Yes, actually, we work in the wintertime

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It’s a quiet week in Blyth: Those holiday hangover days when most of the shops on the downtown snow-covered strip are closed down while owners and staff recover from a few busy weeks of commerce.

In this lull, which is still six months away from the opening of our 45th Season of professional summer theatre, our staff of five inevitably gets asked the question: Do you work during the wintertime?

The answer is a resounding “yes”.

It’s taken some time to get here, but our five main stage plays for the season, including two world premieres, have been confirmed. One of the productions in our studio space is ready to be announced, but there’s still a second one to be worked out. In addition, about 30 special events to mark our 45th Season are on the planning boards.

There’s extra work this year, with preparations already under way for the flight of The Pigeon King to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, April 24 to May 5. There will be the logistics of rehearsals and travel thrown into the usual mix of winter activity.

The puzzle of actors, designers, managers and crew is carefully being assembled, followed up by all the paperwork that goes along with that. Soon, the hunt will begin for housing in our small community for the 50 or so people who will come here to work for as long as six months.

Relationships continue with community-minded sponsors and donors who have helped us to develop new plays and stage our seasons. Applications for funding sources to support our work are being filled out. And the fund-raiser run of True Confessions from the Ninth Concession has been finalized for May 23 to 25.

Artwork for marketing is being finalized and then the work begins to design ads, brochures and other materials to promote the season to patrons close to home, throughout Southern Ontario and into the U.S.

There was a flurry of sales of passes this holiday season, which members will begin to convert to tickets very shortly. On Jan. 7, our highest level of membership started to chose their play dates and seats for this coming season. Box office opens to the general public on April 1.

In no time, the first wave of actors and crew will descend on Blyth, and then we’ll be in the thick of our 45th Season.

By Heather Boa, Director of Marketing