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Curtain Closes on Community Run Summer Theatre

Playhouse-front-200x300(Source: Bancroft Summer Theatre ) After 24 years of building a live theatre program at the Village Playhouse, Bancroft Summer Theatre regrets to inform its patrons and sponsors that a community based summer theatre season will not be offered this season at the Village Playhouse.

While new management at the venue has made great strides in restoring the building, it has come at a price that is no longer affordable to community theatre groups and its members. “Celebrating our 25th anniversary in the dark is a stark reminder how money almost always trumps culture”, stated Daniel Boileau speaking on behalf of Bancroft Summer Theatre (BST).

Over the past 24 years, the venue was restored with original tiered seating and set up with state of the art lighting and sound equipment to improve the live theatre experience. With the help of provincials grants obtained through the Algonquin Arts Council and the founding members of Bancroft Theatre Guild and Theatrics’ Summer Theatre, the Village Playhouse became a local hub for live theatre, seating up to 190 patrons per evening for two months every summer.

The annual event provided community hours to local high school students and helped launch several careers for students who caught the theatre bug. Students were able to receive training in running a snack bar, selling tickets and running a theatre facility. Actors were encouraged to practice their craft while new tech people worked with professional lighting and sound staff to hone their skills. (It could take a pro up to 3 days to fully program the lighting board for a single production.) Local restaurants and shops benefitted with crowds of people coming into town for dinner prior to a show. Sponsors were able to reach summer cottagers easily and inexpensively. Members of St. Pauls Church raised funds by preparing pre-show dinner packages. Kids got to perform for the first time on a big stage. New talent arose from events such as The 24 Hour Theatre Project introduced by our very own November Theatre.

The Village Playhouse has served as a real community based venue which instilled a sense of cooperation, social skills and cultural growth for a current group of approximately 150 locals as well as past members who envisioned a real theatre in our little village. Kim Crawford, Chairperson of the not-for-profit Bancroft Summer Theatre and the Algonquin Arts Council, added “It is so unfortunate that progress has to be made at the expense of community. While there have been great changes and upgrades to The Village Playhouse, these improvements have come at the expense of our local theatre groups.”

Kevin Newman, President of the Bancroft Theatre Guild said “With 24 years of theatre infrastructure now inaccessible to community groups we have been forced to start from scratch”. People involved in theatre are taking this in stride and planning for the future quietly. “If 150 kids on ten hockey teams were to lose their ice time at the community arena there would be a riot in town”, added Daniel Boileau. “Theatre people take these events as a challenge because as we all know, everything changes”. Watch for a newly
re-invented, re-invigorated theatre scene to appear in the near future. To our 2,500 plus summer theatre patrons and many sponsors we offer our thanks for your past and continued support.

You are going shopping anyway so why not do this?

Bancroft Pregnancy CareI have recently been told of a program here in Bancroft that in my humble opinion is absolutely amazing. You can buy gift cards and support The Bancroft Pregnancy Care Centre … a win win!

How it works is you just purchase a card for the store of your choice (No Frills, Shoppers Drug Mart, or Foodland) from one of their pick up locations (Bancroft Pregnancy Centre, McMicheal Jewelers or Alice’s Pantry). You get the same value that you’ve paid for the card ($100 cash = $100 grocery card). The Pregnancy Centre receives 5% of the card value automatically. This is a huge help to them, since they rely completely on donations to keep their doors open, and it’s no extra money out of your pocket.

But if you think for a minute … it is an amazing budgeting tool as well. OK, I am going to come clean, it was actually Heather Johns that informed me of this program as she utilizes it herself in her work with clients. It is particularly helpful for people on a fixed income and people who like to spend money (which is all of us, right?) . Heck, they will be working great for me soon as I can be an impulse shopper.

With these cards, they make you think twice before tossing that extra bag on chips, or chocolate bar or…. into your cart. We all have a spending plan whether we realize it or not and sometimes can use that extra helping hand in order to to keep things on track.

My challenge to you is try it for one month (as I will be) not only are you supporting a great cause but you are also supporting yourself.

