Cow Patti Theatre Company is getting ready for their 26th season in central Alberta. This year, they are looking forward to putting on two top-notch dinner theatre shows including Hurry Hard and Doris and Ivy in the Home at their new location: The Tin Roof Event Centre. 

The Tin Roof Event Centre is located off of Milton Road and Artistic Producing Director of Cow Pattie Theatre Company, AnnaMarie Lea says the new site supports a bit of growth for the company after spending 11 years at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club.

“It's all about convenience and accommodating our customers the best we can. This new space, it allows us to be more creative with our set. It's a very high ceiling. We could do double deckers, we could do all that sort of thing. There's a separate buffet room it just kind of accommodates what we need to be doing as we grow. We were on a real growth spurt before COVID hit and then you know we've had a few setbacks, but the main reason was just theopportunity presented itself and I think the golf course was thinking of going in different directions as well,” said Lea. 

Last year, the company did a couple of shows at the new location and determined it would be a great new home for the Cow Patti Theatre. Lea admitted that it’s a little bit nostalgic being that Cow Patti Theatre’s first show was held off of Milton Road at Westling Hall. She noted that the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre doesn’t really support the dinner aspect of the dinner theatre however, Lea says it is on her bucket list to bring a Cow Patti show to the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre. 

In the meantime, Lea will be working with youth at the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre to put on a show later in the year.

“We get together twice a week and we'll continue over the winter and then we’re going to bang up a show in February. It's called Camilla the Triple Threat Cow. She's on her way to Moo York City and I've got 15 kids and we're still looking for a few more, if there's anyone out there that wants to come take part,” said Lea. 

Lea is looking forward to putting on a season of shows that is hopefully uninterrupted by pandemic restrictions. 

“Last season, we had a couple of shutdowns because of COVID in the cast, but we got through as much as we could and I have full confidence in this season. I think that we still have to be aware that there is this virus out there. I think it's being maintained. We'll take precautions where we need to and we'll still follow regulations that come down with it,” said Lea. 

The two comedic shows Hurry Hard and Doris and Ivy in the Home are both written by Canadians. Hurry Hard is written by Kristen DeSilva and is a Canadian curling love story featuring some local Albertan regions. It will be presented in November and December. 

“There's three or four really interesting stories that get told within the play and one is about these two brothers relationship and the other is about this couple and their marriage is a bit on the rocks, pardon the pun. There's a lot of fun; it works itself out in the end,” added Lea. 

Doris and Ivy in the Home is written by Norm Foster who also wrote Jonas and Barry in the Home which was one of the plays that the Cow Patti Theatre Company presented last year. The play showcases a bit of shenanigans a Paradise Village Retirement Home located in Canmore. The play will be presented starting March. 

This year the Cow Patti Theatre Company is offering audience members the option to skip out on dinner and only see the show for a reduced price. Ticket prices range from $30 to $80. Lea is hoping to offer a price point to make it easy for just about anyone to come take in a show and a meal, if they choose. 

“The theater is for everyone and I think that's what's made Cow Patti successful over the years. I think people feel they belong.  I think they feel it's their theater, that it's not this artsy fartsy sort of stuffy, black-tie event. It's Cow Patti, come on down, have a good evening. It's a top-notch professional theater,” said Lea. 

This year, the benefit program will be supporting Rocky Pioneer Seniors Centre, The Lending Cupboard, Kasota East Camp, Saint Luke’s Anglican Church, Women’s Curling Team Sherrer, and Gramma Link Africa. Last year, the benefit shows raised over $30,000 for local organizations.