MELANIE MINTY: Men wanted for Naked Stage play in Newton

Community theatre runs on volunteer power, so get involved

Naked Stage Productions Society's Ed Milaney (artistic director)

SURREY — Help wanted. This is a common plea in the volunteer sector. It seems that no matter what the endeavour, there are only a few people who put in the time and effort to make a club function. They need help. Everyone can afford a bit of time and unpaid effort to contribute volunteer hours to a community or school project. Sure, volunteer for something you believe in or want to do as a social recreation. Or maybe it is just something you have the talent to do, but haven’t made the time to do it. So many possibilities, but I won’t bore you with a list. Here are some community theatre clubs that can use a bit more help.

The Naked Stage is a newly formed club of reader theatre. Only a few rehearsals are required, and you don’t need to memorize any lines, make costumes or build sets. That’s why it is called the Naked Stage. I am pretty sure an absence of costumes doesn’t mean absence of clothing. Seriously.

This group is just getting grounded, and did have auditions for their first play, “Any Wednesday.” They did get a good turnout, but guess what? They need a few more men. Typical. Men, you are in. Take a chance. Further auditions are this Saturday, Aug. 6 at Newton Cultural Centre (13530 72nd Ave., Surrey) from 1 to 3 :30 p.m. Actually, anyone who might be interested in this no-stress type of theatre is welcome to attend and chat with Ed Milaney, the artistic director. It just might work out for you. CLICK HERE to email the theatre group.

The Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society (FVGSS) is also holding auditions for its Christmas panto; this year it is “Pinocchio.”  The show itself will run at the beautiful Surrey Arts Centre main stage from Nov. 24 to Dec. 3. Rehearsals are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Auditioning is only part of the process. Be ready to commit time and do extra jobs other than being on stage.

Community theatre runs on volunteer power. My belief is that you should be prepared to do jobs other than being on stage. Help is needed is so many areas. Usually cast members are assigned jobs for setup and cleanup (striking the set), but there are away-from-the-stage jobs that can also use your time. There are actors in the community theatre circuit who disagree with this point of view, I will tell you. They firmly believe that the actors do enough by just being on stage. No, no, no. Sure there might be two or three people who want to do all the admin work, front of house, and spreadsheets. But mostly, people are needed to do other odd jobs as well. Show up and be counted as a doer.

White Rock Sea Festival helds its torchlight parade on Sunday, July 31, and both FVGSS and White Rock Players had floats in this parade. These floats didn’t get built by hired help – all volunteer. Both clubs had enthusiastic helpers, but there is always room for more participants. I loved seeing the rapport between these two clubs. We are all friends here. White Rock Players borrowed costumes from FVGSS for the parade, and loaned their Coast Capital Playhouse to FVGSS for a fundraiser performance. See, you can play nicely together. So that is my agenda for this coming season of community theatre: Play nicely with each other. We can get by with a little help from our friends.

Auditions for White Rock Players’ panto, “Cinderella,” are on Aug. 14 and 15 at the playhouse. You should have a song prepared to sing, and maybe show that you have a few dance moves. Producer Gordon Mantle wants to “raise the bar” this year and put on a fabulous production. He needs a little bit of help first, though, even before auditions. His music director got a paying job, and the person in charge of costuming was suddenly not available as well – hey, more opportunities. The music director does get a decent honorarium. Contact Mantle at or leave a message at the theatre, 604-536-7535.

Auditions for FVGSS’ version of “Pinocchio” are not until Thursday, Sept. 1, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at St. Cuthbert’s Church in North Delta, and on Tuesday, Sept. 6, from 7 to 10 p.m., at Valley View Funeral Home’s Arbour Room, in Newton. That gives you plenty of time to prepare a song – and a joke. Contact to book your audition, or if you have any questions. Remember, auditions are actually fun. You will be treated with respect and support. We will all play nicely together. Seriously.


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