On a cold November day in 1996 while forking hay to the cows, “Head Cow” AnnaMarie Lea, pregnant with her son James, fell face first into a pile of fresh Cow Patties, hence the Cow Patti Theatre Company was born. Twenty-five years later as we move into our 26th Season, Cow Patti has travelled and produced across this great nation, taking shows to many cities, small towns and rural communities. The very first show was staged at The Westling Hall on Milton Road just outside of Clive Alberta. During those first years of Comedy Dinner Theatre, Cow Patti started their Benefit Program with the first recipient being the Lacombe Hospital. This important part of CPTC’s mandate and tradition that has grown and brought value and and awareness to over 75 different non-profit groups throughout Canada and has raised over a half a million dollars. Besides producing Mainstage Dinner Theatre, Cow Patti Theatre Company also started to work with the youth of Canada, introducing live theatre to them at the Elementary, Junior and High School levels and through CPTC Youth Theatre Camps. Twenty-five years later, we still are and will continue to work with young actors through our schools and our Youth Theatre Programs. Starting in 2004, we created mentorships and apprenticeship programs with high school graduates moving into the arena of theatre as actors, stage management and set design.
The Cow Patti Theatre Company was molded after AnnaMarie’s first theatre company The Yellowknife Theatre Company, Yellowknife NWT-where she produced and had many of the same programs implemented in Yellowknife: Benefits, Youth Theatre Programs, Mainstage shows and children’s tours throughout Canada’s north.
Moving from the High Artic to Western Canada over to Eastern Canada and back again to the Canadian prairies, her theatre wheel has been reinvented many times, on many different platforms, including theatres, community halls, conference centres, golf courses, cruise ships and 737’s! The joy, value, hard work and incredible support of all the Canadian people we have worked with or performed for have made us a small Canadian success story. A story that will have another chapter.