Steve Anderson

Community theatre rocks

New plans staged for old Sooke community theatre group

When Stagewest Players became Sooke Harbour Players a shift happened. That shift was in the name which was not as recognizable to many community theatre fans. Since 1981 thespians, singers, dancers and musicians have been entertaining Sooke audiences with such productions as South Pacific, Grease, On Golden Pond, The Pirates of Penzance and scores of other well-known and not so well-known musicals, plays and theatre performances.

Community theatre is the one place where whole families can get involved, a place where young and old are valued for their contributions and where you don’t need physical prowess to succeed.

Steve Anderson is the new president of Sooke Harbour Players and he wants to jump start his term with a new focus and energy. His first all out theatre show was Howl and it got him more hooked on being involved on the stage, not just behind it.

He spent the last three years as director for Fawlty Towers.

“Community theatre is vitally important, not everyone is involved in sports and there is a void for creative types, they need an outlet,” said Anderson.

He wants more people to join the players group. Being involved is free, although there is a small fee for membership (individuals $15 and family $25).

“There’s no cost to participate. Parents, if you want to keep your kid off the street, send them to us. If they (the kids) are seeking attention, this is the best way to get it,” he said.

Sooke Harbour Players involve kids — a lot. They can be involved on the stage singing and dancing, or behind the scenes working and learning about theatre by doing sound, lights, costumes, make up, front of house or sets, you name it. The same goes for adults. There are some slots to fill and Anderson said they are seeking a music director who could take over, as well as some assistant directors.

Upcoming is Show Time a production with an issue important to many — bullying or in this case anti-bullying.

“It will be positive and self-empowering,” Anderson stated, “and it will have skits and music.”

They have the theme but they don’t yet have a title. Rehearsals will restart in January, with the show scheduled for the spring. Other plans include a possible dinner theatre in the spring.

Sooke Harbour Players are involved in a number of other productions coming to Sooke — Barney Bentall and the Grand Cariboo Opry on November 17. They are working backstage and front of house for the one-of-a-kind variety show featuring some of B.C.’s best musicians.

The players are also helping with Seussical, a Dr. Seuss musical performed by Langford’s Four Seasons Musical Theatre.

“Since we didn’t have a huge fall show, we thought we would help with these,” said Anderson.