/Date Night at Rosebud Theatre + Giveaway

Date Night at Rosebud Theatre + Giveaway


So much history and charm remains in small town Alberta. (Photo credit: Travel Alberta/Katie Goldie)

By Nancy Cherniwchan

When a friend asked if I’d like to go to Rosebud Theatre to see their latest play: Bright Star by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell (yeah, the famous ones!), I jumped at the chance to get out of town. I’d heard a lot about the theatre, the town and the experience, but had never taken the time to leave the comfort of going west on weekends to head east instead.  Planning a date with my husband usually sounds like this:

“What do you want to do?”

“What do you want to do?”

“I’ll do whatever you want to do”

“We could do the same thing we did on our last date?”


“Should we just watch Netflix?”


But now, I had a cool little adventure planned for me and my hubby. 

With lattes in hand and ‘Vampire Weekend’ on the stereo, we jumped in our old car.  Feeling lighthearted and carefree, we opened the sunroof and threw our arms in the air like we were in one of those cheesy travel commercials. Then we promptly closed the sunroof as it’s only April. It’s an easy 90 minute drive from Calgary to Rosebud, which is situated on the edge of the Canadian Badlands. We coasted through the open prairies, passing a bevy of migrating swans and seeing hard-working farmers out preparing their fields for planting before we sunk into a delightful valley and the quaint Hamlet of Rosebud.

Rosebud theatre

There’s surprisingly lots to explore in Rosebud. (Photo credit: Travel Alberta/Katie Goldie)


We had some time to stroll through Rosebud before lunch and found ourselves at Kith & Kin, a charming store offering items created by local artisans.  I found the perfect gift for my husband’s birthday, a lovely handcrafted birdhouse.  The male lead actor in Bright Star, Travis Friesen, is a proprietor of this awesome little shop, adding further significance to my purchase.   Just down from Kith & Kin, we found an old travel chest filled with local Rosebud honey; you gotta love a place where the honour system is a way of doing business.  There’s something about a small town in the middle of the prairies that makes a person walk slower, breathe easier and find enjoyment in unexpected things. 

rosebud dinner theatre

Nancy has some tough decisions to make.

Rosebud Theatre

At a snail’s pace, we made our way to the Haskayne Kenney Mercantile where we knew lunch was waiting.  We received a warm welcome at the Rosebud Theatre Box Office and were given our tickets for lunch and the 1:30 show.  (There are also evening performances with dinner included.)

We were ushered to our table in the Parlor area of the restaurant which is decorated with lace curtains, fabric bows, antique collectables and an original stone fireplace, no longer in use but still creating a sense of warmth. Our server quickly brought me the refreshing ‘Bright Star’ special:   gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and club soda.  My husband had a ‘Legal issue’, a local ale brewed in the nearby town of Strathmore, where the barley is grown on a fifth-generation family farm.  Let’s just say he had trouble stopping at one! 

During lunch, community members and students from the Rosebud School of the Arts act as the hosts, servers and musical entertainment.  There were three lovely ladies singing and roaming the dining room: Emily Nelson, Allison Gordon and Esther Koepnick.  Unexpectedly, they decided to sing one of our wedding songs, “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz, turning an already wonderful date with my husband into a magnificent one!  We piled our plates with everything from healthy salads, salmon lox, eggs benedict and roast beef done to perfection and, savoring every mouthful, soon had them polished clean. Then we moved on to the dessert room. Yes! There’s so many desserts they take up an entire room! I scarfed back a homemade apple crisp that seemed to evaporate from my plate.  ‘Yummy’ sounds were coming out of my husband as he ate a creamy cheesecake slathered with blueberries, strawberries, whipped cream AND chocolate sauce. 

At about 1:15 pm, we rolled ourselves across the street to the Rosebud Opera House for the performance. There was a nice energy walking into the beautifully maintained theatre that intimately holds 220 people. Theater in the city usually means fighting traffic, wrestling for parking, lining up for your last bathroom call, forgetting your tickets and skidding into your seat 10 minutes after the play has started. Here, peacefully arriving 15 minutes before curtain, fed, watered and relaxed, heightened our enjoyment of the performance.

