Local Theatre Group Denies ‘Mark Twain’ Rumours

Heritage building gets new coat of paint — no subterfuge involved!

Passers-by flocked to help paint the Studio Stage Door when they saw how much fun it looked like.

Passers-by flocked to help paint the Studio Stage Door when they saw how much fun it looked like.

For the Townsman

There is no truth to the rumours that the Cranbrook Community Theatre (CCT) is planning a performance of Mark Twain’s classic Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  The false rumour spread quickly on Saturday last when it appeared that auditions were being held for the whitewashing scene, as ten or so of the usual thespians were seen to be whitening the Studio/Stage Door Building.

Further investigation proved that the event was merely a group of volunteers who had answered a call from Terry Miller (member CCT Board of Directors) to come paint the building.  The coffee pot was on and Sally Passey had baked brownies.

“Apparently that’s all that is needed to get these great volunteers to spend a Saturday morning  to help preserve this great heritage gem in our city,” said building manager, Kevin Higgins.

Laurie and Sandy Kay had arrived from Wasa early in the day to get things started with their very stylish white plastic coveralls.  They even provided one for Joanne Wilkerson from Kimberley.  Also from Kimberley were Gerry and Marge (CCT Board Member) Kemp.  Gerry provided great leadership from a wonderful garden chair as he dipped and dabbed the white latex covering over the peeling structure.

Marty Uri of Cranbrook was the high painter for the day having the longest reach and no fear of heights.  Melodie Hull of Miss Melodie’s School for Fine Young Ladies at Sam Steele Days, traded the gowns of yesteryear for some good old painting clothes and proceeded to caringly cover the Studio/Stage Door’s roughed and scuffed exterior.

Lorraine Harvey (CCT President) managed to get more paint on the building than on herself, a feat that was not matched by some of the crew.

The Cranbrook Community Theatre Society have been the stewards of the Studio/Stage Door building for over 40 years.  The structure, originally built by the Masons in 1909, is owned by the city and rented to the CCT Society.  “Our role as stewards of the building is to see to its upkeep and ensure it is available to the Cranbrook Community as an extremely valuable asset in the downtown core,” said Higgins.

“It is difficult and costly to run a structure that is over 100 years old.  The building really needs to be painted top to bottom, but we don’t have the funds to get that done.  We called our members and friends and we are able to look after the most needed part of the exterior,” Higgins continued.

Keeping up this structure required a lot of dedication and commitment from this volunteer society.  And many folks are willing to help out.  In the past two weeks Gert deGroot of Cranbrook has provided a couple of rather difficult pieces.  Some of the boards and a railing were disintegrating, and had to be replaced.  These special pieces, in keeping with the heritage nature of the building, cannot be purchased in a lumber yard.  They had to be especially milled to the design and standard of the original 1909 designs.

The building has a 1,000 square foot studio on the main floor and an 83-seat theatre with stage upstairs.  To rent this space, call office manager, Tanis Tomlin at 250-426-2490.

Watch for three productions for the 2015-16 season: Making God Laugh in October, Cat on a Hot Tim Roof in January and The Odd Couple in April.