Mary-Jo Hilyer, the president of the Williams Lake Studio Theatre society, has decided along with other members of the board to move the curtain rise back an hour for 2019 in a bid to get more people attending the latenight show times. (Photo by Patrick Davies)

Curtain call an hour earlier in 2019 at Studio Theatre

After audience feedback, the Studio Theatre society takes steps to make show time more accessible.

For the first time in years, the Williams Lake Studio Theatre has decided to move back the opening time of all their remaining plays this season.

This move comes after audience feedback, according to Mary-Jo Hilyer the president of the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society. Hilyer said that in the last year or so many of the Theatre’s long-time supporters have expressed concerns about late night and winter driving.

Most of the Studio Theatre’s plays have, in years past, traditionally started at 8 p.m. and usually wrap up sometime between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. During the winter, when the bulk of their season occurs, it’s the dead of night by the time play ends and, depending on the weather, can also be in treacherous driving conditions.

“The board looked at that just recently and we decided to try a 7:30 p.m. start. The doors will open at 7 p.m. and the show will start at 7:30 p.m. and we’re hoping that will encourage people to come out on those dark winter nights when they’re a little bit hesitant to come out and see our winter plays,” Hilyer said.

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Hilyer said this decision came after consulting the directors and actors of the three remaining plays for the 2018-2019 season and making sure it would work for their schedules. While the change does give actors less turn around time to prepare for the play after work, she said it should work fine. ‘

“We’re just going to do it as a trial one for the next three plays and see how it goes,” Hilyer stated.

She encourages audience members to give feedback on how the time change impacts their enjoyment either online via Facebook or their Website or by talking directly to volunteers selling tickets at the show. Hilyer also mused aloud about putting surveys in each plays program but said that it is not something they’re planning to do, as of the writing of this article.

“It’s hard to say what the future holds but is always nice if a play comes about that involves younger people,” Hilyer said. ”We just always want new people, we always encourage anybody to come.”

The remaining three shows of the 2018-2019 season are the comedy Table Manners, the Shakespearian classic Much Ado About Nothing and the hard-hitting drama Cherry Docs.



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

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