ITT 008: Extra! “The Wizard of Oz” in Port Alberni, Behind The Scenes

On this special “Extra!” edition of the In The Theatre podcast, hear an informative and inspirational peek behind the scenes after the opening night performance of Portal Players Dramatic Society’s production of “The Wizard of Oz”.

Co-directors Elliot Drew and Denis Levasseur, and vocal director Janet Schlackl joined me at The Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni to discuss how this musical came into being for the club, and how it’s the biggest technical show Portal Players has ever produced.

Portal Players’ production of “The Wizard of Oz” is on at The Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni on select dates through to March 15, 2014. More details and online ticket purchases are available online, www.atthecapitol.org.

For details on how your club’s production can be featured on an “Extra!” edition of the In The Theatre podcast, e-mail inthetheatrepodcast@gmail.com.


subscribe-with-itunes-buttonRetinaIf you like the show, please use the “share” icons above to send a link out to the podcast.

ITT 007: “They Didn’t Have E-Mail Back Then” – Meet Debby Helf, 2013 Hamber Award Recipient

DebbyHamberWinnerRecently I had the great pleasure to chat with Debby Helf, a long-time member of Theatre Kelowna Society and of Theatre BC.

In July 2013, Debby received Theatre BC’s Eric Hamber Award at Mainstage in Kamloops. As she describes in this episode of the “In The Theatre” podcast, she had no idea about receiving the Hamber, and was “tricked” into attending the evening’s festivities.

Hear about Debby’s theatrical journey in this episode, from her beginnings in the family’s San Francisco basement (or playroom), through to meeting her husband and eventual arrival in Canada. It’s a fascinating look at this very worthy recipient of the Hamber award.

DebbyHelfFreedomFor more details about Eric Hamber and a list of award recipients since 1955, please read this post. Some of the links from this episode include:

I hope you enjoy this episode and I would love to get your feedback using any of the links you find on this page.


subscribe-with-itunes-buttonRetinaIf you like the show, please use the “share” icons above to send a link out to the podcast.

Theatre BC’s Eric Hamber Award

For nearly six decades, Theatre BC has recognized a person, group or institution having made an outstanding contribution to community theatre in British Columbia with the Eric Hamber Award. This is Theatre BC’s most prestigious award, which is presented annually (if merited) as part of the provincial Mainstage Festival Awards Ceremony.

EricHamberWho was Eric Hamber?

During the course of his life, Eric Werge Hamber (1849 – 1960) excelled as a scholar, athlete, banker, lumberman, industrialist, university chancellor, and philanthropist.

After obtaining an honours degree in classics at St. John’s — Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg, Mr. Hamber began his career with a Canadian bank, ultimately moving to British Columbia to establish the bank’s first branch in Vancouver in 1907. Following his marriage in 1912 to Aldyen Irene Hendry, his interests and energies were directed to the forestry and commercial holdings of the Hendry family who were British Columbia pioneers. Hamber worked in his father-in-law’s BC Mills Timber and Trading Company, and ultimately became its president.

Eric_Hamber's_ranch_Minnekhada

Minnekhada Lodge

In 1934 he built the Minnekhada Lodge in Coquitlam as a country retreat and hunting lodge. The land is now managed by Metro Vancouver Parks.

Mr. Hamber maintained throughout his lifetime a keen sense of social obligation and responsibility. He continued his interests in athletic accomplishments, and took active roles in organizations concerned with the well-being, education, culture and needs of the community. He was Honorary Colonel of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada and of the Fifth BC Coast Brigade. He was the 15th Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia from 1937 to 1941; a Freeman of the City of Vancouver; and served as Chancellor of the University of British Columbia from 1944 to 1951.

AWARD - Eric Hamber

Theatre BC’s
Eric Hamber Award

In 1942 Premier Pattullo designated an area in eastern BC as Hamber Park to commemorate Mr. Hamber’s service as BC’s Lieutenant Governor.

Both Eric Hamber Secondary School and one of the residences in Place Vanier on the UBC Vancouver campus are named after Eric Hamber.

When Queen Elizabeth II was married in 1947, Hamber and his wife were the only Canadian private guests.

