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Free behind-the-scenes event at Drayton Festival Theatre on Oct. 2

DRAYTON - Drayton Entertainment will open the doors of its Festival Theatre here on Oct. 2 and give people free access to the rehearsal process for its ultimate cabaret, The 19th Annual Alan Lund Memorial Scholarship Variety Show.

That event showcases some of Drayton Entertainment’s finest performers – with a unique twist. All proceeds go for scholarships that are awarded to deserving individuals pursuing careers in the arts. In addition, Drayton Entertainment has announced that a portion of the proceeds for this year’s event will be designated to the Actor’s Fund of Canada. This is a way to salute the distinguished career of Lund, with scholarships in his name that will enhance the careers of many individuals.

Lund passed away on July 1, 1992, but his memory lives on – not only through myriad contributions to the performing arts, but also as his talent and dedication were essential to the founding of Drayton Entertainment. He conceived, directed and choreographed Vaudeville and Hurray for Hollywood for the company’s inaugural season.

Lund set the standard for excellence for Canadian musicals for almost 50 years, dating back to the WWII revue, Meet the Navy. He and his wife Blanche pioneered the Canadian variety television industry, choreographing and appearing in Showtime, Mr. Showbiz, Parade, Hit Parade and Big Revue. The couple was Canada’s best-known dance team in the late 1940s and ’50s, and appeared in such London West End hits as Piccadilly Hayride, Fancy Free, and Irene.

Lund unveiled his musical masterpiece, Anne of Green Gables, at the Charlottetown Festival in 1965 and directed it in Charlottetown and across Canada, as well as in London, Japan and New York. As artistic director of The Charlottetown Festival, he established an international reputation for presenting Canada’s finest musicals.

The rehearsal process for the variety show is captivating. Watch as a group of performers, behind-the-scenes crew, and technicians bring a cabaret performance together in just a few hours under the direction of artistic director Alex Mustakas.

“Our objective for this exclusive look behind-the-scenes is to provide the public with a glimpse at the intensive preparation and creative processes involved in mounting a theatrical performance, and present it in a way that is both enlightening and entertaining,” said Mustakas.

The event complements the strategic goal of Culture Days, which is to raise the awareness, participation and engagement of Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their own communities.

Interactive events are planned in communities across the country from British Columbia to Newfoundland.

Drayton Entertainment’s free event begins at noon and will end at 2pm. Advance registration or event admission tickets are not required. Attendees are encouraged to make a donation to the scholarship fund by purchasing a ticket for the variety show taking place at 3pm following the behind-the-scenes event.

“We are pleased to once again be a part of the Culture Days festivities, and to provide a candid look into the creative process,” said Mustakas. “We look forward to welcoming the community and introducing more people to the magic of live theatre.”

For a listing of Culture Days events in the area, visit www.culturedays.ca.

 

September 30, 2011

 
 

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