The multi-talented cast of Feast Dinner Theatre is performing to a Charlottetown, P.E.I. audience.
For the first time since it’s 1979 inception, Feast Dinner Theatres has temporarily suspended the 2020 summer season due to COVID-19.
David Groom, the owner and producer of Feast Dinner Theatres, made the announcement with the safety of customers, actors, and staff in mind. While it is difficult to contemplate the future of reopening at this unprecedented and, hopefully, unique situation, “If history shows us anything, it is that Feast will adapt and bounce back,” said Groom.
“It will be a cause for celebration,” added artistic director Sherri-Lee Pike while acknowledging there have been more than 150 productions with over one million people having the time of their life.
Don Groom established Feast Dinner Theatre with co-creator, writer, and director Brian Nasimok. The original Governor’s Feast played for three consecutive years at Summerside’s Brothers Two restaurant. Claudette Getson was just 17 when she landed the role of the Cranky Cook.
The stage became Getson’s ultimate teacher, and it helped launch her career.
“It helped me to work on my feet and instinct, as well as communication and confidence because people are invested in the experience,” said the elementary school teacher while celebrating the 40th anniversary of Feast in 2018.
In 1982, the musical comedy shows were so successful they commenced for operators in Charlottetown, and then New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Alberta.
Feast Dinner Theatre featured productions from the 30s (The Prohibition Feast), 40s (The Flyers Feast), 50s, 60s, and, most recently, contemporary shows.
Auditions for this summer production had taken place in Charlottetown, Halifax, and Sackville, N.B. Pike thanked all those selectively chosen from the three locations, including the public for their unwavering support over the last 41 years, and said not to despair.
“Sending everyone love and looking forward to the next time we get to entertain our amazing audiences.”
Ben Aitken, the music director of the summer production, added, “I was particularly excited about the two shows that were in the works for this summer. The scripts were two of the best I had seen, and I had been arranging music for both shows since finalization in February.
“The news of the cancelled season was simultaneously both a disappointment and a relief. Given our current situation, it was the right decision to be made.”
Feast plans to reopen its doors when the pandemic abates, for some carefree, Maritime-flavoured fun.
Expect a mix of comedy, a steady pattern of often hilarious ad-libbed lines, a blend of singing and instrumentals, storytelling, improvisation, and a delicious feast. Shows change every night because the audience is involved – one of the best parts – so guests can return multiple times.
“We now have ample time to make the next production our greatest yet. When all this craziness is behind us, Feast will be a place where the community can come together for some big laughs and a great meal,” said Aitken.
Groom (David) thanked all customers, actors, and staff for the tremendous support over the years.