In the tiny hamlet of Rosebud, just over 90km drive from Chestermere, you can find quaint little shops, friendly residents and that type of feeling where everyone knows everyone. With a population of only 120 residents, one might ask how it that so many people know of this Alberta gem is.
In the 1980s, Rosebud School of the Arts began to run a theatre, which eventually developed into Rosebud Theatre and the school shifted its emphasis to post-secondary education. The theatre began as a fundraiser for the school in 1983. The plays were typically written in-house and focussed on local stories and characters. In 1991, the first royalty play, An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley, was produced. This coincided with a major renovation to the Opera House. This point began a steady growth from a community theatre to a respected professional theatre. In 2002, Rosebud Theatre hired its first official Artistic Director, Morris Ertman.
Rosebud Theatre’s website shows this mandate for producing plays:
“Rosebud Theatre’s choice of plays varies from lighthearted to serious, comic to tragic, and common to noble. Our intent is to produce a full spectrum of family programming which uplifts and strengthens the participant. It is our belief that values, ideals and noble dreams are not born by chance or promoted by luck. People of goodwill must be inspired to live them. And as theatre artists, we must be inspired to tell stories that grapple with them. Ultimately, our plays are illustrations of the beauty and complexity of life and the reality of issues and choices facing humanity.”
With the theatre being the hamlets main attraction, it brings around 35,000 guests in every year to entertain them with the productions they put on. The theatre has done such products as “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, “Chickens” by Lucia Frangione and “Doubt: A Parable” by John Patrick Shanley.
Currently, the theatre is running the very popular Canadian premiere of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s adaptation of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis, adapted by Adrian Mitchell. November 7th was opening night of their latest production and a fabulous performance was delivered to a full house. Local residence, corporate supporters and local dignitaries filled the crowd and the production went off without a hitch.
When visiting the Rosebud theatre, tickets not only include seeing the production but also a delicious meal served in the western themed ‘Wild Horse Jacks’ restaurant. With time between dinner and the show, you can take a stroll down the main street where you can find charming little gift shops and also the Rosebud Centennial Museum where you can see artifacts from local pioneers and take a historical walking tour.
“The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” runs until December 20th and the theatre is already 70% sold out of their 2015 seasons passes. To get tickets, you can contact them at 1-800-267-7553 or visit rosebudtheatre.com