The founders of the Let’s Put on a Show theatre group, Leah Frost and RJ Renner were both born and raised in the Sault.
Frost first began in theatre when she was in high school.
“I first got started in theatre because of mental health,” says Frost.
“I was ostracized and bullied in school. I never felt accepted.”
It was on the stage where she eventually found herself.
“I started out doing musicals and then moved to more dramas which is where my passion now lies.”
RJ Renner never originally intended to go into theatre.
“I had no interest in theatre specifically, but always wanted to be an actor,” he says.
“I was always doing something to entertain family and friends. When my cousins would come over, I would get everyone in costume and we would put on a show for our family. When I was 16, myself and a group of friends wanted to belong to something so we went to our first auditions, it was then that I was bitten by the theatre bug.”
Frost notes that she and Renner have both been on stage with many other theatre groups in the community.
“We wanted the opportunity to bring our own ideas and vision to the stage,” she says, noting that reading the script for Steve Martin’s Meteor Shower helped to give her an immediate vision.
Renner was the perfect choice to help her make that vision a reality, so she asked him to her place for dinner.
“We did a read-through of the script and had many laughs,” she said.
“He was hooked after that.”
Meteor Shower is a play written by Steve Martin in 2016.
It premiered on Broadway in 2017.
The story is set in California in 1993. It focuses on two main characters who host another couple at their home in the valley outside Los Angeles to watch a once-in-a-lifetime meteor shower.
As the stars come out and the conversation gets rolling, it becomes clear that the guests might not be all that they appear to be.
The play highlights comedian/actor/playwright Steve Martin’s trademark absurdist humour.
For Frost and Renner, the play provided the perfect launching pad for their new theatre company.
“My hope for this new company is to bring newer, possibly original shows, including a variety of entertainment to the beautiful theatre at The Tech and to the Sault. We wanted a clean launch and a ‘shower’ was the logical choice,” laughs Renner.
“I'm not saying we may not pull out a classic now and then, but we want to bring awareness to controversial topics that we have never seen before."
Frost notes that Let’s Put on a Show wants to partner with other local businesses and local talent in order that they mutually benefit each other.
For instance, Stephanie’s Joy is supplying wardrobe for the production and Mom’s Kitchen will be supporting the show with beverages and food available for show patrons.
Frost says working with Renner has been a perfect match and that they have always worked well together.
“We are able to think alike,” she says.
“When one of us has an idea, it's like ‘Yes, I was just thinking that!’ When we disagree with how something should go, we talk it out and find solutions. We test both options and come to a decision together.”
As for what the future holds for the new theatre company, Frost has many plans.
“We definitely don't want to stop at just one show,” she says.
“Keep your eyes on us as there is much more to come.”
Let’s Put on a Show is presenting Steve Martin’s Meteor Shower at The Tech on October 21-23, with Frost and Renner directing.
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