News Release Archive


There is a nightlife in Sherbrooke Village these days. The
Courthouse Concert Series offers a lively new addition to
Sherbrooke after hours.

Every week a different musical entertainer performs in the
courthouse, usually playing to a full house. The courthouse,
built in a time of grandiose, pompous speeches, but no
microphones, has wonderful acoustics that make anywhere from the
jury box to the gallery upstairs a good seat.

The smell of the kerosene lamps, the dusky light and the
traditional music create an atmosphere that goes back more than
100 years. There is one difference. When the courthouse was built
it was a place for socials, temperance meetings and "lectures of
a scientific nature". The strict temperance laws of the village
forbade dancing, but nowadays, while there is never any alcohol,
there is often lots of toe tapping.

Steven Antel, coordinator of the Courthouse Concert Series and
the special projects coordinator at Sherbrooke Village, is also
responsible for the village's street theatre.

The street theatre gives the village a lively atmosphere,
something more akin to what it would have been like one hundred
years ago. Visitors get an idea of the history and happenings of
Sherbrooke's olden, golden days through the dialogue of the

A few minutes before a play begins, a pair of green benches
appear in the street. People, sensing something is up, grab a
seat or stand around. A crowd will attract a crowd and suddenly
there are 25 to 30 people enjoying the quick wit and sly
innuendos of a happening.  

"It throws some people for a loop, said Debbie Johnston who works
at Sherbrooke Village." The Village is usually quiet and then all
of a sudden there are people shouting at each other in the
streets. The plays are different each time, there's always a bit
of improv."

The three skits are "Gold" ,"Confederation" and "A Sociable Tea". 
Confederation is a lively exchange between two women of
Sherbrooke on the morning after the Confederation of Canada: one
woman is a loyalist and the other a confederate. Gold is  about
the gold rush days of Sherbrooke. In its hey-day there was more
gold found around Sherbrooke than in the Klondike. The third gets
a little naughty when three women vie for the privilege of baking
beans for the local minister.

The three main performers are Beth LaChance, Nate Crawford and
Antel. All three have professional backgrounds in theatre. Steven 
Antel has been doing dinner theatre for many years, LaChance
graduated in theatre from Concordia University and Crawford is a
theatrical studies graduate from Acadia University.  

Joining these is some amateur talent from the Sherbrooke Village, 
the results are entertaining and really do take you back in time.

Contact: Joan Waldron 902-424-7398
         Debbie Johnston 902-522-2974

mfm         Aug.20,1996 - 2:40 p.m.