There is no handbook on “How to Lead a Not-for-Profit Theatre Company Through a Pandemic.” We are writing our own script as we go. These have truly been and continue to be unprecedented times.
It felt like the pandemic took the wind out of our sails when we had to make the difficult decision to cancel a show so close to production; the first time in our 75 years and hopefully the last. But what we’ve learned in the last 75 years, is that we are a strong society and a resilient VOS family.
Along with you, I was deeply saddened to find my life without theatre. It is such a big part of our lives and we were left so empty, so quickly. But this is just an intermission……
After the Board caught its breath, the creative juices began to flow. My focus was to keep our members engaged and connected to VOS and to continue to provide a musical theatre experience to our audience. With this focus in mind, the Board began to create some innovative ways to accomplish this.
It’s been a very different season for VOS but we have much to celebrate. I am proud of what we’ve created and how we forge ahead with respect and compassion for each other and an openness to new ideas and doing business in a new way….for the short term.
Here are some of the highlights from the past 6 months:
- Guy Chester, and his team including Jeff Norton, Roger Lamarche, Alykhan Ismail, Rob Payter and Matt Schmidt, turned the hall into a black box theatre
- Rob McDonald and Al MacKenzie equipped the hall with the technology we need to produce streamed events/shows
- Lal O’Connor and Peta MacKenzie continue costume rentals for members and local film
- Tara Britt continues to do an amazing job teaching her fantastic teen musical theatre class with her wonderful music director Yanik Giroux
- We produced three virtual events: two cabarets Bringing Back Broadway and A Love Letter and a wonderful Christmas show, Home for the Holidays; special thanks to Alison Roberts for her wonderful fundraising ideas and to Alison, Dan Comeau and Doug Crockett for the countless hours of work they put into these events; huge thanks also to all others involved in the success of our virtual events including: Pedro Siqueira, Rob McDonald, Suzan Pyke, Drinda Ribeiro, Sandi Norton, Jane Milliken, Al MacKenzie, Lally O’Connor, Peta MacKenzie, Cam Callum, David Hardwick, Jennifer Sanders, Megan Stretch, Jessica Charlesworth, Kelley O’Connor, Tim Roberts, Janet Hender, Mary-Lynne Britt, Dustin and Emma Wilde, Jennifer Magnusson, Guy Chester, and to all of the VOS members who shared their talent
- Our Future Shows committee continues to research show options in these everchanging times, there are some exciting choices on the table; thanks to Mandy Wiltshire and her committee for their perseverance and patience
Thank you to the volunteers who continue to be at the ready to support VOS while we do business a little differently.
Thank you to all of our members for supporting our virtual events and continuing to renew your memberships.
I couldn’t ask for a more dedicated and hard-working Board to get through a pandemic. Thank you for your energy, enthusiasm and ideas!
Stay safe and healthy everyone! I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s pointed at center stage.