With the local chapters of Beta Sigma Phi no longer providing ushering services at the Townshend Theatre come month’s end, volunteers still are being sought to take over.
“I’ve had just four people call me,” noted Marlene McQuarrie, who sits on the theatre management board.
“So we really need to get some more people who are willing to help out,” she stressed.
McQuarrie is heading the group of volunteers who will man the theatre during events there, such as for “tour de Fort” and “Kids and Co.” shows, as well as high school productions and dance recitals.
She noted those who volunteer as ushers receive free admission to the show at which they are working, but added they also have to monitor the crowd, take tickets, and help people to their seats—and do it all in a polite yet efficient manner.
McQuarrie feels another benefit to being an usher at the theatre is seeing how much people enjoy the entertainment.
“For me, the greatest enjoyment is the children’s productions,” she enthused. “When I see the kids in that theatre get so involved with what’s going on on the stage, whether it’s a magician or a clown act or whatever it is.
“The kids totally enjoy it and so do the adults.
“There are adults and older people coming out of the theatre that are just overwhelmed with their experience in the theatre,” she added. “And for me, that’s the greatest benefit—the enjoyment people get out of it.
“It’s very rewarding.”
McQuarrie said both men and women are welcome to volunteer as ushers.
And while they are not required to work every event, a team leader would be appointed to make calls to the volunteers and find ushers for each show.
“Sorority has been doing it for 10 years, since the day it [the theatre] opened,” noted George Bell, the town’s Community Services manager. “They’ve done a great job and we’re very appreciative of their efforts.”
McQuarrie feels once a solid group of volunteers is formed, supplying ushers will continue smoothly.
But one new thing she would like to see in the future is that groups using the theatre make a donation to something in Fort Frances, such as the museum, library, Salvation Army, etc., for their volunteer efforts of ushering for their event.
“That way, we can use the volunteers who man the theatre as doing something else good for the town, as well,” she remarked, citing there are some groups that use the theatre that make a profit from their event while others don’t.
“A $10 donation to the Salvation Army, for example, would be good and not a whole lot out-of-pocket,” McQuarrie reasoned.
“So that would extend it beyond the volunteering for the theatre and could be good for other things, as well.”
Those interested in serving as ushers for events at the Townshend Theatre are asked to contact McQuarrie at 274-4585 or Bell at 274-4561.
McQuarrie said they’ll arrange for training, a walk through the theatre, and explain exactly what is involved.