Claudette Getson, back right, as the “cranky cook” alongside eight cast members of the Governor’s Feast. In the centre of the table is audience member Kendall Forbes, who was chosen by the cast to be the “Governor” for the evening.
Original cast member steps from theatre stage and into the classroom
Cast member from the original Feast Dinner Theatre show, the ‘Governor’s Feast’ that opened at Summerside’s Brothers Two restaurant in 1979, used her summer experiences as a stepping stone to set the stage for learning in the classroom.
Claudette Getson was just 17 when she landed the role as the “cranky cook” in the Governor’s Feast.
“Originally I went to accompany a friend for an audition, but she didn’t get the part and I ended up getting a position. It was a good accident,” commented Getson.
“I played the cranky cook and the audience would try to make me smile, but it was important to remain in character,” she continued. “There were situations where my character was so convincing that the audience would avoid me on the way out after the show.”
Getson brought personality and vulnerability to her role.
Briane Nasimok, hired in 1978 to help develop the dinner theatre format, and Don Groom, owner and operator, were impressed by Getson’s performance and as a result she became the only original cast member to be brought back for the second consecutive year.
Now aged 57, Getson reflects that the dinner theatre stage helped launch her career as a teacher at O’Leary Elementary School.
“I work with young children now, and I feel I am ready for any scenario because of my experience with the theatre. It helped me to work on my feet and instinct, as well as communication and confidence because people are invested in the experience.”
She concluded, “The support from Don Groom has been wonderful. He’s put a lot of work into this experience, and it was a great job to spend my summers as a young person. Feast Dinner Theatre has made 40 seasons this year, and I’m thankful to have been a part of the original cast.”