Strait Area Theatre Society presents ‘One Hundred Thousand Welcomes’

Tourism-themed musical comedy has three matinees on Thanksgiving weekend as part of Celtic Colours line-up

The Strait Area Theatre Society will launch its debut production, the musical comedy One Hundred Thousand Welcomes, with three Thanksgiving-weekend matinees in Port Hawkesbury as part of the Celtic Colours Community Events line-up. Cast members include (clockwise from the top left): Diane Mouland, Tristan Latimer, Aggie Van Buren, Michael Young, Jack Morse, Chasse Johnson, Taylor Linloff, and Annie Maltby.

PORT HAWKESBURY: The brand-new Strait Area Theatre Society (SATS) has a special Thanksgiving treat for local audiences craving home-grown community theatre and visitors to Cape Breton seeking a serving of truly authentic music, comedy and storytelling.

SATS’ debut production, One Hundred Thousand Welcomes, will run on three consecutive afternoons in Port Hawkesbury as part of the official Celtic Colours Community Events line-up.

Designed as a comedic love letter to both Cape Breton and its tourism industry, the script is based on playwright Adam Cooke’s real-life experiences as a teenager working at a small visitor information centre in St. Peter’s during the summer of 1992. Under the direction of theatre veteran Melissa Hiscock, audience members will visit the fictional Cape Breton community of Harbour Town and follow the adventures of Dave Lawrence, a bored university student whose summer job leads to a cultural coming-of-age as he learns the value of seeing his homeland through several different sets of eyes.

With a lively, energetic cast – ranging in age from seven to 78 – leading Dave through the history, culture, music, communities and characters of Cape Breton, One Hundred Thousand Welcomes is sure to bring a smile to many a theatre-goer’s face while shedding light on the realities of Cape Breton’s changing social and economic climate in the early ‘90s.

Contributed photos — Jack Morse (right) plays the lead role in the Strait Area Theatre Society’s debut production One Hundred Thousand Welcomes – a fictionalized teenage version of the play’s writer and producer, Adam Cooke. The musical comedy is loosely based on Cooke’s experience as one of two students working at the visitor information centre in St. Peter’s during the summer of 1992.

The action onstage is carried along by a rich sampling of the Cape Breton songbook, including favourites from John Allan Cameron, Rita MacNeil, The Barra MacNeils, The Rankin Family, Leon Dubinsky, Cyril MacPhee, and Hank Middleton, as well as “mainlanders” Stan Rogers, Julie Murphy and Yvette d’Entremont. With a house band led by Cooke and fellow music veteran Jim Ralph, and containing talented musicians from across Cape Breton, One Hundred Thousand Welcomes will have the audience tapping its toes and singing along in no time.

As it prepares for Port Hawkesbury’s long-awaited live theatre revival, SATS is grateful for the support of the Celtic Colours International Festival, which has made One Hundred Thousand Welcomes a part of its official Community Events line-up, as well as Destination Cape Breton Association and the Town of Port Hawkesbury for their support of our debut production.

One Hundred Thousand Welcomes will take the stage Saturday, October 12 at the SAERC Auditorium, Sunday, October 13 at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre’s Shannon Studio, and Monday, October 14 at the SAERC Auditorium. All showtimes are at 2 p.m. and all performances are family-friendly. Tickets are available through the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre box office. Call (902) 625-2591 or order on-line at: tickets.phcivic.com.

For more information, contact Adam Cooke, Strait Area Theatre Society at (902) 625-8863 or e-mail: adamjrcooke@yahoo.ca, and follow the Strait Area Theatre Society on Facebook and Instagram.