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I have sat, read and reread a lot of the comments on the Theatre Victoria article a few times now. I sit here very saddened by this article. I have gone back and forth between thinking if I should write a comment or just let this one go but since I have history here I figured I would voice some concerns about the comments being written and the story as a whole.

My history with this organization began the year of my birth 1977 when my parents along with a small group of close friends in 1976 started this organization as a way for them to do theatre together during the summers. A lot of those people who started this organization still live in this community, my parents included and I often wonder how they feel about what Theatre Victoria has become from its meager beginnings to now. I am delighted to say that from time to time I see some of these “forefathers” as I like to think of them on the stage in various roles, still getting giggles and praises for great performances or in some of their cases still creating beautiful scenery and lighting and it make me smile. I spent many a summer of my youth doing musicals with this organization and have fond memories of watching my mom, dad and little brother on stage. It was always a family summer tradition and one that I hope to pass on to my daughter when she is old enough. That is the thing too this organization has always welcomed children into rehearsals and in the past few months kids at rehearsals has been frowned upon. This organization instilled a love of theatre that I hold dear even today. I have always said that it takes a village to raise a child and both my brother and I were raised by these wonderful people and for that I am grateful.

I have seen this organization change throughout the years I can say that sometimes it has not always been for the best but that is the case with all organizations that go through any sort of growing pains. The one thing that has remained constant no matter what is volunteers driving this organization to grow. Theatre Victoria is dependant on volunteers in all aspects of it daily running life and sometimes those volunteers become friends, lifetime friends. The thing that seems to tie all of these volunteers from generation to generation is the drive to give Victoria quality theatre, and in an age where Broadway is as easily accessible as renting a DVD or pulling up a clip on you tube the public is very aware of what is good theatre and what is not. It sickens me to write this but the quality of theatre shows that have been produced at the theatre lately have not been of the quality that Victoria residents expect from Theatre Victoria or more then that are not of the quality that Victoria residents deserve (contrary to what the author at the Advocate who reviews the shows thinks, which makes me wonder this persons credibility to be critiquing shows in the first place but that is another story all together). And so the question is poised how long do you let sub-par theatre go on before taking action? After nine months, four productions and the quality not showing and signs of improving sometimes it is just time to clean house and start over before you have no more audience and no more volunteers. After all theatre is for an audience and an actor can not play to an empty seat just as an audience member can not enjoy a bare stage. I do want to mention that moving Theatre Victoria into becoming a regional theater had been started by Scott Mohon long before Charles took over so really let’s put that credit where credit is due there.

In regards to people not welcoming new people which seem to be a major issue, I had moved away from Victoria for over ten years (doing college and theatre in other areas of the state), and was welcomed into theatre Victoria (mind you a new group of volunteers had popped up in the years I had left) with open arms (and an aside here I have only been in one show since my return due to a busy schedule and not because of some supposed boycott).

In my opinion this is just a case of a person who was not a good fit for this organization and it's expectations. Did he have the credentials to do the job that can be debated. Did the board rush into picking a new director before really viewing all the options that also can be debated. What can not be debated is that the damage is done and now is the time to rebuild, to call to action all those sleeper theatre folks from generations before and try and unify as a non-profit organization whose purpose is to give Victoria the gift of theatre.

Instead of having this stupid debate of who did what and who is at fault and supposed conspiracy theories lets focus on the fact that there is a show going on boards in February and day to day routines have to go back into place for this show to be a success. Let’s focus on the future and not dwell on the past. Let’s rebuild to leave something for the next generation of Victoria theatre kids to be able to love and write about years from now.