What an exciting year we have planned for Brockville and the surrounding area! Be sure to stay tuned to all of the upcoming events by visiting our informative and interactive Brockville Operatic Society Website at http://brockvilleoperaticsociety.org/. Many thanks to the multi-talented Todd Noel of Leondot Designs for his work on this.
Lady Luck as Guys ‘n’ Dolls Prepares to Hit the Stage – Message from Peter Galvin
It has been quite some time since I have directed a Musical (My Fair Lady in 2002), so I’m thrilled to be able to assist the BOS this year. Just a bit of info: Barry Whiteland directed this show – with me in it – in the 1979 during the fall season. You ask what is exciting? What is exciting is that Guys and Dolls is as relevant today as it was back in the 50s; it is timeless theatre. Great show tunes that people will recognize and are able to sing as the leave the show and the quintessential story line of love conquers all, the triumph of good over not so good. It’s exciting to be part of a enthusiastic cast of actors and dancers. The real thrill for me is to see the development of the storyline and character growth through dialogue and lyrics. Technically, there have been some real improvements to lighting equipment and technique since the fifties, and I’m hoping to employ some in this show. We hope to bring to the audience a strong and balance performance of song, dance, and acting. Guys and Dolls resonates; it’s a classic, and we’re looking forward to showtime in February 2015.
The Presidential Platform
We are happy to welcome Mr. Paul Duchesne to role of President of the Board of Directors. Most will recognize Paul for his roles in local theatre.
Paul’s premier was with “Into the Woods,” directed by Barry Whiteland. Paul found the show a challenging one, but says it was a great experience. He fondly recalls the memorable characters, including the Wolf played by late Larry Price, whom he says he misses every day.
Paul was prompted to become involved with the BOS Board because of his love for theatre – period. These groups (BOS & BTG) rely on volunteers and Paul thinks that it is great to see new people with a variety of personal strengths join forces. Most are performers (some with Professional experience) and behind the scenes folks with some interest in taking a leadership role. He feels his passion fits there. Paul says it is like being part of a large family.
Paul believes the benefits of being involved in Community Theatre are immeasurable, from the aforementioned “big family” feel, to the artistic outlet, to connecting with the public and enriching many lives, to building life-long friendships. Paul believes that each show allows performers to reconnect with old friends, and to meet new ones. “A show is a bonding experience for the people involved – you never forget the friends you make in theatre.”
When asked about the future of theatre in Brockville, Paul explained: “I see a bright future for sure. We, in Brockville, possess one of the greatest treasures – the Arts Centre – what a jewel! If we continue to put on great shows the community will support us and we will continue to enrich the cultural life of this community. We also have to make sure we take care of this treasure and that the city continues to appreciate how vital it is to our community.”
Paul hopes to provide sound leadership to a group that has built a solid legacy, with diversity on the Board and in the Society at large. Paul believes we need to nurture our youth and must continue to be open to new ideas in order to learn and become even BETTER. “This year’s show in Guys and Dolls, we have a great classic with another large mixed cast that the community will be sure to love! Part of our Mantra is to Produce Professional Quality theatre now and into the future. The leadership of the Brockville Operatic Society is committed to doing just that!”
Introducing our new Brockville Operatic Society Board of Directors
President: Paul Duchesne
Vice-President: Will Wright
Past-President: Peter Yerdon
Treasurer: Chelsea Lee
Secretary: Raul Cirne
Membership: Stephanie Hutton-Vanderbaaren/Kimberly Cosgrove
Archivist: Raul Cirne
Score Editor: Sam Crosby-Bouwhuis/John Ballachey
Social Convenor: (Collective)
Fund-Raising: Lynne Gardiner/Becky Bridger/Chelsea
Lee/Kimberly Cosgrove/Stephanie Hutton-Vanderbaaren
Awards & Bursaries: Kimberly Cosgrove
Show Selection: Mary Wonacott-Hills/Todd Noel Publicity/PR: Peter Yerdon
New Horizons with Becky Bridger
This section of our newsletter is dedicated to getting to know someone who is actively involved in growing the Arts in our Community. This lovely young woman just happens to be on the BOS Board of Directors AND is directing the cast of “Miracle on 34th Street.” We hope you enjoy getting to know this new addition to our community!
