As the Wetaskiwin Theatre Society celebrates the Manluk Theatre’s 20th anniversary, the century-old building is getting an illuminated “theatre” marquee, showcasing exactly what waits inside.

As the Wetaskiwin Theatre Society celebrates the Manluk Theatre’s 20th anniversary, the century-old building is getting an illuminated “theatre” marquee, showcasing exactly what waits inside.

Manluk Theatre shines a light on the performing arts in Wetaskiwin

New marquee highlights the theatre within the heritage building

The bright lights of Wetaskiwin’s Manluk Theatre will soon shine with a renewed glow, with new performances and a brand new facade!

As part of the Society’s 20th anniversary celebrations, the century-old building will receive an update befitting its role in the community and its title sponsor, Manluk Industries: an illuminated “theatre” marquee to showcase exactly what waits inside.

“We’ll light it up for the first time during the 20th anniversary gala Sept. 10,” says Margreet Jansen van Doorn, Manluk Theatre executive director.

Managed by the non-profit Wetaskiwin Theatre Society, the Manluk Theatre for the Performing Arts emerged from both the need for a local theatre and the City of Wetaskiwin’s need to address the 1905-built power building. Faced with a $200,000 cost of demolishing the formerly unused building, or the option of selling it for $1 to a thrilled theatre society with a clear vision for its possibilities, the solution was clear: Wetaskiwin would have a theatre!

Manluk Theatre hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, from the coming Summer Concert Series to local performances and events brought in by entertainment promoters.

Manluk Theatre hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, from the coming Summer Concert Series to local performances and events brought in by entertainment promoters.

Some 100,000 volunteer hours later, with financial support from local businesses, corporate and private donors and the provincial government, Manluk Theatre opened to rave reviews.

“We love it,” Margreet says. The renovated building, with its original brick walls and amazing acoustics, “provides an ambience you can’t create in a new building.

“So we have a wonderful, century-old building and inside is a state-of-the-art theatre.”

Here, the Waterworks Players produce high-quality theatrical productions that enrich the cultural life of the region, and help those on stage and behind the scenes develop their craft.

“The community is incredibly supportive. We usually sell out our shows and we couldn’t do it without that support,” Margreet notes, thanking the season ticket holders, volunteers and donors of both financial and in-kind support.

The theatre hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, from the coming Summer Concert Series to local school plays and band concerts, choir and dance recitals, to events brought in by various entertainment promoters. Looking forward to its 10-year plan, the board is also hoping to expand the usable space to further add to the offerings.

The Manluk Theatre is a state-of-the-art theatre, located inside a wonderful, century-old building.

The Manluk Theatre is a state-of-the-art theatre, located inside a wonderful, century-old building.

“History has shown that the arts have the power to uplift and heal, especially during times of uncertainty,” Margreet says, reflecting on the importance the arts play in the community.

Up next, after the gala on Sept. 10, at the Manluk Theatre hosts Dearly Departed, a hilarious production that returns to the local stage from Sept. 23 to Oct. 2, after being sidelined at the start of the pandemic. For a full list of coming events and performances, visit manluktheatre.ca/whats-on

Learn more at manluktheatre.ca

Theatre ad

TheatreWetaskiwin