Bright Star at Rosebud Theatre

Inspired by a real event, Bright Star has been loosely described as a bluegrass musical set in North Carolina in the 1920’s and 1940’s. Alice Murphy meets a young soldier, Billy Cane, who has just returned from World War II. Billy is full of life, energy and dreams. Alice feels an indescribable connection to this young man and is compelled to journey into her sad past.  The story holds beautiful moments, colourful characters, silliness and heart. The voice of Alice Murphy (Alixandra Cowman) fills the theatre and pulls the audience into her heartache. I could hear their soft cries as Alice painfully discovers her truth. The talent of the actors/musicians is incredible. Several of them play more than one character and also, more than one instrument during the performance. It was apparent that the audience had been captivated, inspired and touched by this very relatable human story, showing their gratitude with resounding applause.


Rosebud Theatre has several productions, but Bright Star shouldn’t be missed.

Rosebud Accommodation

As we were leaving the town, my husband saw a sign and slammed on the brakes turning left into the Rosebud Country Inn. There’s not a ton of accommodation in Rosebud, and this is definitely where you’ll want to stay if overnighting. Anyway, the sign read, ‘Pie Time 2 – 4:30pm’ and apparently, we weren’t going to miss it.  We treated ourselves to the best pie EVER – a slice of homemade bumble berry, a slice of strawberry rhubarb and a frozen blueberry pie for later.  On our date, we saw a fantastic production, enjoyed the offerings of Rosebud including our wedding song and a birdhouse, plus had eaten several thousand calories. Completely satisfied in this myriad of ways, we headed home knowing we wanted to return and do it all over again.

Rosebud country inn

Head here for ribbon worthy pies. (Photo credit: Travel Alberta/Katie Goldie)

Rosebud Theatre Tickets

For a spectacular day in the country and outstanding musical theatre, Bright Star is playing until May 25, 2019.  Rosebud Theatre Tickets are $89 for adults, $67 for youth and it includes the buffet.  Rosebud is located on Highway 840, approximately 100 km northeast of Calgary and 35 km southwest of Drumheller. Check their website here for tickets, show times, directions and upcoming shows.

Rosebud Theatre Tickets GIVEAWAY!!!

How would you like to win tickets to the Canadian Premiere of Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Bright Star at Rosebud Theatre? Your tickets include a delicious buffet meal before the show.  You can pick the date that best suits you, but Bright Star only runs until May 25, 2019.

To enter:

  1. Comment and let me know if you’ve been to Rosebud before and what you thought of this tiny town. If you’ve never been, is this someplace you’d consider exploring?
  2. All comments must be received before midnight, April 30, 2019.
  3. Open to residents of Canada over 18-years of age.

P.S. You may also be interested in:

8 Alberta small towns with awesome shopping

Best things to do in Alberta

About guest contributor Nancy Cherniwchan


You too can have this much fun in Rosebud, Alberta!

Nancy is always in pursuit of people, places and experiences that make her feel alive!  She has spent time in a Bolivian jail, danced on Broadway and looks to connect with people in every corner of the world.  You can find her on Instagram @cherniwchan.

By |2019-04-24T16:23:05-06:00April 23rd, 2019|Categories: Travel|Tags: , , , |43 Comments

About the Author:

I’m a freelance writer with bad hair, a loud mouth and a serious case of wanderlust. Whether it’s luggage, time or just life, I cram as much as possible into small compartments. Warning: Contents may shift during flight. My life is one bumpy ride! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.


  1. Lisa Lundstrom 23.04.2019 at 19:06 - Reply

    I have never been but what a fun little town to explore!! 😍

    • Jody 24.04.2019 at 16:12 - Reply

      It so is!

  2. Maritess S 23.04.2019 at 19:30 - Reply

    We once passed by the town on our way back home from Drumheller. I would really love to check out Kith & Kin because I love shopping and I know I will find something local and handmade.

    • Jody 24.04.2019 at 16:12 - Reply

      You sure will!

  3. Mathilde D 24.04.2019 at 12:15 - Reply

    I have never been but I have been living in Alberta for only for 5 years. I have still a lot to discover! 🙂 Rosebud seems to a super nice place to visit, especially the Rosebud Country Inn to try the pies. Thank you very much for sharing and for this cool contest!

