Let me tell you a little story about a club with a big heart, big ideas and a small bank account.
On March 17, 2020 Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency that came with a shut down. Just like everyone else who was non essential, Dunnville Community Theatre was part of that.
Before we even knew about Covid-19, this happened:
Only three months previous to the shut down, DCT lost our entire executive at the annual general meeting. Our longest serving president Nancy Erskine who was not only president but director, producer, actor, trainer, recruiter and, often, the glue that held us together, announced her resignation. After more than twenty years of this heavily responsible service she definitely deserved a break. Jordan Heron was too slow to yell NO when nominated for president. His only comment afterwards “ I really have to work on my speed”.
Linda Young, long serving treasurer, right hand to Nancy, frequent producer, promoter and reliable helper also stepped down after 20 years of service. Claire Vanden Pol volunteered to take the position of treasurer. Why? According to her “I would have volunteered for anything to avoid being nominated as secretary”.
Wendy Rongits who served as secretary, minute taker, list keeper and rehearsal cookie provider, also stepped down after 7 years of service. Poor Diane Morris tried to wait until someone else volunteered but the pressure got to her and she caved. Diane’s take on this “The pressure really got to me. I’ll be the secretary but I am NOT baking cookies!”.
Without the dedication of these women the new executive would not have had a foundation to stand on and with the shut-down announced we certainly needed a foundation. So finally to the rest of the story about how we got here.
Yes, here – on your internet connected screen.
At our first post-election meeting we divided responsibilities between board members and we chose a play. Yes, covid was lurking in our peripheral vision but as Jordan said “ I really didn’t want to be the new president who couldn’t launch a production”.
We finally chose “A Red Plaid Shirt” by Michael Wilmot. When we started talking about it as a favorable choice, we got a stern warning from Kathryn regarding Covid 19.
And then it happened. Covid-19 restrictions shut the “LIVE” part of our theatre down.
Before we even announced auditions, we realized we would not be allowed to launch a production. Covid-19, in essence, shut us down. However, as a resilient group of stubborn live theatre lovers we decided to focus on infrastructure. It did need attention, that’s for sure. So there we were, a bunch of stage artists who do possess talents for the professional world being denied our escape to the stage which we love and getting stuck with the kind of work we don’t even like. We took a number of odious tasks, split them over a multitude of newly formed committees and dug in. All the while believing it would soon be over and we would be back on stage in September.
Well September came, the lock downs continued, the odious tasks continued or they came to an abrupt halt because we couldn’t go anywhere, talk to anyone or see anything. It was difficult to drum up enthusiasm for infrastructure in the first place and now – it was almost impossible to maintain it.
It was then that Kathryn announced she had seen information about the Ontario Trillium Foundation having a special fund available to help communities during the restrictions. That began our discussions about Video Podcasting.
Help was in sight
We felt that unless we did something to get back into the public eye we would lose our audience, our members and possibly our minds. Additionally, we hoped we could stave off some impending divorces from spouses and children who love us dearly but want us to take our dramatic crap somewhere else.
We were confident video podcasting would come naturally to us. After all we have a film maker, an audio technician and 2 project managers on our board. We also have talented writers, imaginative performers and an unwavering dedication to applying procrastination to odious tasks.
We applied for a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation through their Resilient Communities Fund that would allow us the equipment and platforms to produce video blogs. We were chosen as successful candidates and we are very excited and very grateful to the OTF.
So, we have been working very hard.
We have been working very smart.
We tired but we’re ready.
We have a series of 10 podcasts that will be released over 20 weeks. The series is called Post Cards from DCT.
Inside of the series are 2 segments. The first is called “Dramatic Moments”.
The second is called “Close to the Curtain”.
You’ll have to tune in and turn on to see what it’s all about.
Until we can return to the stage this will be our Live Theatre. See you in our Post Cards from DCT.