Raising $ for theatre, the entertaining way

Mark Meer, aka Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect trilogy.

By Liz Nicholls, 12thnight.ca

The seductions of entertainment to call your own: Edmonton’s theatres have to be creative in their unceasing efforts to generate funds to do what they were born to do … put on shows. 

This spring you could find yourself on a private tour of Bioware, the unceasingly innovative Edmonton digital creation outfit, in the company of master improviser Mark Meer, the voice-over star who’s Commander Shepard in Bioware’s  international hit trilogy Mass Effect (he has his own action figure).

It’s one of the entertainment prospects offered in the Varscona Theatre’s silent auction, designed to help that theatre, home to some eight companies, pay for their $8 million newly rebuilt venue. Fully 11 of the 25 alluring offerings fall into the entertainment category, in the online auction that ends Friday at 11:59 p.m. 

Heck, you could buy you and 199 of your closest friends an entire performance of the Teatro La Quindicina season-opening revival of Stewart Lemoine’s The Salon of the Talking Turk, in which Meer reclaims the title role he originated in the 2005  premiere production. 

Mark Meer in 2005 premiere production of The Salon of the Talking Turk.

Similarly, at Northern Light Theatre , which is throwing a Tiki Night bash April 1, with live music and cocktails to match, you could claim an entire performance of their upcoming season finale:  Bonnie and Clyde: the two-person six-gun musical. (northernlighttheatre.com).

In the spirit of collaboration, NLT has contributed a pair of tickets to that production to the Varscona’s auction, as part of the “theatre tasting trio” that includes tickets to Theatre Network’s upcoming Irma Voth (Chris Craddock’s much-awaited stage adaptation of the Miriam Toews’s novel), April 20 to May 2, and the Citadel’s Sense and Sensibility ( a Tom Wood adaptation created for the Citadel/Banff Professional Program), April 22 to May 14.

In Shadow Theatre’s personalized sponsorship venture “Adopt An Artist,” you could even “have an artist to call your own.” Every level of one-on-one sponsorship, of a director, an actor, or a designer, comes with ramped-up perqs, including signed posters and tickets. Shadow’s season finale Art, the Yasmin Reza provocation about the nature of art (April 26 to May 14), starring Glenn Nelson, Frank Zotter, and John Sproule, is another adoption opportunity.

The Varscona auction samples widely in the theatre scene for its silent auction offerings. Atomic Improv’s deluxe improvisers Donovan Workun and Mark Meer, for example, will create spontaneous comedy for you, wherever you like, possibly your living room. The Edmonton Fringe, Metro Cinema, the Mayfield Dinner Theatre are among the contributors. Check it out at www.32Auctions.com/VarsconaAuction.

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