‘Little Theatre’ meeting slated

Heather Latter

With Fort Frances Little Theatre moving into its new digs at McMillan Hall (Knox United Church), the group is holding a meeting there next Tuesday (April 5) to get more community members involved.
“We really want the community involved because it’s not just Little Theatre and plays, I think it’s going to be a whole lot more,” enthused Cathy Richards.
She recently was digging through boxes that were brought over from their storage unit and found correspondence back as far is 1967.
“So that means Little Theatre will be 50 years old [next year], which is kind of neat,” Richards noted.
“And back then, in the minutes, they were looking for a home.”
Richards said she discovered they were sending letters out looking for a permanent home for their lights and to do plays in 1968.
Then in ’77, another letter went out.
“So the theme hasn’t changed in all these years, but we do finally have a home now and I’m hoping that it’s one that will be a partnership for a long time,” she remarked.
And Richards has some big plans in the works for the local theatre group.
As such, she’s looking for people to fill a variety of roles from actors and directors to more behind-the-scenes aspects like play selection and writers, as well as someone to do PR, props, and costumes.
“Now that we have a space, we can have a little stock of props and some costumes,” she noted.
“And it would be really nice to start fresh with all of our sets,” added Richards, saying she will be looking for people to work on sets for productions.
“It will be nice because the venue will remain the same,” she reasoned.
“We used to have to build and cut and work around wherever we were, whether it was the Townshend Theatre or the Cornell barn.
“We really had to expand or cut down, so this will be nice because it will be consistent.”
Richards also wants to get a committee together and, working with the church, do some renovations to McMillan Hall.
She’d also like to find someone to write grant proposals, and to use some funds to purchase new tables and chairs.
Some other positions needing to be filled include a planning director and an activities director.
“The church is really interested in us doing more than just plays there,” Richards explained.
“We’re thinking about doing a haunted house, a drama camp, and workshops.
“Our mandate has always stayed the same and that’s to promote theatre in the area,” she added.
“We now have a place where we can bring people in to do workshops or to do productions.”
Richards even suggested there’s a possibility to build partnerships with other communities, such as International Falls and Kenora, who also have local theatre groups.
“If we got together, we could maybe tour plays or share plays,” she remarked.
“We’re now in a position to do that kind of stuff.”
Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at McMillan Hall.
“Everybody is welcome to come,” Richards stressed. “Even if you’ve never been interested in going on stage, just backstage.
“And anyone who is interested in seeing what Little Theatre has been doing and what possibilities there are,” she added.
“We’re looking for everybody to come out.”
Richards also is planning to announce the next play the group will be doing.
“It will be the first of a few meetings coming up,” she remarked.
“I’m hoping this will be a real community venture and that’s what Knox United is looking for, too.”
Richards encourages everyone to check out Fort Frances Little Theatre on Facebook.
For those who can’t make Tuesday’s meeting but are interested in being involved, Richards said they can leave a message on the Facebook group or call her at 271-0389.