“The heart of Taber Players has always remained the same; we are a group of people dedicated to bringing theatre to the masses,” Jaclynn Elfring, vice president of Taber Players, said. “We all love what we do and love our community.” 

Elfring says that Chris Sheen was the one to launch the group in 1986 and she did so by gathering a few people who she thought might be interested in forming a theatre group. Those individuals, Elfring says, were Annie Lieverse, Marty Johnson and Bill Hansen from Barnwell; Rob Oudman, Terry-Ann Smith, Frank Sekura, LeeAnn Anderson, and Boyd Dunn from Vauxhall; and Ray Sheen, Bill Pyrch, and Ken Pierson, Hazel West and Leslie Oudman.

Elfring says that since their inaugural production, See How They Run, Taber Players have done a number of shows: 

1987: Breath of Spring. 

1988: Luxury Cruise. 

1989: Rehearsal For Murder. 

1990: The Curious Savage. 

1991: Play-On. 

1992: Honestly Now. 

1993: George Washington Slept Here. 

1994: Nurse Jane Goes To Hawaii. 

1995: Steel Magnolias. 

1996: See How They Run 

1997: Dream Shades of Green. 

1998: One Toe in the Grave. 

1999: Play-On. 

2000: Oscar. 

2001: Paper Wheat. 

2002: Dream Lover. 

2007: Arsenic and Old Lace. 

2008: Mousetrap. 

2010: Odd Couple & Nonsense. 

2011: You Can’t Take It With You. 

2012: Streetcar Named Desire & Little Women. 

2013: The Foreigner & Father of the Bride. 

2014: And Then There Were None & Breath of Spring. 

2015: Don’t Dress for Dinner. 

2016: 3 One-Act Plays & Waiting for the Parade. 

2020: Words, Women, and Song. 

2022: Spirit Level & Dickens’ Christmas Carol. 

2023: Evening of Entertainment. 

Elfring says that there are so many included in making Taber Players a reality including longtime actor, producer, director, and friend of Taber Players Darrell Croft; actor and Front of House worker Wim Croft; LeeAnn Anderson, long-time member and friend of Taber Players; actors and backstage workers Mark and Rhonda Harding; longtime member Bill Lawson; stage and set designer Ben Steinborn; sound engineer and master of lights Matt Peleskey; and hair stylist Angie Tinordi. Sheen, Elfring added, is also a fantastic seamstress and giver of advice in addition to being a director and was helpful to her when she herself came into the roles of director and producer. 

The current Taber Players, Elfring says, has a board that consists of herself as Vice-President; Jocelyn Steinborn as President; Matt Peleskey as Treasurer, Sandra Kabatoff as Secretary; Rob Berezay, and Sarah Lee. 

“We perform in Taber the majority of the time but enter our one acts from our variety shows into the Lethbridge One-Act Festival, which for the last two years Taber has won and went on to perform at the ADFA Provincial One-Act Festival, and both times brought home best overall performance for two specific actors,” Elfring says. 

Elfring says that the communities that Taber Players perform for truly appreciate what Taber Players does. 

“From the feedback people have given us, I’d say the community loves what we do,” Elfring says. “Especially after COVID, people are excited to be out, to be socializing and laughing again.” 

If anyone is interested in joining up with Taber Players and contributing to people’s happiness, Elfring says, they can join the group’s Facebook page Taber Players, where they post all the new events, or check out the website taberplayers.ca or they can email support@taberplayers.ca. 

“The best thing about theatre and theatre people is inclusivity,” Elfring says. “We love it, and anyone who wants to be involved. So if you feel like you don’t fit in, or you do fit in, or you have always wanted to try theatre, or you just want to get out and make some new pals, come audition. Our doors and arms are open! And if on stage isn’t your thing, get in touch with us by email or Facebook to work backstage.”

By Heather Cameron, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jun 21, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   The Taber Times   Taber, Alberta

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