Featured Volunteer – October 2021
In 2005, during a leave-of-absence from work, I participated in a stage management workshop at Dartmouth Players. Another participant was currently the stage manager for ‘Barefoot in the Park’, in rehearsals at Bedford Players, and announced that she was looking for an assistant for the production. Well, I was off work to try new things, so I signed on. I was hooked, and have been working with Bedford Players since then. So, that makes it, well, a lot of years.
For most of those years I’ve participated on the Executive Council, alternatively as member-at-large, treasurer, president, and currently, as past president. On the production side, stage managing is still one of my favourite roles, as well as stage craft (the creation of illusions through the set construction and use of props) and directing. I’ve also tried my hand at front-of-house, canteen, light and sound, and even took a turn on stage as the cheeky Busybody. Working on a production is intimate, creative, intense, wonderfully fun, and very short-lived. An absolutely fabulous way to step out of your everyday.
My best experience at Bedford Players has been bringing my own plays to the stage, how blessed was I to work with fantastic talent on and off the stage to bring these works to life. And they were so much more than plays, we ‘toured’ with one, and opened the other, a biographical story set during the time of the Halifax explosion, with members of the family of the heroine, in attendance – no pressure! The cast and crew were so invested, it was an experience to be marked on my personal pages in indelible ink.
Our theatre group is so welcoming, in fact, it consciously strives to be so, and accomplishes it, allowing our members to try their hand, display their – oh so many – talents; and, above all, have fun.
If you’ve ever thought of joining, just give it a try. My advice is to ask questions, and ask some more; offer your time, and offer again. Productions are intense, and there are gaps that need to be filled, and areas that are well-staffed; attention is given to the gaps, as timelines are tight. Be patient, and flexible, and learn; working your way into the roles you prefer, trying things you never thought to try, and making it your favourite diversion from the everyday.