Hello Everyone! I hope this letter finds you hopeful and enjoying all the beautiful colours of spring.
Worldwide, our theatres are struggling right now - emotionally, financially and artistically because we are unable to practice or experience our art form that personifies collaboration and people coming together in a gathered space. In March 2020, 8 shows into our production of Norm Foster’s Lunenburg, we had to dim the lights and end what would have been our most successful season in our 24-year history of comedy dinner theatre. When I say success, I mean success in record breaking numbers coming out to Cow Patti, a 300% growth in our Senior Brunch Matinees, 12 Benefit shows that gathered awareness and financial gain in the amount of over $27,000. We also successfully created jobs for actors, technicians, directors, playwrights and box office staff. We stimulated our economy by having over 5,000 visitors to Lacombe attending the Cow Patti Theatre Company. And notably, that number would have surpassed 9,000 visitors had we been able to complete our 2019-2020 season.
Our theatre is a medium that is centuries old. 2,500 years ago people gathered at Theatre Dionysus to hear stories that reflected their dreams, their loves, and their fears. I take comfort in knowing, fundamentally, what Cow Patti does, the art form we use, is the same art form used centuries ago - and no drought, plague, economic downturn, fire nor pandemic will extinguish the need and desire to gather in a shared space - to watch, to listen and find joy in stories - to celebrate life through live theatre. We are so looking forward to being with all of you again - to enjoy the shared familiarity of live theatre, to experience once again joy and laughter through intriguing story telling.
When we bring the lights back up on our Cow Patti Stage, from the audience's perspective, it won’t really look different and it certainly won’t feel different. You will be 6 feet apart from other patrons and their “Bubbles”, there will be masks and extra care in sanitary measures, but when the lights go down and the stage lights come up you will, once again, be immersed in the story - you will laugh, gasp and applaud. The floorplan will look different, but what you, as an audience member will see and experience is an incredible set, designed and built with perfect detail. The actors will look familiar and their decades of skilled talent will, as always, make you contemplate, laugh out loud, shed a tear or two and amuse you as they take you on a ride through the magical world of theatre. Our patrons, as I have always said are the last characters in the play. The vital part that breathes life into the show. We will, more than ever, need you to be there so we can continue telling stories. As we always say at the end of our pre-show announcement: “It's time to sit back, say howdy to your neighbor and enjoy the show!” What a happy day that will be when we collectively celebrate the return of the Cow Patti Theatre Company.
This winter, Cow Patti will open their 25th Season, which will be great cause to celebrate what we have accomplished over the past 25 years - 15 of those years here in Alberta. The true celebration however will be bringing live professional theatre back to Lacombe, Alberta.
Presently, we are working on the launch of our 2020/2021 Season which includes the remount of Lunenburg and a second show still to be determined, a new space conscious floorplan, health & safety guidelines, service, food and beverage care, re-evaluating price points, flexibility of reservations, and new and exciting show formats, all of which we look forward to sharing with you very soon.
The following is our projected timeline:
Act One, August 2020
Season Announcements - shows, dates, pricing, floorplans, and benefits
Act Two, September 2020
Box Office opens and tickets go on sale
Act Three, November 2020
Opening of our 25th Season
Of course this is still 5 months off and a lot may transpire in the coming months, but at Cow Patti we will stay hopeful and positive in the safe return of live professional comedy theatre. Along with this newsletter we are attaching a link to a survey to better understand the needs of our beloved patrons as we move forward.
Yours in laughter and hope,
Artistic Producing Director
403 304 6329
To Our Cow Patti Guests,
Our production of Lunenburg at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club will continue as scheduled!
With growing global concerns around COVID-19 (“coronavirus”), I wanted to provide you with an update on our response to date and our commitment to you moving forward. The health, safety and well-being of our employees and guests at Cow Patti is our top priority and we are following the lead of Canadian public health authorities at this important time. We are committed to providing a comfortable and safe entertainment experience at our theatre.
DONNIE BOWES AS THE DIRECTOR FOR LUNENBURG BY NORM FOSTER
Donnie returns to Cow Patti after recently directing their production of The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby. He is Artistic Director of Upper Canada Playhouse in Morrisburg, Ontario where he has directed over 60 shows and returns there this summer to direct Sugar Road, Move Over, Mrs. Markham and A Christmas Carol. "Always a pleasure to work here in Lacombe with Cow Patti Comedy Dinner Theatre. Enjoy the show!"