MINTY: A little help is needed to keep cherished Surrey theatre in business

A look back at 2015 includes fond memories of "Calendar Girls"

Surrey Little Theatre is located on a part of 184th Street that is slated for widening.

SURREY — It’s the end of another year. This is an artificial creation of humankind. Time is a seamless continuum, but for some reason we seem to need to manage time and space and assign methods of counting time in days and years. We mark birthdays, holidays and events of historical or special significance. We capture time on calendars, day planners and phones. All of my computers, tablets and other electronic devices track time better than I do.

Ah, but it is the end of one year and the beginning of another in our time frame and calendar. It’s time to look back over the last year and extract our favourite bits – and possibly make “resolutions” for the new year. Normally I resist performing these tasks – been there, done that, move along. It’s not that I am forgetful, but honestly, the filing cabinet of my brain is getting kinda full.

But this year past I made different choices. Change is not easy, but I did alter my life calendar and right now I am quite happy with the results of those changes. I made time to audition for, and participate in, “Calendar Girls,” the first play of the season for Surrey Little Theatre. I was thrilled to have secured a part in the play, which saw a final performance on Nov. 22. I will admit that this single project was the most positive rewarding experience I have ever encountered in community theatre. Every single person involved in this production was so positive, enthusiastic, supportive and hard-working that I can truly list “Calendar Girls” as my top pick for 2015.

That’s just the personal side of this show. Sold-out theatres, extra shows added and thrilled production managers were also part of this positive experience. I never heard a discouraging word, and saw an army of volunteers dedicated to Surrey Little Theatre turn out to fill all the front-of-house positions, make the popcorn, sell the 50/50 tickets and just generally keep things working. So three cheers to everyone with Surrey Little Theatre. You all make a difference to our city.

The coming year might be a challenge for Surrey Little Theatre. There are hundreds of people who are passionate about this community theatre club. But here’s the rub: The heritage building – part of it, anyway – sits on a part of 184th Street that is slated for sewers and widening. This puts the SLT building in jeopardy, as it will not have sufficient setback or access once the widening process is completed.

The SLT board members have been looking for solutions. I wrote a column about the problem a couple months ago, and I am repeating the message now. Surrey Little Theatre can be relocated, and club members are OK with that. We just need an intact theatre space, and not rent space from the city to put on productions. The physical space that makes up Surrey Little Theatre has costume storage, tool room, props storage, set construction space and rehearsal space. If all these elements had to be rented out per show, SLT would no longer exist. I am not OK with that outcome. Replace our community-owned and operated theatre with townhouses? I don’t think so. Sure, build the townhouses if that is what will be OK in that space, but save the theatre first. In January, there are meetings scheduled with the city to discuss the problem and look for solutions. I don’t think I am alone in wanting to preserve Surrey Little Theatre. It has a long history in our city, and has had a positive influence in many lives other than my own. I appreciate your support, as patrons, to all our community theatre clubs – Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society, Surrey Little Theatre and White Rock Players’ Club. It takes some very dedicated individuals to keep these volunteer-powered clubs operating. All three of these clubs are facing financial and other challenges in 2016. You have a voice, use it. Be part of the project to save Surrey Little Theatre. We can show once again why Surrey was once selected as a Cultural Capital of Canada. Happy New Year.

melminty@telus.net

 

 

Just Posted

MPs meet with Surrey council to discuss RCMP, LRT

Federal government to have quarterly meetings with Surrey

Hogg curious if a new recreation centre is needed in Grandview Heights

South Surrey-White Rock MP to host a Town Hall Meeting tonight

Surrey building that has gathered dust for 20 years is for sale again, with bids sought

Potential sale of the long-vacant 104 Avenue Centre is good news, Surrey Board of Trade CEO says

Fluterrific returning to North Delta Rec Centre

The annual flute concert will showcase music from all genres on Sunday, Nov. 18

WATCH: Goalie from North Delta scores in AHL hockey game

Tristan Jarry makes history for Penguins by hitting an empty net

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Tubing, skating, light display part of new winter festival in Vancouver

Set to open Nov. 23, the six-week festival will take over Vancouver’s Concord Pacific Centre

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Regulatory confusion over ‘toxic’ stink near Abbotsford school

Officials sniffing out which regulators responsible for enforcing compliance at neighbouring property

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

B.C. dog owner sues after pet killed in beaver trap

A Kamloops man is suing the operator of a trapline north of the city after his dog died

Heading soccer balls can cause damage to brain cells: UBC study

Roughly 42 per cent of children in the country play soccer, according to statistics from Heritage Canada

Most Read