Urban Girl
xoxo

The Greatest Debate Ever Told

Bancroft is a cCroft-Talks-EPS-6-300x225ommunity that is rich with stories and each month, some of those stories are shared live on the stage of the Village Playhouse at The ‘Croft Talks. This month, a Christian, a Jew and an atheist will tackle questions about life the universe and everything as they participate in “The Greatest Debate Ever Told.”

Host Barb Shaw says the unscripted show is always worth attending.

“I invite community members to share their stories, their insights and then we get the audience to jump in,” Shaw says. “It’s really unpredictable which is why I think it ends up being such a rich experience.”

Guests for the March 29th show include Joey Shulman, Bill Kilpatrick and Rev. Lynn Watson and they can’t wait to debate the role of God in our lives and in our community. Read More

Here is a snippet from Rev. Lynn Watson’s blog on the upcoming debate.

IT’S NOT A DOG FIGHT! IT’S A GOD FIGHT!

 

What do you think of when I say the word: evangelical?  I’m pretty sure many of you will call forth images of too-white, toothy grins, $5,000 suits, and that bitter after-taste that comes from ingesting an artificial sweetener.  God is spelled with a “w”: Gawd! and Jesus has 3 syllables: Jaysuzuh!  And you remember what your mother always said: “Never trust a woman whose hair is bigger than her butt!”

It’s time to redeem the word, and the Outreach Committee of St. Paul’s United Church is trying to do just that by sponsoring the next Croft-Talks where a Jew, a Christian and an Atheist walk into a theatre…  sounds like the opening line to a bad joke; it isn’t, but hopefully we’ll get a few laughs.

Read More

Community Partners Are Key

nofrills

CREATIVE PARTNERS: Claude and Beth Pepin and their local NoFrills store support the Bancroft Village Playhouse and Hospice North Hastings with the new event board that displays upcoming Playhouse shows. By becoming creative partners they support the Playhouse and also offer one more complimentary service to shoppers who now have up to date details on all the wonderful theatre events, concerts and films that are offered at our community theatre. Thanks to NoFrills for their support!

Submitted by Barb Shaw of Plan B

Legends ready to answer questions at ‘Croft Talks LIVE

Croft-Talks-Legends-Bancroft OntThere are some people that just seem to be a foundational part of our community and three of them have agreed to join ‘Croft Talks LIVE host Barb Shaw on Jan. 26 at the Village Playhouse to talk about how they became legends in North Hastings.

The January line-up features local Funeral Director Tim Baragar and while many know Tim for the support, comfort and care he provides to those at difficult times, he’s moving into a new role as a political advocate.

Over the past year Tim has been doing interviews and spreading the word about the provincial Estate Assessment Tax. Newly rolled-out at the start of 2015, Tim has been getting some traction educating people and pushing the Wynne government to consider changes to the tax that targets people in their deepest moments of grief and despair.

Joining Tim Baragar to share stories is Nan McGhee. Nan will be making time in her busy travel schedule to share stories from her CJNH days, insights from her council adventures and she’s also going to give the audience a sneak peek into some of her current projects and plans.

“I am really looking forward to interviewing both Tim and Nan,” says host Barb Shaw. “They are fabulous storytellers and they truly could each have their own show. I am also thrilled to have Joey Shulman returning for another visit. Joey was such a hit at the last show that we really needed him to come back – and thankfully he agreed! He’ll be doing a community update for us and joining everyone for a Q & A segment. I really think these three legends are going to deliver a great experience for our audience.”

‘Croft Talks LIVE is a monthly talk show hosted at the Village Playhouse in Bancroft. The show is recorded and released as a podcast but being part of the live, interactive show is something you don’t want to miss.

‘Croft Talks LIVE is sponsored this month by Deuce Tattoos and the Bickert Family and Marlow Bickert will be on stage to do the sponsor’s welcome. For those who don’t know Marlow, this future legend managed to steal the last show from the comfort of the audience with his tough questions and fabulous humour.

“Croft Talks LIVE is produced by Plan B Communications Consulting in partnership with the Bancroft Village Playhouse. Tickets are $5 and the door and the bar open at 6pm on Jan. 26.

For additional details:

Barbara Shaw

bjshaw@sympatico.ca

613.334.4164