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Mokami Players gear up for new season in Happy Valley-Goose Bay

Karla Abbass and Jamie Felsberg of the Mokami Players are shown in a scene from Salt-Water Moon.
Karla Abbass and Jamie Felsberg of the Mokami Players are shown here in a scene from Salt-Water Moon. The Mokami Players brought this play to the Newfoundland Drama Festival in 2017, to critical acclaim. - File Photo

With 2017 far behind us and 2018 up ahead, many community organizations in Happy Valley-Goose Bay are gearing up for another year of activities and the arts community is no exception. The Melville Music Festival is set to return, the high school drama festival is fast approaching and the Mokami Players are already planning their next season of shows.

A local theatre company originally founded by Tim Borlaes that has performed and produced many shows over the last several decades, Mokami Players is familiar to those located both in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and in Newfoundland. With a new year on the horizon, they show no signs of slowing down.

Jamie Felsberg has been a part of this Theatre company for almost eight years, mostly as an actor. This past year, Jamie and Karla Abbass took the two actor show Salt-Water Moon to the Newfoundland Drama Festival, to critical acclaim. Now, Jamie is taking on the role of Director for the first time.

“I’m excited” says Jamie.

The first project they have planned for this year is a dinner theatre to take place at the Lawrence O’Brien Arts Centre. Dinner Theatre is nothing new to this group of performers, as they have performed them both at the Lawrenece O’Brien Arts Centre and at the Masonic Lodge in years gone by.

“We decided that because it went over so well last time with the numbers who came and the reviews that we have heard that it would be a good idea to do another. It is also another way to get a bit of extra money for the theatre for the costs that it needs to take care of to operate and such” says Jamie, who works part time at the theatre on top of his career in the medical field.

Joining Jamie will be veteran performer and theatre employee Debbie Gill, who will be part of the culinary team, an important aspect of any dinner theatre. In addition to her years of performing as an actor and singer with the Mokami players, Gill or “Aunt Deb” as she is often called in the community, is also well known for her bearpaws which have delighted the people of the town at community events for years. She won’t be the only cook behind the process, but will lend her years of experience to the team of cooks.

“We’re just a bunch of amateurs, after all” jokes Gill.

A meeting has just taken place for this production, with auditions to fall within the next few weeks. While the plans aren’t set in stone yet, Jamie and Debbie are aiming to get the show performance ready for March. This will leave them enough time to leave the option open of performing another piece for the Drama festival in Newfoundland.

“We’re hoping to get something out there again this year” said Jamie.

Those interested in performing in the show or helping out in any other manner are encouraged to reach out through the Mokami Players Facebook page.

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