ZAP! Theatre, the group that brought you last year’s hit, Jitterbug Juliet, is gearing up for their next production, The 3 ½ Musketeers, which opens next month.
Daniel Allers, general manager for ZAP! Theatre, said the group is glad to be putting on anther show for the benefit of the Christian Life Orphanage in Mwanza, Tanzania.
“It’s good to be doing it for a reason,” said Allers. “It’s always nice to act but it’s great to act for a purpose.”
Allers described The 3 ½ Musketeers as a complete comedic retelling of the classic story by Alexandre Dumas. As usual for ZAP! Theatre productions, the play is also a musical and is family-friendly. Of course, the story is full of sword fighting as well as singing and Allers said it will feature live steel combat sequences on stage.
“It’s full of great costumes, great songs and great action.”
It is also the most prominent production ZAP! has ever taken on, said Allers. He explained the group had to apply and receive permission to perform the show instead of simply paying royalties as has been the case with previous shows.
“It’s a huge production,” said Allers. “We’re really excited.”
ZAP! has been rehearsing for the production since the beginning of January. He added that it has been a lot of work to produce this show in the short timeframe that ZAP! operates in, but all involved have risen to the challenge and are looking forward to the production.
The effort the cast has put into the show sends a stronger message when one remembers that all of them are donating their time. ZAP! productions use all proceeds from their shows to benefit the Christian Life Orphanage and so not only do the actors not get paid, the costs associating with putting on the show come out of their own pockets.
“It’s quite the investment both in time and money for young adults to commit to,” said Allers. “But everyone loves acting and loves the opportunity to make a difference on the other side of the world.”
He added that there is a social aspect to ZAP! and he stays involved with the productions to keep those ties intact as well as do something he loves. However, he said it is great to be able to do some good in the world at the same time.
“The best thing you can do is help people in need and there’s no better way to do it than while doing something you love,” said Allers.
The 3 ½ Musketeers begins with the diminutive Darth Canyon being sent out from his farm in Gascony, France to become a musketeer in Paris. Along the way, he meets and picks a fight with the famous trio the Thee Musketeers. But, when the foursome is set upon by the evil Richelieu’s men, they team up to fight them off together and quickly become friends, going on to save France from certain disaster at Richelieu’s hand.
Last year, ZAP! raised more than $10,000 with its production of Jitterbug Juliet. That money went towards building dormitories for the Christian Life Orphanage.
Allers said that while the structure of the orphanage itself is now finished, logistical problems prevented the boys from moving into their new home before Christmas as planned. Most of these problems have been worked through now, Allers added, and the boys should be settled in before a visit is made to the orphanage this June.
Performances for The 3 ½ Musketeers run on May 9, 10, 16 and 17 at Asker Lutheran Church near Ponoka. Friday night performances start at 7 p.m. Saturday matinee performances begin at 1:30 p.m. Admission is by free will offering with all proceeds to go to the Christian Life Orphanage. For more information, contact Daniel Allers at 403-348-1891.