CAT plans major Christmas play

Central Alberta Theatre is already gearing up for a massive, whimsical undertaking — a Christmas-time production of Cinderella Dances With the Stars.

Central Alberta Theatre is already gearing up for a massive, whimsical undertaking — a Christmas-time production of Cinderella Dances With the Stars.

The large-cast musical will begin rehearsals right after Labour Day and be done in the English pantomime tradition, which can be traced back to the middle ages.

Pantos encompass Italian commedia dell’arte, British musical hall style and American vaudeville, and include role reversals — such as casting a man in the Dame (presumably stepmother) role.

In this production set in Red Deer, a villain will try to prevent a series of princesses from winning the hand of the prince through a Dances with the Stars competition.

It will feature a horse, a black light ballet, a chase, and hopefully plenty of audience participation (cue the cheers and boos).

An audition call for actors is set for 7 p.m. on June 26 and 27 at Red Deer’s Memorial Centre, main stage. Everyone is welcome to audition. Prepared monologues will not be required.

Actors will be asked to read for certain parts, which are listed at

Questions can be emailed to the director, Alberta Azzara, at

A production crew call is set for 7 p.m. on June 25, also at the Memorial Centre. Volunteers are needed in stage production and management, technical lights and sound, set construction, costumes, props, makeup and hair, front of house, publicity and working the concession.

The crew’s roles are all listed on CAT’s website. Questions can be emailed to the producer, Carole Forhan at

Cinderella Dances With the Stars, which will run from Dec. 13 to 21 and include weekday matinees for school groups, will be CAT’s contribution to Red Deer’s centennial year celebrations.

“It’s a significant undertaking to bring a show like this to stage for the first time,” said executive producer Lawrence Hobbs, who is hoping to have the cast and production crew in place before the summer holiday season.

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