It’s a New Year

A new year, a new theatre season, a time for more dreams to come true. Gate House Theatre saw many new face come through the doors in 2017 as it produced four large productions, held many different events and saw an increase in its After School Drama Program. We said goodbye to a couple of our core thespians and volunteers as the stage greeted a few new comers to take center stage and the spot light. 2017 for the Theatre was full of hard work and growth.

            As the curtains opened on our Orcafest opening night performance of Wiley Wild West, murmurs of “wow” and “look at that set” could be heard amongst the audience. This reaction is because of the dedication of creative volunteers and talented carpenters who, beyond exceeded in creating a versatile, stun worthy set piece. The design of the piece allows the set to be dismantled and assembled relatively easily. A big thank you for making a big dream of Gate House Theatres first multi functioning set come true.

            Dedicated volunteers and their handy work can be seen throughout the Theatre. Next time you visit, make sure to enjoy the newly painted foyer, the costumes, the set design, the stage lighting and sound system. All of these experiences took countless hours, donated by very talented volunteers. So, when will you come to the Theatre next? Gate House Community Association has continually brought new Pre-Release Movies to the Theatre that play Friday evenings at 7pm. Look at our website www.gatehouseca.org at the beginning of every month or view our Facebook page weekly to see what is playing.

            “All the best performers bring to their roles something more, something different then what the author put on paper. That’s what make theatre live. That’s why it persists” -Stephen Sondheim. A new Theatre season is beginning for Gate House Theatre and the Gate House Players. Unfortunately, due to the large time and commitment demand a play of this calibre would require, we are not able to produce/preform Arsenic and Old Lace for you this Spring. Though the production team and thespians are disappointed with the outcome, we are still left with a glimmer of hope that will wonder day see this play on our stage in the future.

            North Island youth will be taking the center stage this Spring. Come April, the After School Juniors will be taking the spot light performing Looking Glass Land, a play based on the tales of Alice in Wonderland. Missoula Children’s Theatre will be joining us this April, giving the children the opportunity to explore the tale of Gulliver’s Travels. For more information about MCT please visit their website at http://mctinc.org/ . In May, the After School Seniors will be taking center stage performing their own adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. The group have been working together this past fall and winter to create and write their script. From all the laughter that could be heard during their writing sessions, this production is sure to have an entertaining twist on a tale as old as time.

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The Wheat in the Barley

On October 18th, to help celebrate the full harvest moon, the Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill is showcasing one of western Canada’s hottest instrumental groups, in a community concert that will be the highlight of a Thanksgiving tour through most of the schools on the north end of Vancouver Island.
The Wheat in the Barley first turned heads with an exotic brew of high-energy instrumentals drawing on traditions mainly from the fertile ground of Celtic and Slavic cultures. Years of intense musical creativity through hundreds of sizzling shows have since forged them into a hot Canadian roots fusion band, building their uniquely Canadian sound on a rich multi-cultural foundation.
Now, they are giving students educational concerts sampling music of the many cultures that have made up the Canadian mosaic over the years.
They’ve created fresh and daring interpretations of French Canadian fiddle tunes and Maritimes songs, original songs written by guitarist Steve Gidora and fiddler Nicole Scoffield, and rollicking instrumentals written by accordionist Victor Smith. Wind specialist Mark Dowding on flute, whistles, harmonica and saxes adds a jazzy edge and energy to everything they do. Together, they light a roaring fire under a multi-cultural cauldron of folk music, funky rhythms and fun for all.
“What do you have to do to follow an act like that? Set your beard on fire??” said Valdy, getting on stage after they dazzled the Panorama Music Festival in Invermere recently.
A special treat is the return of a native Vancouver Island girl to her own roots, in the person of their brilliant violinist, Nicole. She was born and raised in Port Alberni, where she learned to play violin from the tender age of 4. She later obtained her music degree at the University of Victoria before moving to the mainland where she now teaches music, as does Mark.
Various members of the “Wheaties” have played with, or opened for, legendary folk artists such as Stan Rogers, Valdy, Ann Mortifee, Odetta and Figgy Duff, and the group recently opened for The Chieftains at Fusion Fest in Surrey.
Years of classical training, seasoned by decades of collective touring experience, have produced a solid, professional troupe who have developed their own funky brand of folk-jazz-dance fusion that gets people of all ages up onto their feet in a hurry. In fact, just about everyone who hears them is blown away by the musical magic which comes from years of concert touring and festival experience that each member brings to this band.
Tickets will be available at the theatre at 7:00 pm on Friday, with special youths’ and seniors’ prices for those under 16 or over 65, and a family group rate of only $25. The music will start at 7:30 pm.  More about the musicians, with photos and multimedia, is available on their website:www.wheatinthebarley.com.
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Winter Light Nights

 On Sunday November 27, our town Chamber of Commerce is putting on our annual Winter Light Nights. Starting at 7pm in the IGA parking lot, we light up the trees as we make our way down to waterfront. Santa Claus will of course be making an appearence in all his merry splendor. Hot Chocolate and candy canes for all. After Santa, come to the Gate House Theater and watch the classic Christmas movie, Frosty The Snowman. Admission Free. So find your inner Town Spirit and come join us as we all start off this Season with a little bit of  North Island Christmas togetherness.