LETTERS: Assiginack council’s support for Burn’s Wharf Players welcomed

Congratulations to the town council for finally deciding to help out a bit

To the Expositor:

Great news that the Township of Assiginack has decided to help out the Burns Wharf Theatre Players. The theatre troupe has been one of the more resilient and successful enterprises that the town of Manitowaning has had since they began putting on shows at Burns Wharf. Not only has it given local residents a chance to take to the stage and get involved in a creative endeavor, tapping into parts of themselves they may otherwise never knew they had, their plays have consistently drawn sold out crowds, bringing in visitors from across the Island down to the otherwise sleepy waterfront of Manitowaning Bay.

They have had to overcome more than their share of obstacles along the way, but they’ve soldiered on without complaint, pooling their resources and donating their time to overcome these hurdles to put on shows that continually surprise, from the onstage talent (my God, they sing!) to the always splendid costumes and elaborate sets that many of their plays require. And let’s not forget the behind-the-scenes opportunities it has given people, young and old alike, who run the lights, collect the tickets or make the flyers. It’s a lot of work, virtually all of volunteer, but that’s what community theatre is all about: creating a feeling that if everybody does their part, then those parts together will constitute a far greater whole. Simply living near to people does not a community create. Communities are created when those living in close proximity to each other do something together, sacrifice a little of themselves, to create something larger than themselves. 

These days, with people more and more content to stay inside, online, or bowing down to their home theatre investments, wrapped up in the latest Netflix offering, community theatres such as the Burns Wharf Theatre Players become even more important in pulling people out of their insular home kingdoms to congregate, congratulate and postulate about any number of things that people do when they get together and look each other in the eye.

The little wharf down at the bay has historically been overlooked, dwarfed by the hulking Norisle and the towering Roller Mills, but it’s been a far more valuable and ongoing addition to the town than either of those two larger structures. It’s the little engine that could, and its engineers have always been the Burns Wharf Theatre Players.

So, congratulations to town council for finally deciding to help out a bit. One can’t help but wonder why they seemed reluctant to do so in the first place.

D’Arcy Closs