Anyone who has seen a theatrical or musical performance, performance art, or anything else that happens live on a stage, knows the magic that can come from that experience. Sitting down and watching one of the most vulnerable forms a person be in, something that cannot be recreated in any other medium. VIU has been the home to student and community productions alike, it is the home of the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival, and has been a staple of the city of Nanaimo rivaled only, perhaps, by the Port Theatre.
In 40 years, with the innumerable amount of productions, and people coming to watch, it makes sense that the space would fall victim to more than its fair share of wear and tear. As such, this year the Malaspina Theatre has launched a special fundraising effort to bring new seats and other much needed renovations into reality. Just as actors must eventually retire, so too must chairs from time to time.
Funds will be raised through the purchasing of tiered seat dedications. Those who decide to purchase a dedication will find their names, or the name of their business, on a seat and the donor wall in the lobby. The dedications range from $100 to $500 for the various tears, and each has a different set of benefits. While tier prices may seem a bit steep for a student population—parting with $100 can be a bit daunting for me anyways—Alumni Relations and Annual Campaign Officer Kamala Haughton mentioned to me that there had already been a group of students who pooled their resources and had their names added to seats.
At the time of writing there are a total of 294 seats requiring dedication, and 31 have been dedicated so far. Leon Potter, the new Chair of the Theatre Department, has released a video explaining the campaign, and expressed the importance of the facelift.
“The seats here are the original seats that have been here for literally 40 years, and like most people after 40 years of working, the knees start to creak and groan. The theatre acts as more than just a drama department—for a lot of students this is their first impression of the campus as a whole. This is where they do their orientation”.
Oscar Wilde said, “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” Be part of that, and help our theatre get its encore.
For more information, and to donate, visit viu.ca/giving/encore.asp.