MINTY: May dates for a big-deal theatre festival hosted by Surrey Little Theatre at White Rock venue

Theatre BC Fraser Valley Zone Festival at Coast Capital Playhouse from May 21 to 27

Surrey Little Theatre’s production of “The Last Lifeboat” was staged at Theatre B.C.’s Mainstage event last June

SURREY — Here we are again at the end of one year and the beginning of another. Traditionally this is the time of year that we look back, reflect, remember and catalogue the year past, or make a list of “resolutions” that we want to accomplish in the new year. Tedious.

While I do love to make lists, I am not big on scrapbooking memories and reminding us all about what was so good about the past year. It is just another day in the continuum of time, after all, so let’s just move forward and make the best of the days that stretch out before us. All we need is a bit of inspiration.

I listened to the Queen’s Christmas speech. Inspiration. She noted that “inspire” means to “breathe in.” Ah, that makes sense. Let us breathe in the life around us for inspiration to accomplish great things for the next year. The Queen also quoted Saint Mother Teresa, which I also found inspiring: “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” So scratch that concept of doing great things and concentrate on doing a lot of small things with great love. That’ll work.

For me, I find so many people donating time and talent to community theatre. I admire their dedication and passion. But, as always, community theatre clubs need our contribution of small things to survive. This is not the space to communicate the value of community theatre to our city. I know it, you know it, so let’s just get on with it.

As always, White Rock Players’ Club continues to maintain its own building and theatre space with huge efforts from its members. The annual pantomime (this year it was “Alice in Wonderland”) has an enormously long run and is a huge demand of time from cast and crew. But this one show is the big funding effort for the year. The theatre club owes huge thanks to all who participate in this marathon, and in the end it is all worth the effort.

For the first 11 months of the year, the club’s home theatre, Coast Capital Playhouse, presents almost non-stop productions, including a series of plays staged by the club itself. The space is also rented out for other performances, often to other community theatre clubs. This year, Surrey Little Theatre is hosting Theatre BC Fraser Valley Zone Festival at White Rock’s Coast Capital Playhouse from May 21 to 27.

Zone Festival is a really big deal (White Rock belongs to the Vancouver zone) and Surrey Little Theatre, located on 184th Street, is a bit too small of a space to offer as a festival host venue. At this festival, member clubs (there are eight this year) enter a play of their choice in hopes of winning the “zone” and continuing on to province-wide competition at Theatre BC Mainstage. It does bring community clubs together, improves the product, and is often a source of inspiration for great things.

As host, SLT is going to need volunteers for each of the eight performances, including matinees on Sunday and holiday Monday as well as the evening shows. There will be other jobs to do ahead of time. Here is your opportunity to do some small things – but needed – with great love. Put it on your list, contact SLT with expression of interest at info@surreylittletheatre.com. This gives you a bit of time to think about it.

Moderate-sized performance spaces are definitely in demand locally, especially for community theatre. Peninsula Productions continues its mission of bringing the very best in live entertainment to audiences on the Semiahmoo Peninsula. In order to achieve the goals set for 2017 and beyond, the community’s continued support and encouragement is needed.

Moving in the direction of becoming a fully professional company (hey, nothing wrong with actors actually getting paid!), Peninsula Productions has just signed a five-year lease with the City of White Rock to rent space in Centennial Park. Plans for this space are still evolving but the intention is to create a performance space for their own productions and also make it available to other performing arts organizations. The very popular stage play-reading series will continue, and some full productions will be mounted in the space, along with rehearsals, workshops and more. Sounds promising.

The company’s next production is “Belfast Girls,” and someone is needed to organize costumes for this period piece. Costume co-ordination is a big job, but Peninsula Productions will provide an honorarium, help with sewing and a budget to rent costumes where needed, and “our eternal gratitude.” If interested, email peninsulaproductionsinfo@gmail.com for more information. Great things or small, we can do it. With love. And a bit of inspiration.

Happy New Year.

melminty@telus.net

 

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