Alinka Angelova is a longtime Barrie resident who has worked hard to keep her triple-threat theatre company open and alive during the pandemic.
This month, Infinity Arts Productions Studios (IPAS) will be debuting her original musical Below with a cast of local performers aged 10 to 16 to put on the mysterious and comical show just in time for Halloween.
Angelova explained to BarrieToday just what it means to be a triple-threat theatre company.
“The term 'triple threat' at IPAS means that any child who registers with our program gets to participate and learn the art of combining singing, dancing and acting in order to become a more well rounded performer,” Angelova says. “During the year of their workshops, they get to experience being a part of stage productions, movies, concerts and more.”
A performer herself, Angelova has written several musical plays including Mute the Musical, At Last, Born to be a Star, Running Back to You.
Most recently, she has been commissioned to write a musical for Theatre By The Bay coming out for Black History Month in February 2022.
Angelova opened IPAS in Barrie in 2011 and expanded the studio in 2020 at the start of the pandemic, adding the indoor theatre as a means of continuing to put on performances and movie productions for the students in her program.
IPAS has been at its Alliance Boulevard location since August of last year It has a reception and waiting area, dressing and costume space, a green room, filming suite and a 100-seat theatre with stage, though it is currently limited to a maximum of 40 people.
Angelova says the beginning of the pandemic was a bit of an adjustment with wearing masks and keeping distance during rehearsals, “but everyone quickly got used to following the protocols in order to maintain safety," she says.
The future of IPAS is bright, according to Angelova. She believes it will become one of the most effective and prestigious theatre companies in the city.
“It will be a one-stop shop for entertainment. Shows every weekend, weekly workshops, open-mic nights and more. There will always be something happening at IPAS,” Angelova says. “It'll be the welcoming place that everyone will be talking about for years to come.”
She says the latest production, Below, is “an original musical with original songs, a cross between Beauty and the Beast meets Maleficent,” says Angelova.
Dealing with concepts of friendship, loss, family, unity and sibling love, Angelova thinks it’s something unique for Barrie that all families will relate to.
“Below is about two defiant siblings who are captured by a dark soul who is labelled the 'Queen of the Night' and taken to a place called the Below,” says Angelova. “Their youngest sister must save them before it's too late, otherwise they will be trapped in the Below forever.”
The show runs from Oct. 15 through Oct. 30 and tickets can be purchased through the IPAS website here.