Kaatza Lakeside Players looking for new blood

If you’ve ever felt the lure of the theatre, now’s the time to follow that dream.

If you’ve ever felt the lure of the theatre, now’s the time to follow that dream.

And you can do it right in the Cowichan Lake area.

According to Dena McPhee, director, actor, musician, and general all-around stalwart of the Kaatza Lakeside Players, there’s a terrific need for enthusiastic people to help keep the Players going and move them forward for a new generation.

That means volunteers and, if you want to be part of the glamour (and plain, old hard work) of live theatre, that means you.

“We are looking for ways to get our membership and interest up,” McPhee said recently, pointing out that the Players Society board needs some new members, too.

“We’ve lost our president; he’s moved to Victoria and we’ve not replaced him. And a V-P has also left. So there’s very few of us now on the board,” she said.

The Kaatza Lakeside Players have been around since 1985, when they mounted their first productions, a musical version of A Christmas Carol, Egad, What a Cad; and another musical entitled We’ll Meet Again on the little stage in Lower Centennial Hall.

Success followed and the shows moved upstairs to the big hall, which eventually was totally reworked to include a versatile stage and lighting booth that have been used for everything from big blockbuster musicals and the Lady of the Lake pageant to all-candidates meetings.

But now, it’s time for another look.

“The [Society’s] membership was huge when we did Annie and then we didn’t do a Christmas play and the interest went down. Now, we’ve been looking at a spring production and wondering, should we be holding off and waiting until the fall and a Christmas panto with kids? We have a production on the books for spring but we’re worried now that we can’t fulfill it without members,” she said.

“We really just need to get the word out there and encourage people to be interested and come out and sit on the board, volunteer, be ready to take part.”

Over the years, the Players have offered all kinds of chances to help out. Aside from learning all about acting from highly-skilled people, there’s lots to do for other folks, too. From designing and painting sets, making costumes, and finding props, acting as backstage and lighting crews, helping with front of house, gathering financial supporters in the community, setting up for shows, even selling 50/50 tickets and manning the bar: everyone can find something they’d enjoy.

Rehearsals are great fun and a wonderful way to meet other like-minded people in the community while hilariously trying to master the steps of a dance number or getting the lighting just right, members say. Many long-term friendships started with taking part in a production with the Kaatza Lakeside Players, McPhee said.

If you want to learn more, contact Dena McPhee at 250-749-3025.