Roland Babcock, Maya Roberts, Hamilton McClymont, Diana Robinson, Lois Towgood at the first read-through of the Wizard of Oz script at the Shuswap Theatre on Oct. 1, 2019. (Contributed)

Tickets selling fast for Shuswap Theatre’s The Wizard of Oz

Whizzing sales fastest in recent memory for Salmon Arm theatre

Tickets to the Shuswap Theatre’s production of The Wizard of Oz could be all but sold out before you can click your heels together and say “there’s no place like home.”

Long lines and theatre-goers disappointed at not getting ahold of tickets are not uncommon to the 149 seat playhouse. Three years ago, Mary Poppins sold out two weeks before the show’s run. It is anticipated The Wizard of Oz will sell out three weeks in advance.

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Kim MacMillan, the past-president of Shuswap Theatre who is now in charge of ticket sales, has a theory as to why the tickets sold faster than usual. The speed of sales, he said, could be attributed to people who learned their lesson when they were disappointed by not getting tickets to see Mary Poppins.

Discussions of creating a waitlist and putting on extra shows to meet the demand were ultimately dismissed due to staffing levels and the time needed encroaching on cast and crew’s holiday plans.

Althea Mongerson, manager of Intwined Fibre Arts, has sold tickets for the Shuswap Theatre out of her downtown Salmon Arm business for the past six years. She too noticed the marked difference in sales.

“I would say it’s much quicker this time,” she said. “It’s exciting that so many people are happy to see live theatre; people are genuinely really, really excited about it.”

During the show’s run, all evening shows start at 7 p.m. and all Sunday matinees start at 1:30 p.m. The show opens on Nov. 22, with another evening show on the 23rd followed by a Sunday matinee. After a short break, shows start again with a pay-what-you-can-Thursday on Nov. 28. Tickets to Thursday performances are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis which has historically resulted in two-hour lineups.

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Regular evening shows continue on Nov. 29, 30 and 31. December 1 marks Shuswap Theatre’s first relaxed performance. During this show, lights and sound effects are dialled down to accommodate those with special needs and environmental sensitivities.

The shows start up again with another Thursday performance on Dec. 5, followed by an evening show on Dec. 7, with The Wizard of Oz’s run culminating in a Sunday matinee on Dec. 8.


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