Theatre BC’s Summer News Update


The hard working Mainstage 2016 Host Committee, left to right: Graham Archer, Deb Archer, Patti Lawn & Dave Williams (co-chairs), Raymond Hatton, Jennifer Meloche, Mary Renvall & Roger Meloche.


Greetings fellow TBC members!

It’s my pleasure to send this update as your new President. Thank you for your support and confidence in choosing me. We have an excellent team in place to keep the Theatre BC wheels in motion.

A hearty congratulations and thank you to the Mainstage 2016 committee in Chilliwack. The Fraser Valley Zone hosted our big annual event in a way that can only be described as electrifying and re-energizing. Committee co-chairs Patti Lawn and Dave Williams assembled a dynamic team that worked very hard in a short time frame to successfully host “a Festival on steroids,” as FVZ chair Raymond Hatton describes it. To all of the committee members, volunteers, staff at the venues and everyone who helped to make Mainstage 2016 a success, Thank You! It was an amazing week, and you’ve set the bar high indeed.

Michael Armstrong

To all the participants and winners, congratulations. The “teachable moments” that adjudicator Michael Armstrong shared with us each morning at the coffee critiques were invaluable to those of us eager to learn new tips and techniques to take back to our clubs. The workshops, play readings, green rooms and other activities were very popular, as were the Chilliwack Cultural Centre and the Chilliwack Players Guild’s Guildhall as venues. The host committee will meet soon to debrief, and will share their feedback to help next year’s committee.

Complete awards list and honourable mentions/special certificates lists can be found on the Theatre BC website’s home page.

Theatre BC’s Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday, July 9, with the following election results:

  • President (1 year term) – Peter Wienold, Port Alberni
  • Vice Presidents (2 year terms) – Jacqollyne Keath, Langley; and Adele Kuyek, Vernon
  • Treasurer (2 year term) – Richard Kerton, Courtenay/Vernon
  • Recording Secretary (1 year term) – Michael Armstrong, Nanaimo
  • Wes Eccleston continues serving as Vice President for another year.

We thank Glen Miller for presiding over TBC as President for the past 5 years, and we thank outgoing Vice Presidents Marianne Brorup-Weston and Penny Bayne for their service.

The new executive will hit the ground running, meeting monthly throughout the year via on-line video conferencing, while the full board will meet quarterly in the same way.

Some of my personal goals as President include: improved and more frequent communication with the membership; ensure that we have high-quality and modern membership tracking and communication tools; a review of all projects and priorities, and much more. Also on the agenda, a rejuvenation of the zones which have not recently held festivals, to support their operations and sustainability. Our work may require the help of TBC members at large, if you are willing to answer the call – we thank you in advance.


Anne Marsh, Robb Mowbray, Peter Wienold.

Our scholarship and awards committee reviewed a number of applications for the Hamber and Diamond awards, and I’m pleased to report that the recipient of the Eric Hamber Award this year was Robb Mowbray. For those who don’t know Robb, he has been a fixture on the Theatre BC scene for many decades, serving at different times as our President (1992 – 1994) and our Executive Director. Presenting the award to Robb was Anne Marsh, herself a TBC President (1979 – 1982), and Hamber Award honouree (1985, with husband Don Marsh). Much to Anne’s surprise, she was also the recipient of this year’s Diamond Award. Congratulations Robb and Anne on your well-deserved recognition, and thank you for all you’ve done in your home clubs and for Theatre BC.

Congratulations to Ries Fowler, recipient of the $1,000 Sid Williams scholarship. The Jessie Richardson and Mien Van Heek scholarships were not awarded this year. TBC Members who are qualified candidates are encouraged to fill out the relevant application forms before deadline for the available scholarships.

VernonPACMoving forward, please make a note of our Mainstage 2017 dates in Vernon – June 30 to July 8, with the actual start date and final performance schedule subject to the status of zone festivals next year. 2017 is Canada’s 150th birthday, and Theatre BC announced to members in October 2015 that Mainstage next year would be exclusively Canadian-written plays. The local host committee is already organizing, and has chosen the tagline of “Theatre BC Celebrates Canada On Stage” for promotions.

Some additional news . . .

  • Playwriting Competition – the board has decided to shift from a provincial to a national intake of writers. This restores the competition to its original scope, and will attract a much larger pool of entrants. Updated entry information will be available soon – the entry deadline, as usual, is December 31.
  • Thank you, Doug Huggins – Doug (TBC President, 1968 – 1970) has generously donated two boxes of scripts to the TBC Script Library. These will be catalogued and entered into the online database for your perusal.
  • Theatre BC has a podcast! Yours truly is the host of “In The Theatre”, and we recorded a number of episodes at Mainstage 2016. You can find the show online, right here on this website! Have a listen in your browser, or subscribe in your favourite podcast app. If you’re a TBC member club that would like to be featured on the show, please send me a note.

TBC BLUE LOGOAnd that’s it, for now. I’m looking forward to moving TBC forward into the future with an outstanding team of executive and board members, and the membership at large.

Wishing you all the best for a happy and safe summer,

Peter Wienold, President
BC Drama Association (Theatre BC)

ITT 205: Fred Skeleton Theatre Company


Rob Mason-Brown, Artistic Director

I’m very pleased to feature one of BC’s younger theatre companies on this episode of “In The Theatre”, the podcast for Theatre BC and all community theatre enthusiasts.

This time around we’re talking with Rob Mason-Brown, co-founder and artistic director of the Fred Skeleton Theatre Company based in Kelowna, BC. We recorded this episode on Saturday, July 9th shortly after Theatre BC‘s annual general meeting, and the day after Skeleton’s performance of “The Pillowman” closed out Mainstage 2016.

