their finest characters, their most memorable scenes, all jam packed into an evening of raucous comedy. This show will feature classic sketches like 'God Hates Mixed Linens!' and '92.1 The Dick FM', favourite characters such as 'Fred the Carrot' and 'The Cockatrice', a red hot dance number sure to keep Fred Astaire shuffling off to Buffalo in his grave, and much more!"

The show was conceived by and features Christopher Schulz and Christoff Lundgren.

"Mr. Schulz and Mr. Lundgren are two of the most subversive comedy writers/performers working in our province and we're thrilled they didn't have us arrested when we blindfolded them, threw them in the trunk of our car, drove them to the middle of a field with two pre-dug graves and forced them to sign a contract," joked Grue.

Wrapping up the season is the year of Magical Thinking - a play by Joan Didion which is based on her best-selling memoir. The show runs April 5th-7th and 10th-14th at 7:30 p.m. nightly.

In this dramatic adaptation of her award-winning, bestselling memoir, Didion transforms the story of the sudden and unexpected loss of her husband and their only daughter into a stunning and powerful one-woman play.

"A trip to New York 10 years ago led my wife to a hole in the wall bookstore where she discovered Magical Thinking.

"After devouring it in a single afternoon in Central Park, she implored me to read the play. It only took ten years. The wait was worth it. As the play seemed to find her at the exact right time, it too found me, as fate would dictate, when questions of mortality were especially prevalent in my own life.

"It also represents exactly the kind of theatre Ignition intends to focus on producing over the course of the next three seasons; so I have to wonder if a little divine intervention didn't play a part in my discovering this play just as I was beginning to explore programming options for the upcoming season.

"It is beautiful, heart-wrenching and often hilarious; and I'm certain it'll be the hottest ticket in town this season," said Grue.

For more information about any of the productions, or for tickets, visit www.ignitiontheatre.ca.

- Weber

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