Sum’s brings virtual friendship into The Reel Whirled

They are questions that are top of mind for parents, teachers, and caregivers right now…How much is too much when it comes to our kids and the online world? Is it a place for connection and acceptance, or a place of danger and unrealistic expectations?

“The internet is changing how people find their own identity and self-worth…”

Mackenzie Dawson shares the directing duties in this brand new play. (Studio D)

Sum Theatre’s Theatre in the Park is diving head first into the digital realm with its brand-new pop/rock musical The Reel Whirled May 16 – June 28 , 2024. Sum’s new artistic director Mackenzie Dawson shares directorial duties with S.E. Grummet on this show. He says life online is something that touches us all.

“It feels like everyone is impacted by social media and the internet right now in the way it puts pressure on all of us,” says Dawson. “The internet is changing how people find their own identity and self-worth and there’s definitely the pressure to keep up. We’re all left looking for a balance of living online and off.”

“The internet can be a scary place if you take the wrong turns”

The Reel Whirled follows Gladly and her friends MeowMeow and BIM as they set out on an quest to win the attention of her hero, influencer Gigi 5G. Theatre in the Park newcomer Rebecca Spilchack plays Gladly and says this show isn’t about casting judgment against an online life.

Rebecca Spilchak plays a girl tracking down her favourite influencer. (Studio D)

“The internet can be a scary place if you take the wrong turns but, it can also be a place where you can find people who share your interests,” says Spilchack. “It can be a place of community, and give you a sense of belonging.”

Theatre in the Park has become an annual tradition, providing free, professional, live theatre to families throughout the province. The Reel Whirled will have the original story, live music, giant puppets and crowd participation that audiences love. The tour will include stops in Saskatoon, Regina & Area, as well as several dates in Northern Saskatchewan. Everyone is welcome. No tickets necessary, just a blanket or a lawnchair.

Actor John Reaney can’t wait to see the childrens’ reaction to the show. (Studio D)

For actor John Reaney, this production is all about the music. The original score, created by composer Oli Guselle, is a mashup of 90s influences from pop to punk and ska.

“I’m a big music guy,” exclaims Reaney. “It’s such an eclectic mix of music and with the choreography it’s going to be so fun. I can’t wait to put it all out there.”

“This story, and the way we are sharing it, is going to surprise audiences.”

New cast members, familiar faces, incredible sets and fresh music, this year’s team can’t wait to take you on an adventure.

“We’re always breaking new ground and trying to innovate,” says Dawson. “This story, and the way we are sharing it, is going to surprise audiences. The Reel Whirled is exaction what we need right now.”


Theatre in the Park 2024

May 16 – June 28, 2024


Tour:  Saskatoon (May 16 – June 14), Regina & Area as well as Northern Saskatchewan

*Tour dates will be announced shortly

There are evening and matinee performances available. For the full schedule, follow this link.




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