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New musical After HYMN! to benefit pregnancy care centre

The Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre is presenting the second annual dramatic musical production of After HYMN! The fundraising production is written by Andrew Kooman and directed by Annette Bradley and Laura Geelen.

Performances run March 11th at 7 p.m. as well as March 12th at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at CrossRoads Church.

Funds will support the Centre’s Maternity Home as phase two of its development unfolds which includes a three-storey building, which will be connected to phase one of the project. A free-will offering is taken at the end of each performance.

The Maternity Home Program’s phase one offers a facility with four bedrooms with private bathrooms.

The home also includes a communal kitchen, living area and house parents quarters.

Meanwhile, the production of After HYMN! focuses on a fellow by the name of Martin Pewbury, a teenager who dreams of being a rock star.

“His life is disrupted when he’s dragged by his father to the estate of his great Aunt Anna in order to receive an unexpected inheritance.

“When Martin meets the elusive Mr. Watts, his prayers to be a famous rock star take him on a musical journey that’s so much more than he bargained for.”

Bradley, who is overseeing production duties and serving as musical director, said more than 70 people are involved in the production representing about 25 churches and community organizations throughout Central Alberta. “There’s humour in it and it tugs at your heart strings,” explained Bradley. “This is a show that anyone of any age can enjoy - the history of our hymns is so rich.”

The production features six actors, a five-piece band and 70 singers in the choir. It’s also ideal for families with kids in that it’s only an hour and 15 minutes in length. “I think it would be so good for people to bring their teenagers and children as well.”

Planning unfolds for months before the actual rehearsal process kicks in. “It’s been very rewarding.”

Last year, the Centre presented That Towering Cross, also written by Kooman with Bradley and Geelen in the director roles as well. It proved to be immensely popular and raised $90,000.

Bradley said it’s also very rewarding to see how a community is built up through the process of bringing the production together. Many also returned from last year’s production to be a part of After HYMN! as well.

For Bradley, it’s the perfect project to delve into.

“I love theatre, I love ‘live’ music and I love musicals, plus we are honouring the Lord with what we are doing.”

Meanwhile, for 26 years, the Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre has offered support and education to individuals and families impacted by unplanned pregnancy.

According to their web site, they provide education, counselling and practical assistance.

Programs and services include prenatal education, parenting programs, adoption support, male mentorship and programs to learn about healthy relationships.

Staff at the Centre are enjoying the partnership with Kooman, who has been recognized as a gifted writer and filmmaker in his own right.

Anne Waddell, executive director of the Centre, said they have entered into a partnership with Kooman for an annual fundraiser that is built around a production. This year’s show marks the second year in that partnership.

“We are thankful for the community support.”

Meanwhile, for After HYMN!, there will be rush seating. Free tickets are required and can be picked up at 53rd Street Music, Kennedy’s Parable book store or by calling 403-343-1611.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

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