Central Alberta Theatre’s Mending Fences finds humour in serious subject

Watching theatrical performances, Dale Latam became a bit of an armchair director over the years.

Now she has a chance to step into the director’s chair behind Central Alberta Theatre’s dinner theatre Mending Fences, which runs from March 2 to April 7.

The comedy, written by Canadian playwright Norm Foster, tells the story of two stubborn men — a father and his son — who haven’t seen each other in 13 years and now the son is coming to visit the father’s Saskatchewan farm.

“It’s a father and son story,” said Latam. “The father and the mother split up and the father never contacted his son for 13 years. The son has a similar breakup with a woman he married and he comes back to give his father a hard time.

“People want to laugh, they want to have a good time. You can’t get too serious.”

Dustin Funk plays Drew, the son, while Jim Claggett plays the father, Harry. Carla Falk fills the roles of all the women in the play including Gin, Lori and Harry’s mom. Claggett and Falk have prior experience performing with CAT while this is Funk’s first full script with the theatre company.

The cast received their scripts before Christmas and performances start this weekend.

The play utilizes flashback scenes to provide background to the characters conflicts and to explain their motivations.

“Norm Foster is just such a good playwright,” said Latam. “He can take that kind of subject and make it so damned funny in places.

“I don’t know how Foster can get so funny with something so serious. He just knows how to write comedy.”

One of the key scenes happens after a hockey game where Drew and Harry “finally connect,” said Latam.

“They’re at the kitchen table and Gin is giving them heck because they’re both being such idiots,” said Latam. “She’s reaming them both out and that’s when they start connecting and things start happening after that.”

Latam said she worked hard with the actors picking up cues and their voice projection.

Latam has worked previously as an actor for CAT, but is now taking a turn in the directors chair. The show runs until her birthday, when she and some family members have a large table reserved to watch the show.

The show runs Thursday to Sunday from March 2 to April 7 at the Black Knight Inn, 2929 50th Ave. It costs $63 on Sunday, $67.50 on Thursday and $69.50 on Friday and Saturday. For more information visit centralalbertatheatre.net or visit the Black Knight Inn Ticket Centre.


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