By Scott Schmidt
Southern Alberta Newspapers
The Foremost Theatrical Society is into its 47th year and, despite humble beginnings and ongoing hurdles with funding, casting and production, returns this fall with another signature dinner theatre production.
Rehearsals have already begun for Sunday Dinner, a romantic comedy that will run in Foremost from Nov. 8-10, and this year’s director suggests it’s going to be a solid performance — a feat theatre fans have come to both expect and appreciate from the local group.
“We read through the play at our very first practice, and it was excellent,” says Gord Johnson. “They’ve got a good grasp already of how the play should work. I’m really happy with (the whole cast.)”
The four-character play includes an experienced cast, with Kerri Buis, Stacy Kultgen, Tricia Kramer and Foremost newcomer Kelsey Horgus joining the mix.
“For me, I sort of picked this play with a cast in mind of certain people I wanted in it,” says Johnson, the president of the Foremost Theatrical Society, who will not only direct the play but also build the set.
In fact, Johnson has been involved with the group since the late ’70s, when he started out helping backstage before taking on a role as set builder.
“I can’t imagine how many I’ve done over the years,” he says. “I’ve got a lot of history with it — I like it a lot, my wife and I both love live theatre so we are both involved heavily in it.”
The society held its first production in 1971, using what little it had to work with to perform small-cast musicals. The group added dinner theatre in 1982, performing both (one in the spring and one in the fall) before eventually shelving musicals for good about 10 years later.
“There’s just not enough people (for two shows) anymore, and it’s hard sometimes to get enough people together to even do one,” Johnson says. “Typically we’re doing our dinner theatre in the fall — that’s what we’ve been doing the last few years now.”
The town was able to open a new community hall in 2008, and Johnson says the theatre society had a big influence when it was built. The society had fundraised and saved in order to put money into the hall, and that allowed its setup to be partially catered to the group’s desires.
And, more recently, further fundraising and saving has afforded a $14,000 upgrade to the sound and lighting systems, including overhead microphones and all new speakers. The upcoming performance of Sunday Dinner will be the first opportunity to enjoy the new equipment.
Theatregoers will enjoy more than just state-of-the-art production quality and a handpicked cast, they will also have the opportunity to sample some top-notch cuisine, Johnson says, with Milk River’s Laurie Balog handling the dinner.
“She’s very well known in the south here as a caterer, she is actually a local Foremost girl, she grew up here,” Johnson says. “We (also) have a really experienced production crew. Our light and sound people are just excellent, and our backstage people — we have a costume person who has been doing this for years, whenever we need something we just ask her, and she’s on top of it.”
Tickets for Sunday Dinner go on sale at 9 a.m. on Oct. 17, and must be purchased ahead of show time. Tickets are $42, available at or by calling W. Buis Holdings in Foremost. Their phone number is 403-867-2436.
The three November performances include a cocktail hour starting at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the show at 8 p.m. Each performance hosts an audience of 120.
“We try to keep the price as reasonable as we can — we kept the same price this year as we did last year,” Johnson says. “We don’t make a huge amount on it, we just like to do it and provide entertainment.
“And it’s a full evening of food and entertainment.”