In this episode, Rob talks about the origins of his theatre company, some of their past productions, some plans for the future and discusses one of the bigger challenges the company is currently facing. I think you’ll find Rob’s laugh infectious and enjoyable.

Guest co-host Richard Kerton joins me once again on this episode. Richard had just been re-elected as Theatre BC‘s Treasurer earlier that day at the AGM – congratulations!


Here are some links for this episode:

I’m very happy to bring the podcast back – there’s no set schedule of release dates, and there’s no shortage of material, so be sure to subscribe with your favourite podcasting app to find out when the latest episode drops.

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

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ITT 204: After Hours #2, “The Ghost Hotel”


In the middle of Mainstage 2016 in Chilliwack, we were on-site, recording interviews with Community Theatre enthusiasts from across BC for the “In The Theatre” podcast. We’re still trying to decide if microphones and mixed drinks actually mix 🙂

A little different this time, we’ve got a second, special “After Hours” edition of the show with a roundtable of guests including Theatre BC Treasurer Richard Kerton, Vice-President Wes Eccleston, former CIZ chair Allison Haley, and NSZ chair Doug Perri joining me on the podcast. We hijacked Doug’s room and turned his bed into a podcast studio, which turned out pretty well!

Coming up later this week, we’ll chat with Rob Mason-Brown, artistic director of the Fred Skeleton Theatre Company in Kelowna on the “In The Theatre” Podcast.

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

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Theatre BC, President


Photo courtesy of Jacqollyne Keath

This weekend, I had the great honour of being chosen as the new President of Theatre BC at the Annual General Meeting in Chilliwack. I will be completing the second year of Glen Miller‘s two-year term as President after he stepped aside. Glen served as TBC’s President for five years, and lead us through various challenges and victories. We thank him for his service. I’d also like to thank both Penny Bayne and Marianne Brorup-Weston for serving as Vice-Presidents. Their work on various committees was instrumental in on-going Theatre BC operations.

The new executive team includes three Vice Presidents: Wesley Eccleston from Kamloops, Jacqollyne Keath from Vancouver and Adele Kuyek from Vernon. Rounding out the team, Richard Kerton is our Treasurer – he’ll be newly arrived in Vernon later next month. And, just newly arrived in Nanaimo is our new Recording Secretary, Michael Armstrong, who was also our 2016 Mainstage adjudicator.

This is the group who, together with the ten zone chairs, will work towards improving communications with the membership, build better management systems and give excellent financial stewardship to maintain a successful and sustainable organization for the good of all community theatre in BC.

Thank you to everyone who supported me with their votes and proxies; for those of you who are interested, here is the text of my address at the 2016 Mainstage Awards Ceremony.

TBC BLUE LOGO“I remember very distinctly my first live theatre experience. I was seven years old and we were living in Edmonton, where we went to see a play. While I don’t remember the show title or the performance venue, I certainly do remember the colours of the lights; the sounds, completely enveloping me; the energy of the performers and the responses from the audience. I was literally vibrating with excitement from this new experience.

In the years since then, I’ve experienced and participated in hundreds of different theatrical events, and have never tired of those lights, those sounds, those responses and the energy of being in the theatre.

When we are all, collectively, experiencing that same thing, night after night & day after day, as we have been here in Chilliwack during an incredible Mainstage week, it becomes almost tenuous. It’s thrilling and addicting.

To all of the Mainstage 2016 committee members, to every single volunteer at the Centre, at the Chilliwack Players Guild Hall, the play readers here and at the Royal Hotel, or those volunteers unseen in the corners and simply happy to just be part of the action, THANK YOU!

At a very young age, theatre became a “safe place” for a sensitive kid who was just a little different enough from the other kids that a sanctuary like the theatre was both welcome and necessary. Even today, while we’ve come a long way, we still welcome those who need that “safe place” into the theatre.

For all that theatre has offered to me, I’m honoured and pleased to offer something back to the community that welcomed me into the fray, into the group, and into the secret society that is all of us.”


ITT 203: After Hours Special with James Dean and Guests


We are in the middle of Mainstage 2016 in Chilliwack and very pleased to be on-site recording interviews with Community Theatre enthusiasts from across BC.

A little different this time, we’ve got a very special “After Hours” edition of the show with a roundtable of guests including Theatre BC Treasurer Richard Kerton, former CIZ chair Allison Haley, actor James Dean (yes, that’s his real name), from Nanaimo Theatre Group joining me on the podcast.

We recorded this in the wee early hours of July 6th, after NTG had performed “Love Song” at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. Darien Edgeler, who ultimately took home the Best Actor award, played the role of Beane, which James had originated in this production on the island.

Stay tuned for another “After Hours” round table episode featuring special Theatre BC guests, but for now, enjoy this insightful chat with an emerging young actor from Vancouver Island.
Here are some additional links for this episode:


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

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Mainstage 2016 – Theatre BC’s Biggest Week of the Year!


Mainstage 2016 is about to kick off in Chilliwack, BC in the Fraser Valley Zone.

It’s the biggest week of the year for Theatre BC, as productions that have advanced from regional zone festivals move their shows 100’s of kilometres, and in some cases across the sea, into a new theatre at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

Seven plays will be staged, one each night starting July 2. Each performance will be followed by a brief public critique from the stage by Michael Armstrong, adjudicator for the week, followed by an in-depth analysis and adjudication the following morning at the Chilliwack Players Guilds Guildhall.

Workshops, play readings, green room socials and meetings round out the week – see above for a detailed schedule of activities, and check the Facebook group for the latest updates.

For more details, listen to our two most recent podcast episodes:

Theatre BC’s website also has info here and here about Mainstage 2016!

Have a great week everyone – we’ll be recording new episodes of the podcast on site.