World Theatre Day

Happy World Theatre Day. Merry World Theatre Day? World Theatre Day greetings? OK so there is no official way to welcome you to World Theatre Day (WTD). Just for clarification, World Theatre Day is March 27th.

The International Theatre Institute located in Paris, France created WTD in 1971 This day is celebrated worldwide and among many speculations of how theatre first began, is the following fable.

In times well before anyone can remember, men would gather in groups in quarries to keep warm by a fire. They would tell tales to one another. Suddenly one man stood and used his shadow to illustrate his story. Larger than life characters appeared, with the help of lights and shadows against the quarry walls. Without words, the others recognized the many characters, such as the weak and strong, the God and the mortal, the oppressor and the oppressed.Of course now we have spotlights and stage technicians to create the magic of the fire and backdrops and stage ramparts to replace quarry walls. While some may argue that each is appreciated for its presentation, it is indeed still a work in progress and likely always will be.

Theatre is entertainment, drama, joy, music, and costumes. Equally exciting for the performers and audience alike, it has shown in the roots of the Greeks and the British and every culture in between.

William Shakespeare wrote plays that required all-male casts to don female apparel and so they did. While in today?s theatre, a man dressed in drag is used primarily for laughs; it was a necessary component centuries before.

World Theatre Day has been creatively expressed for over forty years. Within our own community we have had several drama groups throughout the years, intermittently.

In 2008, Theatre On The Ridge proudly celebrates its sixth year. In 2002, the club was a youth drama group, created by Vicky LaPrairie and a gaggle of adult helpers, me among them. In 2003 LaPrairie moved from the community and I continued with the youth company until 2004. A combination of youth and a few interested adult actors culminated the desire for an adult theatre group and the Grizzly Valley Players (GVP) were born. GVP has been involved in several originally scripted plays, as well as hosting the community Haunted House, dinner theatres, the District-funded historical Monkmna Musings and much more to come.

GVP has become more involved with the provincial organization Theatre BC. The Peace River Zone Chair is Cynthia Livingstone who has been very helpful in keeping Tumbler Ridge in the loop theatrically. The Peace River Zone competition takes place in Dawson Creek this year between May 7-11. It is the regional competition which results in who goes to Mainstage in the lower mainland in June, including all other BC regions.

If you wish to become involved in the Tumbler Ridge theatre family, either backstage or on stage, we need your help! Costumers, make up and hair technicians, stage crew, carpenters, artists, etc. You name it, we need it. Theatre On The Ridge is a member group of the Tumbler Ridge Community Arts Council. Come and celebrate BC Arts and Culture Week this year, April 20-26. Contact Erin Hanna for further information at 242-3364 or tr_artscouncil@yahoo.com as well as theatreontheridge@yahoo.com