Members of the Sylvan Lake Women’s Institute acted with surprise at learning the cost of constructing a pier during a performance by Sylvan Lake Senior Drama Troupe. They performed The Peer Project to a full house as their Centennial project to kick of Seniors Week at the seniors centre Sunday afternoon. It’s an original play about the local Women’s Institute spearheading construction of a pier in 1928. Among the actresses were

Pleased, surprised, happy but very nervous, described cast of play

A play about the Women’s Institute of Sylvan Lake spearheading construction of a pier back about 1928 was performed

A play about the Women’s Institute of Sylvan Lake spearheading construction of a pier back about 1928 was performed by Sylvan Lake Senior Drama Troupe to a full house Sunday afternoon.

“It was very successful,” said director Pam Shiels.

Members of the cast were “pleased, very surprised, very happy and very nervous,” she said. “They were surprised it ran as smooth as it did.”

A retired drama teacher who didn’t want to stop sharing her talents, Shiels went to the seniors’ centre and found there was interest in starting a drama troupe.

But those involved during the first year weren’t interested in performing before an audience. Most didn’t want to make the commitment — they had other things they were involved in such as curling and travelling.

When they started up again in October they talked about doing something special for Sylvan Lake’s Centennial as an ending point for their second season.

By February they’d started research, the script was prepared by the end of March and they began practising in April.

Janet Walter was the instigator for choosing the Women’s Institute as the theme for the play, said Shiels.

“We talked about a focus relevant to the lake and the pier the institute ladies spearheaded became that focus. “If it wasn’t for the Women’s Institute the pier wouldn’t have been built.”

The five people who stayed with the group when they started talking about a performance got friends to join, found the piper and a set designer. The script had enough parts for 12 people.

Shiels said it’s a lot of work to produce one play — and they were limited in their seating to about 60 people in the audience. The performance kicked of Seniors Week.

She was certainly impressed by the cast though, noting she is crippled and walks with a cane. “These women can run rings around me, their energy, enthusiasm, commitment to what they do and what they’re capable of doing, their stick-to-itness.”

She believes those involved “got an excellent feeling now they’re done the show and may be willing to do another. It was a wonderful experience. I’m willing to do it again.”

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