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Corner Brook woman starts new theatre company

Daniel Tucker, left, is the graphic designer/kitchen supervisor, and Sarah Thompson is the owner of the New Found Family Drama Company. The new company will be offering a dinner theatre at the Elks Club in Corner Brook.
Daniel Tucker, left, is the graphic designer/kitchen supervisor, and Sarah Thompson is the owner of the New Found Family Drama Company. The new company will be offering a dinner theatre at the Elks Club in Corner Brook. - Diane Crocker
CORNER BROOK, N.L. —

Sarah Thompson grew up in the dinner theatre business, so when the former radio broadcaster was looking for a new career path she turned to what she already knew.
Thompson is the owner of the New Found Family Drama Company, which will launch its first production at the Elks Club in Corner Brook on June 27.
Thompson’s dad, John Thompson, runs the Queen Street Dinner Theatre in Grand Falls-Windsor. Her involvement with the Queen Street venture has been “a lot of this, that and everything” over the years.
“So, realizing that we didn’t have a lot of opportunities for tourists to do things that involved both their entertainment and their meal at the same time, I thought of an opportunity to let people do it all in one place.”
And it seems like Thompson’s idea was a good one. 
In conversations with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, she learned that dinner theatres were a gap that has been identified in the market here.
She took her idea to a Pitches and Pints event hosted by the Navigate centre in February. The event provided her with the perfect networking opportunity and connected her with representatives with NLOWE, the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs, and the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour.
She is now a participant in the department’s self-employment assistance program that is providing her with an income as she does the work to build the business.
She’s also working with Futurepreneur Canada on funding of the business.
While she has stage and directing experience, Thompson said she intends to be running things from the background. 
A novelist and writer, she’s also started to try her hand at playwriting and will be writing the shows.
The first show she’s written — the one the company will launch with — is “Leroy’s Diner.”
It’s about a man who comes to Corner Brook with the dream of having his own diner. He purchases Leroy’s Diner and is holding a grand re-opening celebration to help him get on his feet with the new venture.
It’s a comedy of errors from there. 
“Whatever can go wrong, goes wrong throughout the night.”
The company will also be presenting a “Variety Night” that Thompson said will involve music, entertainment and improv, something different every time.
“So, you never quite know what you’re going to get when you show up to see that one.”
Thompson is in the process of completing the hiring for the company that will consist of about eight performers/servers and three kitchen staff.
She said all the shows will be family friendly and will feature two meal options, with desserts provided by Sugar Street Bakery.

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