Listed below are recipients of Theatre BC’s Eric Hamber Award since 1955.

2013 – Debby Helf (OKZ)
2012 – Ann Booth (NSZ)
2011 – Sarah McLean (OKZ)
2010 – William R. Elliott (posthumously)
2009 – Frank Goodsir
2008 – Sharon Lynch
2007 – Stephen Heal (posthumously)
2006 – Mary Huggins
2005 – Bud Abbott
2004 – Biddy Jones
2003 – Dori & Paddy McGarrigle
2002 – Gail Limber
2001 – Lorraine Allum
2000 – George Young
1999 – Jim Harding
1998 – Merry Hallsor
1997 – David Jones
1996 – Arlene Blundell
1995 – Donna and Fred Lamb
1994 – Not Awarded
1993 – Major Llewellyn “Bill” Bullock-Webster (posthumously)
1992 – Sheila Coultish
1991 – Gwen Crowe
1990 – John Krich
1989 – Theatre Kelowna Society
1988 – James Bowlby
1987 – Nanaimo Theatre Group
1986 – Jose Smith
1985 – Anne and Don Marsh
1984 – Jay Norton
1983 – Derek McCooey
1982 – Ruth Cunningham & Bernie Legge
1981 – Terrace Little Theatre
1980 – Not Awarded
1979 – Mien Van Heek
1978 – Norman Young
1977 – Franklin Johnson
1976 – Dorothy Goldrick
1975 – Paddy Malcolm English
1974 – Keith and Edith Shadforth
1973 – Gwen Pharis Ringwood
1972 – Margaret Rushton
1971 – Capt. C. F. Gibson and W.A.D.
1970 – Doug Huggins
1969 – Vernon Little Theatre
1968 – Tom Kerr
1967 – Jack Richardson, Vancouver Sun
1966 – Sidney Risk
1965 – Yvonne Firkins
1964 – Jessie L. Richardson and Ann Mossman
1963 – Sid Williams
1962 – Anne Adamson And Don Rush
1961 – Phoebe Smith and Dorothy Somerset
1960 – White Rock Little Theatre
1959 – Holiday Theatre
1958 – G.T. Lee
1957 – Vancouver Little Theatre
1956 – Not Awarded
1955 – Peace River Playwrights 

– With files from www.hamberfoundation.ca, Wikipedia and theatrebc.org.

ITT 006: “Inside The Adjudicator’s Head”, Part 2 with Michael Armstrong

What if you knew ahead of time how best to prepare your play as a Zone Drama Festival entry? In this episode of the “In The Theatre” podcast, get some great tips from Michael Armstrong, a Theatre BC adjudicator.

21697427_300We discuss Michael’s process as he prepares to go into a zone; script selection; published scripts vs. original scripts; handling different levels of budgets; and Michael answers three questions that came in from our listeners via Facebook.

Michael also offers some helpful links for finding scripts, including:

Be sure to check out Part 1 of my chat with Michael (ITT 004) and learn more about Michael’s background, writing pursuits and his latest project.

I hope you enjoy this episode and I would love to get your feedback using any of the links you find on this page.


subscribe-with-itunes-buttonRetinaIf you like the show, please use the “share” icons above to send a link out to the podcast.

120110MichaelFrayn_5680602“I haven’t come to the theatre to hear about other people’s problems. I’ve come to be taken out of myself, and, preferably, not put back again.”
― Michael Frayn,
Noises Off

ITT 004: “Theatre Is An Apprenticeship”, Michael Armstrong – Part 1

An exciting new podcast today featuring a profile of Theatre BC member Michael Armstrong.

Michael Armstrong

Michael Armstrong

Michael has been active in Theatre BC since the early 80’s and has served as an instructor, juror and adjudicator for TBC.

In part one of this two-part podcast, you’ll hear Michael talk about his early writing pursuits, working on his MFA and latest play “Blue Heaven” and much more.

Links for this episode include:

I hope you enjoy this episode and I would love to get your feedback using any of the links you find on this page.


subscribe-with-itunes-buttonRetinaIf you like the show, please use the “share” icons above to send a link out to the podcast.