By Melissa Jameson, special to the Revelstoke Times Review
It’s not finished yet, but even amidst all the construction Revelstoke’s new community theatre — housed inside the new Revelstoke Secondary School — is a sight to behold. With an orchestra section, three catwalks, and seating for 275 among some of its features the potential uses for the new theatre are numerous. So it may come as a surprise that the theatre doesn’t appear to have been a high priority for the Ministry of Education.
“The Ministry (of Education) said come up with projects, but don’t expect a theatre,” said School District 19 board chair Alan Chell. However, Chell said the Revelstoke community was unified in the theatre being the highest priority.
Luckily, the Ministry of Education listened and the theatre was included as part of the school district’s Neigbourhoods of Learning Project. According to information on the school district’s website, Neighbourhoods of Learning Projects are “intended to promote opportunities for people to access education and community services under one roof.”
In order to ensure the needs of the community were met, the architect involved in the new schools project hired a theatre consultant who then met with local theatre groups. Among those involved in the consultation meetings was Revelstoke Theatre Company’s Lyn Kaulback. Kaulback said there were four meetings held with the consultants, which went very well and ideas and requested changes were taken into consideration.
“They did make some changes, and when they couldn’t make changes they let us know why those changes wouldn’t work,” said Kaulback.
Chell said the School District would likely start meeting with various groups that may have an interest in using the theatre sometime in mid September.
“I know we have a couple of very active dance classes and so they may want to use the theatre for recitals,” said Chell.
While the high school is scheduled to open sometime in October, Revelstokians will have to wait a tiny bit longer to see the new theatre. The tentative opening date is set for Feb. 1st, 2012.
“It will be a real treat. It’s state of the art,” said Chell.
While the stage isn’t set quite yet, plans are already in the works for another Community Musical to take place in March 2012. Both Kaulback and Chell are encouraging anyone with an interest in community theatre to get involved.
“Even if it’s an area of theatre you have an interest in, but know nothing about,” said Kaulback.
While a musical still has yet to be selected, volunteers are already being sought. In particular there is a need for a recital pianist and a choral director.
“I’m convinced off stage talent is as important as on stage,” Chell