Fort Frances Little Theatre is back in action and putting together a production of the comedy, “Office Hours.”
The comic romp will be performed as dinner theatre on April 23-25 at the Copper River Inn here.
Director Cathy Richards said the production marks the company’s first in quite a few years.
“People were interested. They kept saying, ‘Hey, I thought we were going to do a play!’” she replied when asked, “Why do a play now?”
Richards added she wanted to “shake off some of the dust from our equipment, see what we have,” revitalize the group, and gather new actors to stage “Office Hours” this spring.
The long-term goal is to do a bigger play next year.
Richards was inspired to helm “Office Hours” after seeing it last year in Sioux Lookout with Joyce McCormick and Christine Denby, where FFLT alum Laurie Walsh was performing in it.
“It was funny—we laughed out loud,” Richards recalled.
She thought “Office Hours” would be a perfect play to do as dinner theatre here, given its simple set design and compact story.
“Office Hours,” written by Canadian playwright Norm Foster, explores the everyday concerns of people working in small-time offices.
The cast consists of a mix of seasoned performers, actors who haven’t taken the stage in years, young but experienced actors, and absolute beginners.
They include Joyce McCormick, Brian Hagarty, Cynthia Donald, Rob Tovey, Charleen Mallory, Kathi Gagne, Jayson McFarlane, Jonathan Price, Brittany Hayes, Susie Tilley, Matt Soprovich, and Duane Hicks.
Denby is stage manager.
The play consists of six loosely-connected vignettes that combine in the final one to tie some of the narrative threads together.
Richards said it’s the perfect format for inexperienced actors to “get your feet wet” as the scenes are not too long and there’s less pressure on the actors.
She added the play definitely is a comedy but it’s also definitely for adults only, with more than its fair share of innuendo and mature language.
“It’s going to be good,” Richards pledged.
Tickets for “Office Hours” will go on sale closer to the date of the performances at the Fine Line Art Gallery here.
“Office Hours” also will tie into the 20th anniversary celebration of the Fine Line Art Gallery, of which Richards’ mother, Jean, is a founding member.
The gallery will be providing artwork to be used as decor in the play, and Richards expects artists will be selling artwork during at least one night of the performances.
Little Theatre has been holding its rehearsals at the gallery, which the group appreciates.
“This has been a nice little partnership—I like it,” said Richards.
Meanwhile, Little Theatre is looking for a new place to store its props and equipment.
Richards noted in recent years, a district resident generously has been housing their gear. But that individual has their home up for sale and is planning to move away in the near future.
As such, Richards is hoping someone will offer to store their equipment after “Office Hours” has wrapped up.
“We are going to downsize to the absolute bare necessities,” she remarked.
“It might mean storing things all over, which is not exactly the best, but we might have to do that.”
Richards said storing lighting and sound equipment is their main concern, as well as finding a space for risers.
Anyone with a secure, dry space available, which they’re willing to donate, can contact Richards at 271-0389.