Dedicated volunteers are busy making the annual Sylvan Lake Theatre Trail a reality.
Hosted by the Sylvan Lake Theatre, the event, which started in 2019 features a series of plays linked through a walking trail to provide a unique “immersive theatre experience”.
It’s set to take place over back-to-back weekends in September, with the first showing on Sept. 9.
From the stage managers to the actors everyone has been working to make sure the four-day event is successful.
To make the event possible there are many aspects that go into it including preparing sets, writing scripts, rehearsing and more.
For the people involved this year who have done the Trail before including stage manager Nichola Bystrom, actor Layne Zazalak and storyteller Norene Cawthorn Reaume they understand and are ready to take on their roles once more.
“My job is to try to foresee, prepare for and possibly prevent anything that would detract from an enjoyable trail experience from actors needing help with lines, accommodating special needs of trail-goers, to potential hazards,” Bystrom said.
“Storytelling is the oldest way of communicating and a way to connect with and understand the emotional side of others. In our “Story Circles” we come prepared with a story of a pre-planned theme each time. While it’s mostly drawn from personal experiences, there are many great old fables and tales to share orally too,” Reaume said.
For the returning members having past experience in doing the Trail has helped in other aspects of life as well.
“Learning the art of storytelling has given me the tools and confidence for public speaking and has opened up my creativity in a whole new way,” Reaume said.
Others involved in bringing the Trail to life are experiencing it for the first time including playwright Derryn Yeomans.
“I attended the 2022 theatre trail as part of the audience. That inspired me to write a short play. I showed it to The Sylvan Lake Theatre Society and they offered to do a “table read” of it. After that, I was hooked,” Yeomans said.
For the Trail, Yeomans chose the outdoor venue and submitted the play “The Raven and the Gull.”
“I am excited to see my words come to life. I have met with the director and two actors doing my play and they are so talented. I can’t wait to see the finished show.”
For everyone involved seeing the community embrace the art of theatre is very important.
“Doing this is important to me because I really want to support the development of more performance art in Sylvan and it has given me the opportunity to meet many wonderful, generous, talented individuals and has given me the opportunity to get involved in something that contributes positively to the community,” Bystrom said.
“As an actor who calls Sylvan Lake home having the opportunity to do any theatre here is always a treat. What matters to me more than anything is that young people and people new to theatre have opportunities to explore and grow here in Sylvan Lake,” Zazalak added.
The Sylvan Lake Theatre Trail begins on Sept. 9 with performances at 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.