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The Crew of Don’t Dress for Dinner on Touching Audiences and Each Other

By Lauren Power

What does it take to get people out to the theatre, especially when there’s unwatched episodes of Orange is the New Black on Netflix? With opening night just days away, Alix Reynolds, producer/designer for Don’t Dress for Dinner, has been thinking a lot about how to get absent butts into any remaining seats.

The show — a sexy farce with a sharp script — starts its run at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s on May 30th.

In the show, a philandering playboy plans a romantic weekend with his mistress while his wife is away. With his best friend along as an alibi, things get complicated when the wife shows up with the best friend (her own secret lover), and a cook that gets in on the action? It’s like the sexiest episode of Frasier ever!

 Hoping that people will be prodded out of their television-binge comas by all the sexy comedy, Joint Productions has been reaching out online.

“Some people have grown up not seeing any theatre at all,”says Reynolds. “This means we have to target an audience that is unaware of our existence.”

“We have created promo videos which we market on Facebook and other social media to intrigue and excite audience members who may be unaware of our show,”says Reynolds. “This helps us create an online presence and market the show in a way that allows potential audience members to see what it’s all about.”

The first promo video (which may intrigue and excite) can be seen here:

By reaching out online and boosting their already positive word-of-mouth, Joint Productions feels they have a stronger sense of identity as an emerging professional company in the St. John’s area, with a platform to showcase their work.

The play itself is about making those honest connections.

“The approach we have taken is to focus on creating honest, genuine relationships between these characters with real stakes,”says director Ian Campbell. “It’s not about playing for laughs. The script is funny, the situations are funny, the tactics that these characters use are funny. If we play that all in a credible way, the comedy should be there naturally.”

Of course, in the midst of all the sincerity, there’s always room for Three’s Company-style farce. “I love farce because all at once it’s a smart, witty kind of humour that also has room for side splitting laughter at ridiculous moments,”says Campbell. “It’s a fast-paced theatrical experience that you can gleefully lose yourself in.”

 Gleefully lose yourself at the AAC’s Barbara Barrett Theatre, nightly at 8:00pm, from May 29 to June 1, and at PWYC on May 31 at 2:00 pm.