Alberni theatre manager exits, stage left

Tough economic times have forced the Capitol Theatre board of directors to lay off theatre manager Elliot Drew.

The now former Capitol Theatre manager Elliot Drew. The theatre's board was forced to make the move by an uncertain economic climate for the arts

The Capitol Theatre will operate without a theatre manager this year, after the Portal Players Dramatic Society laid off Elliot Drew due to lack of funds.

“I feel it’s exceptionally unfortunate that the board felt it was necessary to take this action,” said Drew, who has volunteered or worked for the amateur theatre company for 12 years.

“But the economic climate for arts is really tough right  now,” he said.

Drew took on the paid manager’s job two years ago, but it was a role that relied on grant funding to sustain itself, and funding has been cut since he started.

“It was really successful at first,” Players’ president Brent Ronning said, but it wasn’t a sustainable business model. “We realized we needed to pull back and go back to the things we do really well, which is our own productions and our youth programs.

“What it came down to is we could no longer financially justify (the position).”

The Capitol Theatre is still a community asset, and groups may still rent it. But the theatre group is not going to seek out roving shows to try and fill the theatre, Ronning said.

“That’s not a good use of our energy this year.”

Capitol Glee and Capitol Stages, the theatre’s two youth programs, will still run, led by paid instructors Teresa Drew and Janet Schlackl (registration will take place in late August). Portal Players recognizes that youth are the building blocks of the arts, Ronning said, and will concentrate on delivering solid programs.

“That’s our future members,” he said. “That’s our membership. We need to put our energy into those programs.”

For now, the Players’ board will run the theatre. Renovations are nearly finished, and an open house is still planned for September, Ronning said. The group’s first production, Les Belles Soeurs, will hit the stage in November.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Indigenous youth connect with their culture at Gathering Our Voices workshops

Secluded Wellness Centre in Port Alberni hosted traditional wildcraft sessions

Illegal cannabis club in Port Alberni ticketed again

RCMP seize cannabis, issue fine for second time in five months

Motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash west of Whiskey Creek

Witnesses say three vehicles involved in collision; man in 70s confirmed dead

Chef returns to North Island College to inspire young cooks

Tina Tang shares her culinary journey since graduating

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Port Alberni Fire Department engages Indigenous youth in fire awareness

Workshop took place as part of Gathering Our Voices event in Port Alberni

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Most Read