With countless hours spent volunteering for almost every position imaginable at the Capitol Theatre, Carrera Schroeder has been awarded the Doreen Anderson Volunteer of the Year Award.
Doreen Anderson was a long-time member of Portal Players Dramatic Society (PPDS) who served on the board of directors and was the group’s long-term treasurer.
Anderson was also Portal Players’ volunteer coordinator, and organized the members looking after duties in the box office and concession during performances and rentals.
A few years ago Portal Players created the memorial award to honour its volunteers. Winners’ names are mounted on a memorial wall in the upstairs lounge at the Capitol Theatre.
Schroeder has been involved with the Capitol Theatre for close to 22 years, doing everything from directing to acting to set design, stage managing and cast makeup. She also sits on the board of directors for the PPDS.
“I really enjoy the theatre, I really believe in it and that’s why I put so much time and energy here. So to have that recognized meant a lot to me,” Schroeder said.
Leading up to her win, Schroeder directed the award-winning play, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, was the stage manager and educator of the STAGES youth program’s production of Anne Frank and acted in Five Women Wearing the Same Dress.
“I’m as involved as I can be without killing myself,” Schroeder laughed. “The only job I haven’t done in the theatre is producer….so last year I was spending about 40 to 60 hours a week here on top of working two jobs.”
With drama in her blood, Schroeder received a degree in theatre from Vancouver Island University in 2011. She said acting may be her favourite part of a production but stage managing and directing also land high on the list.
Schroeder says giving so much of her time and energy to the theatre is easy because of the camaraderie and close-knit group of like-minded individuals who also spend much of their time there.
“It’s really interesting to get a group of like-minded people together all working together for a common goal,” Schroeder said. “It’s nice to come do something I love with my friends.”
Schroeder met her husband, Cody Taylor, while volunteering with Portal Players, and they even got married on stage at the Capitol Theatre—one of a few PPDS couples to have met and married at the theatre.
Since 2006, PPDS annually receives nominations for the Volunteer of the Year Award that are reviewed and selected by a committee of past winners.
Naomi Boutwell, member of the PPDS, nominated Schroeder for this year’s Volunteer of the Year Award.
“The scope of Carrera’s involvement in the Portal Players Dramatic Society is actually hard to begin describing because it is simply so vast. It is like trying to take the central nervous system out of the human body, one would not be able to function, the way we know it, without the support of the other,” Boutwell wrote in a volunteer nomination letter for Schroeder.