Just sittin’ around chewin’ the fat in the 2017 production of ‘The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby’ are, from left, Sienna (Leslie Lewis Street), Rhonda (Erika Blume), James (Graham Fielding) and Kirk (Terry Pool). (Lexi Bainas/Gazette file)

VIDEO: Time to step up to save Cowichan Lake’s Kaatza Lakeside Players

Cowichan Lake’s theatre group is in desperate need of volunteers, will close if none come forward

Is Cowichan Lake going to lose the Kaatza Lakeside Players?

Things are getting dire at the theatre company.

Posters, a mail-out, and word of mouth are all being used to spread the word: “A resolution to dissolve the society will have to be prepared if we do not have a complete board of directors assigned by Feb. 11, 2019.”

It’s all about community theatre.

Everyone is invited to come to a special meeting starting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11 in the Lower Centennial Hall.

The group is desperate.

“If a whole bunch of folks don’t show up on Feb. 11 so that young and old may continue to enjoy the benefits of theatre in our community, the Kaatza Lakeside Players will have to fold.”

“We need eight to 12 board directors with interest in social media, advertising/marketing, promotions, fundraising, finances, wardrobe, theatre lighting/sound, and an executive made up of president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary,” the poster announces.

The Kaatza Lakeside Players Society is a registered charitable society with a net worth of more than $85,000, theatrical lighting and sound equipment, hundreds of costumes and accessories, countless set pieces, props and building supplies, an extensive library of scripts, and a working relationship with the Cowichan Valley Regional District to use the space in Centennial Hall as the theatre.

The group has produced more than 65 shows since 1985.

This is not the first time that a call has gone out for volunteers to help keep the group going.

In a note sent out last weekend, theatre stalwart Dena McPhee said, “At the last Annual General Meeting, June 2018, the Players had elected 12 board members and a lot of enthusiasm for upcoming productions with two new stage directors. Gradually, new board members withdrew and some didn’t show up at all. The board now holds only five people — all seniors and all are very worn out. The latest production, in November 2018, was Fractured Fairy Tales which featured a mix of teens and adults and ran for seven well attended shows.

“The Players need newer, younger and eager members who are keen to want the legacy of community theatre in Lake Cowichan to survive and to thrive.

“The current technical director is not a board member but still very willing to continue to provide lights and sound. Currently the Players have two stage directors.

“If you have any interest in the many benenfits of live theatre for your kids or for yourself or for your friends, please stand up and be counted for the arts. If the Kaatza Lakeside Players Society cannot field a full Board of Directors by Feb. 11, 2019, a Resolution to Dissolve will be drawn up and followed through with. The Players will sadly end.”

Just over a year ago, there were similar concerns, McPhee said.

“The [Society’s] membership was huge when we did Annie and then we didn’t do a Christmas play and the interest went down…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, to 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. Many long-term friendships started with taking part in a production with the Kaatza Lakeside Players.

So, if you are interested, have enjoyed shows in the past, or would like to take part in the future in some way, get on up to the hall on Monday and hear what they have to say.



lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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