KST has ambitious plans for 2013

It has been an up and down few years for Kimberley Summer Theatre ­— but things are now looking up.

Carolyn Grant

It has been an up and down few years for Kimberley Summer Theatre ­— they have produced some terrific shows to rave reviews, and they have also had to take a couple of hiatus seasons to regroup.

One such season was last year, and it was a noticeably different in the Platzl without the live musical presentations, which draw locals and tourists alike.

However, the hiatus year allowed the KST Board to plan for the best possible season this coming summer, and they have come up with a formula that they hope will allow them to be sustainable.

The issue of course, is funding. Mounting a summer-long theatre season featuring professional actors is hugely expensive. Through grants, gate receipts and the tireless fundraising efforts of the Board, KST pulls it off every year. But it is difficult, and a few seasons have been cancelled. Another issue is that the gate from the relatively small Centre 64 theatre cannot in itself fund the season — even if it sold out every show.

Kimberley does have a larger venue, the McKim Auditorium, but it is not as suited to theatrical productions as Centre 64 is. McKim has no green room, or much backstage area, which can be problematic with certain shows, especially those requiring elaborate set changes.

However, filling McKim for a few nights would go a long way to providing some needed gate receipts.

The KST Board has come up with a solution for 2013; they will offer two shows, an eight-performance run of the Wizard of Oz at McKim Theatre, and a 22-performance run of another play, which will be named shortly, at Centre 64.

The same actors will perform in both shows, says long time Board member Shirley Rossi.

“We hope that we can get a bigger audience with the McKim shows,” Rossi said.

The Society has its Annual General Meeting coming up this Thursday in the gallery at Centre 64, and the call is out for more board members to step forward.

“We have three board members retiring,” Rossi said. “We need new people. And we will require a number of volunteers for this season, especially for the McKim shows.”

Rossi says there will be a general membership campaign in January. At that time auditions for the summer season will also take place. KST sends a team to performing art colleges in B.C. and Alberta looking for actors. They also do local auditions.

If you are interested in becoming involved with Summer Theatre, you can call Shirley Rossi at 250-427-4561.