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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.

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

Local Businesses Support the Achievement of Another

truescarlette5 404x252It is hard to believe that it has just been a year since Sandra Pilkington took over True Scarlette. As many of you know True Scarlette is one of the best places North of 7 for aesthetics and tanning.

On Friday, March 11 Sandra held her 1 year anniversary and to show her clients appreciation for the support they have given over the last year she reached out to other businesses in the area to see if they would be interested in donating door prizes.

The response was phenomenal and I have to say I was impressed by each donation. The grande prize was a night at the Teddy Bear Bed and Breakfast, dinner for 2 at the Granite and Bancroft Taxi donated the ride to and from the Granite. Other business that also donated was one of our gems here The Old Tin Shed, The “Hair”itage House, and Ambient Glow. Uvalux who is one of Sandra’s suppliers also donated a wealth of tanning products and gift basket to be given away.

As Sandra spoke to both Bancroft This Week and Mary Kavanagh town councillor and with the BBIA she explained that although a year of up and downs, it has mostly been up. By expanding products and services after listening to her existing cliental she has been able to grow the business and looks forward to keep doing so in the coming years.

The winners of the prizes are being drawn this coming Monday morning and I’ll update you with the winners then.

There is an old saying that it takes a village to raise a child….I think this could be adopted to small rural businesses in supporting each others milestones. Just food for thought.

 

Urban Girl

xoxo

This Hour Has 22 Minutes Star coming to Hospice North Hastings

Cathy-Jones-Final-page-001-232x300Canadian cultural icon, comedienne and one of the funniest women on television, Cathy Jones, is set to bring her one-woman show, “Stranger to Hard Work” to the Bancroft Village Playhouse on Thursday, February 18.

In this new show, Cathy shares her unique perspective on a variety of topics from food to money and the troublesome people in her life. It’s a funny, thought provoking look at what she’s learned in life so far.

Master of a thousand voices, Cathy Jones is a Canadian television icon and an audience favourite for an unprecedented 25 years. She’s a founding member of the award-winning comedy troupe CODCO, past member of the Wonderful Grand Band, and has starred in every season of This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Cathy is as popular with her peers as she is with fans, winning an incredible 18 Gemini Awards for her work as a writer and performer. Cathy is a passionate advocate for the environment, a Buddhist, a mother, and a proud grandmother who works and writes from her eco-home on the East Coast.

“This is an incredible opportunity to see this Canadian icon in such an intimate setting,” says Playhouse Manager Heather Brough. “We can’t wait to see Cathy on our stage and because we like to get up close and personal with our favourite Canadian stars, we’ve invited Cathy to do a live audience Q &A right after the performance and she agreed!”

Tickets are now available at Hospice House, Posies, Harvest Moon or online atboxofficebancroft.com for $35 plus HST. This is a licensed event and all proceeds go to the Bancroft Village Playhouse Repair Fund. Please note, this is Cathy Jones so there is an “adult language” advisory in place.

Barbara Shaw

NowPlanB

613.334.4164

bjshaw@sympatico.ca