    • Jody 24.04.2019 at 16:13 - Reply

      Those pies are worth the drive alone!

  4. Rachel Rasmussen 24.04.2019 at 15:44 - Reply

    I have never been to Rosebud but this sounds amazing! I love the slow feel of small towns and this sounds like a great getaway. Lastly, I LOVE PIE!! I’m drooling over here thinking about the homemade food and treats.

    • Jody 24.04.2019 at 16:13 - Reply

      If you love pie, you will not be disappointed!

      • Caryn s 24.04.2019 at 19:48 - Reply

        I actually got married in Rosebud 15 years ago. It would be a great date night and walk down memory lane to attend Rosebud Theatre!

      • Rebekah 29.04.2019 at 08:08 - Reply

        I have been to several shoes, and they were amazinh. The community in Rosebud is so welcoming and quickly feels like home.

  5. Kathryn Audet 24.04.2019 at 18:44 - Reply

    Hi there!
    I live in Calgary and had never even heard of Rosebud. That said, you had me at strawberry rhubarb pie. There’s something about pie in small towns that is magic. Definitely added Rosebud to our summer travel list!

  6. Sarah Ham 25.04.2019 at 11:37 - Reply

    I have been out to Rosebud a few times and love it out there! Such a cute country setting. Even more beautiful in the fall

  7. Rick Jesse 25.04.2019 at 11:58 - Reply

    Love Rosebud and Rosebud Theatre, have been going there for 30 years…I wrote one of their first ticket systems, a great place for evening or afternoon out.

  8. Sandy Deib 25.04.2019 at 12:04 - Reply

    Oh, yes please! I was at the Rosebud Theatre a number of years ago to see Anne of Green Gables with a friend and it was great! I have not had a chance to be back since but would LOVE to go back again with my husband to show him and explore this beautiful part of Alberta more!

  9. Lynnette Upton 25.04.2019 at 12:21 - Reply

    I have been there before as I live in Drumheller. But not as often as I would like! My husband has never been and would love to take him. It’s a wonderful little gem of a place!

  10. Arlene Cleland 25.04.2019 at 12:37 - Reply

    Would love to check it out sometime! I have heard such great comments about Rosebud and it’s such a wonderful endeavor. Thanks for the chance at this lovely prize package.

  11. Janise Somer 25.04.2019 at 13:07 - Reply

    Hi everyone! Jody’s blog perfectly describes this experience. My husband and I took in Rosebud and stayed at the Rosebud Country Inn for our first anniversary in August 2018. It was definitely a splurge for our budget, but it was the most relaxed we have both felt in a while. The play was beyond amazing and our stay at the Inn was quite, lovely and incredibly comfortable. And yes, the pie is as good as Jody says! We would go back in a heartbeat!

  12. Reagan Thomas 25.04.2019 at 13:07 - Reply

    I haven’t been to Rosebud in many many years but would really like to go again. I remember being very impressed.

  13. Liz Christensen 25.04.2019 at 13:31 - Reply

    I was the first girl to attend Rosebud School while it was a high school…..so amazing to see how it has changed. Definitely a must see place!

  14. Shari Filipionek 25.04.2019 at 14:05 - Reply

    It’s been almost 25 years since I’ve been to Rosebud. Would love to go on a date with my husband … it’s been a while since we have been on a date … Rosebud is not just a show but an experience!

  15. Amanda 25.04.2019 at 14:47 - Reply

    I have been a couple times before, but my hubby has not. It is a lovely place to visit. We are definitely due for a date now that baby is a bit older.

  16. Traci Rasmussen 25.04.2019 at 15:56 - Reply

    Sounds like you missed stopping in at the Rosebud Museum! It is also a great place to visit with so much to see! As a child my family spent EVERY May longweekend camping in the local campground, visiting with friends who stopped by to share memories!

  17. Anne 25.04.2019 at 16:25 - Reply

    We have never been before but sure would love to go and explore the area. Thanks

  18. Josh Bhikoo 25.04.2019 at 16:46 - Reply

    Been to many a show, even traveled the old rail line from Wayne to Rosebud on my ATV to go for lunch. Great little town full of great interesting folks.

