New Theatre Club Chairman To Focus On Recruiting Members

theatre town hallSt Mary’s Theatre Club has a new Chairman. Gail Sibley took over the top position at their AGM last week.

She’s been a member for 21 years and her vice-chairman will be Dave Chodkiewicz.

The club is going through a period of change as some long-serving members, including Barbara Phillips, Pat Hayden, Sue and Dennis Milligan and Maggie Perkovic have stepped down from their roles.

And encouraging new members will be a key focus for Gail’s chairmanship this year.

She feels succession planning to keep skills within the club is vital but there’ll be more multitasking. The cast can no longer expect to just turn up and perform – they’ll need to help with things like sets and make-up too.

Gail says there are lots of opportunities for members of the community to get involved too, such as artists who might want to help with sets.

And she says the group is not cliquey or a ‘closed shop’ like some mainland dramatic clubs can be.

There was a poor turnout at the auditions for the summer play. Gail says the first session had just two members and at one point, she joked, it looked like her and Kevin Leeman would be performing ‘Educating Rita.’

In the end, they did manage to get more actors and the club is planning to stage the comedy ‘Merely Players.’

Some of the problems with recruitment could be down to timing. Gail feels that their shows form an important part of the islands’ calendar and visitors look forward to the performances.

But they’re also staged at a time when islanders are busiest. Gail says putting on a couple of plays with shorter runs might be less of a commitment.

The pantomime played to reduced crowds this year and the scheduling of the show could change in the future too.

Gail says her aim will be to build on the strengths of the club’s support and talented members whilst introducing new ideas.

The One Act Play Festival has been a success and she hopes to offer new ways to develop islanders’ skills, such as trips to the mainland to attend courses and productions.

Gail’s also keen to see more collaboration with the Five Islands School, which she has been very beneficial to both the school and the club in the past.