We look forward to getting to know you, Becky. Tell us about your journey to 34th Street.
I studied Acting and Directing at Queens University and then completed my Masters in Drama at U of T. Miracle on 34th Street is the largest cast and stage that I have worked on.
What is most unique about your approach to directing Miracle on 34th Street?
As a director, I like to create an atmosphere of collective ideas. If a cast member had a thought as to where they saw the scene going I would always let them try it out. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it needed to be discarded. As an actor myself, I strongly believe in playing out all the different possibilities in a scene and then landing on the one that makes the most sense.
You are being adjudicated during the Friday night performance. Tell us about this.
The adjudication is very exciting and nerve racking all at once. Essentially a professional judge is coming to watch and ‘grade’ our performance. One of the really great things about having this adjudication is that I can grow as a director. They may see things that I never thought of and will help me to understand the show differently. As well, there are awards that our actors and crew may be nominated for.
What is one of your most memorable moments working in theatre?
One of my most memorable moments in theatre would have to be when I performed the role of Paula in Grace at the Baby Grand in Kingston. It was a small cast, but it challenged me as an actor in more ways than any other performance has.
If you could play ANY CHARACTER in ANY SHOW, who would it be and why?
THIS is the hardest question ever asked! I would really love to sink my teeth into playing Beatrice in Shakespeare’s classic Much Ado About Nothing. I am a classics girl by heart, but also love current Canadian dramas from playwrights like Judith Thomson and Daniel MacIvor.
Brockville and Area Community Foundation Gala
Brockville Country Club – Saturday, November 1st
The Legacy Fund – an apt name for a wonderful vision. Founded in 1974, the BACF has assisted over 100 organizations by contributing $1.1 million to our community. The goal of $15,000 was exceeded, and the benefits will resonate through our community as a result of the 99 exuberant attendees. Bravo, everyone! Performers Todd Noel and Melissa Dye WOWED the crowd!
From Strong Foundations …
We met up with Peter Yerdon, our Past President to chat with him before he “moves on.” He assures us that we have not seen the last of him (YAY!)
How did you first get involved in Musical Theatre in Brockville?
I first became involved with the musical Oliver (2003) – my oldest and youngest wanted to audition so while I was there waiting, MIke Trussell talked me into auditioning; the rest as they say is history.
What prompted you to become involved with the Board of Directors?
For good or bad I have always been a joiner. I missed not being involved at the decision making level. I held several positions with KIN Canada from club to the national level. I thought I could help going and growing forward.
What was your most memorable moment as President?
There have been several memorable moments as President but if I go to my most memorable moment it would have to be when we awarded the Life Time Giving award to Life Member Don Fowler. Don is a giving, caring person and being a part of that was very rewarding.
Moving forward, what do you see as the future for performance in Brockville?
I look at the Arts in general, and I am excited to see the talent we have both in the older, but especially the younger, people in our city. Organizations such as ours and the Brockville Theatre Guild will be instrumental in giving the opportunities to all of our performers. With Music and the Arts being underfunded for whatever reason in our schools, it is up to us along with the children’s choirs and dance troupes to continue to instill a love for the Arts. We can complain or we can continue to move forward and find ways to keep performance alive in our city.
What advice would you give to future Presidents?
Advice for future Presidents is simple, allow the people around you to grow! Learn to assign and then nurture. In my opinion a good leader leads by example, by that I mean he /she is willing to set their own egos aside to let others shine and learn. Be strong but not overbearing. It can be a thankless job but also very rewarding. I have never been afraid to teach others to be better than me!
Any last words, Peter?
If I have anything else to say it to our members, young and old, it is that we need your help! Even the strongest board cannot/should not do it all themselves. Times are changing and we are not the only gig in town; if you can give us a few hours a month to sit on a committee or help at a fundraiser, please do. Don’t go away until the next show – we need you now! Who knows? You could be a game changer!
For more information about Memberships, please contact:
Stephanie Hutton Vanderbaaren 613-803-2581. She will be most happy to help you out!
The Archives Committee certainly can utilize them. Pictures can be emailed firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to Raul Cirne for sending this picture of the set crew for Alice in Wonderland last year. We hope to gather and disseminate MANY of your creative photos into The Score!