Maple Ridge venue sold – Langley location moving
An open letter from Reg and Erin Parks – Directors of Theatre in the Country.
Dear Patrons of Theatre in the Country and Theatre in the Grove:
In November of this year we at Theatre in the Country found out that both of our rented venues would be unavailable to us in 2018. Our Whonnock and Walnut Grove locations were each undergoing changes that would not allow us to remain there. This news prompted a bit of a mad scramble to find a new location to mount our shows. We have found a great location for Anne of Green Gables in Langley, and are looking into other options at the time of this writing.
We have very much enjoyed our 5 years at 9975 272nd Street in Maple Ridge. It allowed us to get started, and to grow a theatre company we are proud of. This building was owned by very good friends of ours, and we are pleased that this sale has gone through for them. The new owners are very gracious, and are allowing us to keep some items on site as we finalize a new location for our shows.
The honest truth is that we were outgrowing the theatre space in Whonnock. With regular sell-out audiences we had reached a plateau where doing more shows would unfairly burden our volunteer cast and crew, but at the same time would not allow our growing audience to get the tickets they we were after. We needed a bigger space, and the sale has allowed us to begin our search for a new larger location.
WALNUT GROVE LOCATION
Northwest Langley Baptist Church took us on as an experiment for a year, and were very kind hosts and allowed us to disturb their regular flow of church work as we put up our shows. With the church planning new events and ministry work to the community it became apparent that we would be too much of a hindrance for them. We deeply appreciate this congregations support of our efforts and the arts in general.
Being in Walnut Grove allowed us to see a significant growth in our attendance, and increased pressure on our volunteers as we moved shows across the river 4 times in 2017 in order to meet the needs of our audience in Maple Ridge and Langley. We realized that the idea of moving shows across the river was good on paper, but it put a lot of weight on the people most involved with us: actors, crew and other volunteers.
We have come to the conclusion that it will be best for our team and ultimately for our audience if we only put shows up in one location. This will allow us to focus on mounting quality shows more than the logistics of moving shows around. We are looking on both sides of the Fraser River to find a place that accommodates 150 or more for dinner, has a great stage space area, has a kitchen, and is central to the largest portion of our audience as possible. As you probably have guessed, that type of space is hard to come by. We fully recognize that these kind of changes are hard on everyone from actor to audience, and we are so very grateful to the support we have received thus far from all corners. So far our best option for spaces seem to be in Langley, and we know that is hard for our Maple Ridge and especially our Mission audience members to hear.
We are so grateful to our patrons, participants and volunteers. The last 5 years have been such a joy. We have mounted 23 shows, over a dozen improv nights, and made so many friends in the process. We hope and trust that you will journey with us to wherever we may land.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at all: firstname.lastname@example.org or at 604-259-9737 ext. 2
Thank you for your support
Reg and Erin Parks