The Nose Creek Players, an Airdrie-based community theatre company, are gearing up for their performance of Finding Claus – a holiday-themed whodunnit-style mystery to be performed at the Ladies Out Loud event centre from Dec. 16 to 18.
Taylor Burton, playwright and director, said she co-directed the production alongside fellow player Haley Day. The shows will feature a cast and crew ranging in both age and experience.
According to Burton, actors Elodie White and Andrea Greening star in the roles of Inspector Carol and Inspector Christmas. Andy LePage and Sheilah Rissling play the other leading roles of Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
“It’s definitely a mix of age range and a mix of people who have been with Nose Creek Players for several seasons, and there’s a couple of people that this is their first show,” she said.
Burton added while the play has a holiday theme, it is suitable for anyone and everyone who might be looking for a fun time this December.
“There’s something in it for grown-ups, there’s something in it for the kids,” she said. “[It’s for] somebody who’s ready to laugh and talk back to the actors … no one [from the audience] is getting up on stage, but it’s definitely an interactive play.”
Burton said the play is narrated by Santa Claus and tells the story of the one instance where the famous figure was “Santa-napped.”
“There’s two inspectors who come in and they start interviewing the people of the North Pole,” she said, noting interview subjects include the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny.
“The audience will follow along and see if they can figure out who kidnapped Santa before the inspectors do.”
When writing the script for the production, Burton said she was inspired by some of the television she watched to wile away the time during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when people were still urged to stay at home as much as possible. She said the TV genres that helped her get through those months included crime, mystery, and police dramas.
“I [thought] I would love to write something like a whodunnit, super interactive mystery for all ages,” she said. “It’s a cast of really kooky characters all trying to figure out where Santa is.”
Burton added getting audiences together for a Christmas production is especially important this year, in light of the fact Nose Creek Players were unable to go ahead with a holiday production in 2020.
She added last Christmas was hard for many people, as they were unable to visit friends and family like they normally would during the holiday season. She hopes the play will help bring people together this year.
“We have this play and it’s about working as a team and finding the people that you should be around,” she said. “I think it’s very important to give people the opportunity to gather up their friends and family and go to a safe space where they can see a show.
“[It’s] giving people the opportunity that we can safely get together again this year when we couldn’t last year.”
The Ladies Out Loud event venue, located at the Best Western in Airdrie, will be implementing the Restriction Exemption Program (REP), requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination, a negative rapid test result, or medical exemption letter prior to entry for each guest 12 years or older. Patrons will also be required to present government-issued ID that matches the document they present for entry.
Showtimes are Dec. 16 and 17 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Dec. 18 at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m.
Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased at eventbrite.ca. The Nose Creek Players will also be accepting non-perishable food item donations for the Airdrie Food Bank.
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