  19. James 25.04.2019 at 16:55 - Reply

    I have been to Rosebud but it’s been a few years. I think the last thing I saw out there was one of the Wingfield Farm shows. Rosebud is a little gem and a great way to spend the day. It’s fun for a couple or a family or friends looking for a great and memorable experience. Thanks so much for the article.

  20. Devon H 25.04.2019 at 17:47 - Reply

    I’ve been to Rosebud a couple times and I’ve always been enchanted! The food is great, the town is sweet and the plays are always very well done. I look forward to future visits.

  21. Bernie 25.04.2019 at 17:54 - Reply

    Have to been to Rosebud Dinner Theatre, never disappointed!

  22. Amy 25.04.2019 at 19:56 - Reply

    Absolutely love Rosebud! I’ve been several times. Great theatre, food, and a lovely, quaint village.

  23. Melanie P 25.04.2019 at 20:37 - Reply

    I have never been but have always wanted to go explore the area. It’s a couple of hours away from Lacombe, but we like to venture over to Drumheller often. Wish so take the time for a Rosebud visit soon!

  24. Dianne Hammel 25.04.2019 at 22:20 - Reply

    I have heard soooo much about Rosebud and have never been! Would LOVE to GO!! Looks Amazing, soooo much fun for a day trip and such a neat place to explore right in our own backyard…just a nice drive from Calgary! Would LOVE to WIN~!!

  25. Deanna 26.04.2019 at 07:24 - Reply

    I loved this!

    I used to live in Drumheller, but never made it to Rosebud. After reading this, I am certainly going to make the trip 🙂

  26. James Hutchison 26.04.2019 at 10:27 - Reply

    Yes, I’ve been to Rosebud – although it’s been a few years. I’d love to be able to go more. I think the last time I was out for a show would have been to see one of the Wingfield Farm shows. Rosebud is a great date night idea or family outing. It’s certainly to be a great memory because you have the nice drive out – a great meal – a fantastic show – and a nice break from the big city.

  27. Robyn Anderson 27.04.2019 at 00:46 - Reply

    I hadn’t heard about Rosebud until I read this article. It sounds like such a cute, quaint little town to visit. The play sounds like it would be so good too! Would be a great weekend getaway from Edmonton with my wife! Would love to win and surprise her!

  28. Jerilynn 27.04.2019 at 07:55 - Reply

    Ive been a few times and after every visit I pledge to go more often. It’s an awesome experience and really feels like a mini vacay. One if these days I’ll stay overnight.

  29. PEGGY WALDEN 27.04.2019 at 09:07 - Reply

    We are just deciding when to go to see this show- I’ve had the Steve Martin and Edie Brickell album on regular play for years and really look forward to see the songs done live!

  30. Kris Satre 27.04.2019 at 17:36 - Reply

    I have not been to Rosebud before, but would love the chance! We live in Stettler, so not terribly far away, but have just never made the time to explore this little gem. Sounds like a perfect date!

  31. Andrea B 27.04.2019 at 22:37 - Reply

    We are going in Mayto Drumheller and Rosebud for a mini getaway! I would love to check out all the town has to offer and this live theatre!

  32. Riekje 28.04.2019 at 11:02 - Reply

    Rosebud and the theater is amazing. Been once but would love to go back.

  33. Rylee 28.04.2019 at 16:22 - Reply

    We’ve never been but do talk often of checking it out!!🥰

  34. Gail Kennedy 29.04.2019 at 06:54 - Reply

    I haven’t ever been and it’s something I’ve wanted to do. Will try this time!

  35. Diane McGovern 29.04.2019 at 13:13 - Reply

    Oh,my…fresh prairie air, homemade pie, sweet music and and being swept away for an evening…wow…you sure have my attention! I’ve been to Rosebud before but it’s been years. I’d love to win this trip to chase away winter snowflake webs and get me ready for Spring. Please, pick me 🙂

  36. Donette 29.04.2019 at 14:37 - Reply

    My Husband and I went for our 25th wedding anniversary about 8 years ago. It was such a fabulous experience. We would love to go again, the talent is out of this world and so was the food.

  37. Declan O’Reilly 01.05.2019 at 11:54 - Reply

    Rosebud is one of my favorite destinations. The quality of theatre, the genuine friendliness of the people there make every trip a wonderful experience. I love Rosebud. Keep up the great work.

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