Mooney leaves board, still directing for White Rock Players Club

WHITE ROCK — Ryan Mooney, the White Rock Players’ Club artistic director, is no longer on the organization’s board of directors following its annual general meeting on Sunday, Aug. 17.

Mooney and the WRPC recently made headlines after the Now broke the story that the WRPC was looking for volunteers — including young people — despite some board members knowing that its artistic director was on the registered sex offenders list following a 2009 conviction of sexual assault against a 15-year-old girl in 2006.

Since the story broke, four board members resigned, including the club’s president, Angie Koropatnisky. Others who stepped down were vice-president Kate Stadel, as well as Matt Davenport and Gwenne Farrell.

The WRPC’s past-president Dave Baron added that, “I have to clarify that Kate was resigning anyways because of having a new baby and Matt Davenport hadn’t been active for several months himself.”

As of Sunday’s meeting, Baron is no longer a board member and the seat for past-president remains vacant since Koropatnisky’s resignation.

At the club’s AGM, Mooney declined to run on the board again, instead choosing to focus on directing upcoming shows Noises Off! and The Drowsy Chaperone.

“He (Ryan) decided not to run again. He thought it was best to maybe focus on directing. That’s really his passion,” the club’s new president Fred Partridge told the Now.

Partridge said that the board discussed Mooney’s recent media attention at the meeting.

“We did have a short discussion on the recent publicity and the club members basically were looking at that as criticism of the club itself rather than of Ryan,” he said. “That’s the way we took it.”

Partridge also added that Mooney didn’t keep his criminal past a secret and “that’s sort of turned into a non-issue because probably 80 per cent of the members were well aware of his background.”

The new president also noted that having children at the theatre had never been an issue for the WRPC, and that policies had been in place for years that would prevent any harm to minors.

“With respect to children in the theatre, as with any group that has children in their facility, whether it’s boy scouts or acting school, we’ve had policies in place for years and it’s really just to be safe,” Partridge said. “So, nothing really changes having Ryan in the building because we already have our policies in place to protect anyone in the theatre who’s underage.”

Mooney had never worked on the White Rock Players’ Club’s Christmas pantomime, which includes minors in the play.

“Ryan is who Ryan is, and as long as we’ve known him he’s been a great member and everybody’s happy with the work he’s done,” Partridge said.

Along with now-president Partridge, members of the new board are Pat McClean, Karen Doolan, Gordon Mantle and Vanessa Klein, as well as directors Leigh Burton, Dave Carroll, Colleen McGoff Dean, Matt Dickie and Rebekah McEwen.