Drake Landing Park will transform into a pantomime theatre for two weekends this summer as a DeWinton theatre group brings its magic outdoors.
Goodger-Pink Family Theatre is inviting those with a love of theatre to bring a blanket and snacks to 45 Drake Landing Drive as it delves into the imagination of an 11-year-old girl in the play Win the Warrior: A King Arthur Tale June 28-30 and July 5-7.
“It’s about a young girl, Win, who travels to England with her dad,” said director and Goodger-Pink founder Samantha Bell. “Her electronic device breaks so she starts reading King Arthur stories. Her imagination transports her back to King Arthur’s time. She’s transported into the stories and she gets to live them a little bit.”
The 50-minute play introduces larger-than-life characters that Winn comes across in her adventures, features big sound effects and encourages the audience to get in on the action.
What makes the story unique from past productions is it’s based on real-life events.
Bell said she commissioned Edmonton children’s theatre screenwriter Ellen Chorley, having used her scripts before, to write a play for this summer. Chorley wrote the play based on an eight-year-old girl in Sweden who stumbled upon a 1,000-year-old sword in a lake.
Bell said she fell in love with the script and has Calgary theatre actors Kelly Malcolm, Natalie Buckley and Alan Johnson playing numerous characters in this outdoor pantomime.
“I’m particularly in love with this show because it also has a lot of heart in it and it highlights the magic of reading and using our imaginations,” she said.
Buckley, who’s acted in previous Goodger-Pink summer shows, plays six characters including an alien, video game character, queen and Guinevere.
The play bounces back and forth from reality to Winn’s imaginary world, Buckley said.
“This play is hilarious and super delightful,” she said. “It’s very whimsical. The kids will find it super funny.”
Bell has been bringing outdoor theatre to Okotoks the past seven summers, attracting dozens of families to the outdoors – an inspiration she got from her own experiences with theatre as a young girl in the United Kingdom.
“Outdoor theatre has the extra element of being outside, which is magical itself,” she said. “I was exposed to theatre at a very young age. It’s very important to be able to offer that to all of the community.”
Goodger-Pink’s plays are based on fairy tales and well-known stories in Bell’s effort to draw people outdoors for an afternoon adventure away from their electronics.
“It’s about putting down the electronics, getting outside, spending a little time together in the sunshine and fresh air and being exposed to the quality and creativity of theatre,” she said.
To make the event accessible to everyone, Goodger-Pink is charging a suggested donation of $10 per person rather than a mandatory fee to attend.
“Our mandate is to keep it financially accessible for all, which is very important to me and has been since I first started seven years ago,” she said. “It’s really important that anyone and everyone who would like to be exposed to theatre and storytelling regardless of finances.”
Evening shows run June 28-29 and July 5-6 at 6:30 p.m. and afternoon shows run June 29-30 and July 6-7 at 2 p.m.
In the event of inclement weather, performances will be held at Alberta Dance Academy.