VIEWPOINT: Maybe The Playhouse Theatre Company Folding Is A Good Thing

Like many people who live in Metro Vancouver, I have been a fan of the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company. I love theatre; ergo, I love all theatre companies. But I am glad that the Playhouse has folded. I just hope the money that once supported it is fairly invested elsewhere in the local theatre community.

I hugely admire Max Reimer and his board for the tireless and brave effort they put into making the best of an impossible situation. I fault the funders, not the company.

The funders acted like over protective and overly generous parents who spoiled their child so that the child never grew up and became independent. What kind of parent builds a facility for its children and then gives the facility to only one child?

In spite of an outdated concept of supporting a “regional theatre,” the Arts Club Theatre was conceived in the shadow of its heavily funded sibling, and like an neglected child, learned life on the street and mastered the art of self-sufficiency.

The Playhouse produced, masterfully often, around eight shows a year and has few fixed assets against which it can borrow; the Arts Club often produces fifteen or so show a year, several of which tour the province, and they have considerable fixed assets in their many facilities.

Perhaps now the people who once were the Playhouse Theatre Company can resurrect their legacy and start again. But perhaps this change is a gift for us all—theatre producers and theatre lovers alike. Perhaps now the money that once fed a failing patient, can now nourish other companies that can access the prime public theatre space in town, and at more affordable rates.

Chris Tyrell

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Opinions expressed in Viewpoint blog items are those of the contributor and do
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