The Belleville Theatre Guild

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The Belleville Theatre Guild Inc. Logo

The Belleville Theatre Guild is a community theatre company located in Belleville, Ontario, founded in 1951. The company is housed by the Pinnacle Playhouse in the heart of downtown.

Current Season

  • February 4-20, 2016 - Later Life by A.R. Gurney, directed by Steve Forrester [1]
  • April 7-23, 2016 - For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again by Michel Tremblay, directed by Heather Barker [2]
  • June 2-16, 2016 - The Music Man by Meredith Willson, directed by David Kidd [3]

Mandate

"The Belleville Theatre Guild Inc. will actively promote participation, interest and enjoyment in quality live theatre by providing leadership, instruction, education and entertainment in all of the theatre arts." [4]

Company History

Irene and Bill Doyal and Margaret and Harold Robbins were frequent guests in the home of Gladys and Bert Simpson [5] ; the group would read play-texts together "just for fun" [6]. On one such occasion in 1951 [7], they were joined by friends who were part of "a Toronto theatre troupe," who acted out a play for the Simpsons and the rest of their guests [8]. It was Mrs. Doyal who found the experience so enjoyable that she proclaimed that this variety of entertainment "should be city-wide" [9].

Gladys and Bert Simpson then planned a casual performance of The Voice of the People to take place on their veranda at their house on Rednersville Road, and invited all who might be interested in seeing their performance [10]. In a 1997 interview, Mrs. Simpson stated, "After [the performance] was through, somebody handed me a bouquet of dead flowers from my own garden. It was wonderful!" [11] ; the performance was met with enough enthusiasm to prompt the Simpsons and their friends to pursue the foundation of a theatre company.

The Simpsons met with the interested parties "at the Dickens Tea Room in the fall of 1951 to plan a public meeting in the Corby Library to form their group" [12]. The Belleville Theatre Guild was officially founded on June 25th, 1951 [13]; the first board of directors included "Irene Doyal [as] the first president, Bert Simpson the vice-president" [14]. Gladys Simpson went on to perform "in the early plays" [15].

The guild became very accomplished early-on in its life, as its production of The Voice of the People by Robertson Davies, "one of the first one-act plays [produced]" by the company [16], "went on to win the Eastern Drama League Festival and was invited to the Dominion Drama Festival" within a year of the inception of the Belleville Theatre Guild [17].

After "the fifties [being] very successful" [18], the Belleville Theatre Guild struggled in popularity and finances for some time thanks to audiences turning their attention to television [19] and the theatre having "no home to operate from" [20]. The guild eventually acquired an old building downtown on Pinnacle street in 1969 [21]. It was renovated, renamed the Pinnacle Playhouse, and has been the home of the Belleville Theatre Guild ever since [22] ; according to the company, the building has been "the source of [their] success" [23].

The Belleville Theatre Guild takes great pride in having "provided [a variety of] quality theatre" [24] over its existence. Their contributions to the Belleville theatre community include "plays, musicals, and theatre-related workshops" [25]. Their outreach programmes, through the help of volunteers and "the occasional paid professional" [26], have brought theatre training to people of all ages and levels of experience in the theatre field [27].

The Belleville Theatre Guild celebrated its 60th anniversary in its 2011/2012 season [28]. Belleville Theatre Guild co-founder Gladys Simpson, at the age of 103 [29], was present for the 60th anniversary season's production of Anne of Green Gables [30]. Current company president Dave Henderson stated that Mrs. Simpson's visits were "a highlight" [31] of the anniversary season.

Co-founder Gladys Simpson, surrounded by the cast of the Belleville Theatre Guild's production of Anne of Green Gables (2012).
[32]

Performance History

The Belleville Theatre Guild has produced over three hundred plays and musicals since its founding in 1951. [33] Information on these productions can be found through the company website's History of Performances. [34]

2015

  • It's a Wonderful Life, adapted for radio-on-stage by Anthony E. Palermo and directed by Bill Petch [35]
  • The Drowsy Chaperone, by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison and directed by Moira Nicknamer-Forrester [36]
  • Jake's Women, by Neil Simon and directed by Phil Bowerman [37]
  • The Woman in Black, book by Susan Hill and directed by Stephen Mallatratt [38]

2014

  • A Christmas Carol, written by Charles Dickens, adapted by Christopher Schario, and directed by Dave Henderson [39]
  • And Then There Were None, written by Agatha Christie and directed by Lise Lindenberg [40]

Company Information

Board of Directors (2015-2016 Season) [41]

  • Current President: Moira Nikander-Forrester
  • Past President: Dave Henderson
  • Vice President: Paul Lattanzio
  • Treasurer: Anne Monkhouse
  • Secretary: Nancy Garrod
  • Publicity: Bill Dahl
  • Technical Director: Judy Bridle
  • House: Jim Love
  • Production: Heather Muir
  • Programme: Liz Marshall
  • Membership: Alexandra Bell

History of Presidents [42]

  • 2011: Dave Henderson
  • 2008: Lise Lindenberg
  • 2005: Judy Bridle
  • 2002: Phil Bowerman
  • 1999: Jim Ross
  • 1997: Jean Kapusta
  • 1994: Beverley Seemungal
  • 1993: Spencer Hutchison
  • 1991: Paul Moorman
  • 1989: Patricia Gray
  • 1987: Rick Bough
  • 1985: Vera Morton
  • 1983: Bruce Nickson
  • 1981: James Alexander
  • 1979: Elizabeth Marshall
  • 1978: Larry Malham
  • 1977: Gary Lafferty
  • 1975: Doreen Kitcher
  • 1973: Verna Patterson
  • 1972: Ted Bairstow
  • 1970: Frank Seemungal
  • 1969: Earnst Kneisel
  • 1968: Gordon Collins
  • 1967: Colin Robbins
  • 1964: Marian Wilson
  • 1963: Ruth Howard
  • 1962: Margaret Jardine
  • 1961: Margo Hall
  • 1960: David Jardine
  • 1959: Betty Sadler
  • 1956: Ed Rickards
  • 1955: Ronan Cambridge
  • 1954: Stuart Robb
  • 1953: Bert Simpson
  • 1951: Irene Doyle

News and Upcoming Events

Open Houses Seasons

The Pinnacle Playhouse Theatre

The Pinnacle Playhouse Theatre has been home to the Belleville Theatre Guild since 1969. [43]

Box Office

Pinnacle St. Playhouse
256 Pinnacle St.
Belleville
ON, K8N 3B1

Name:Belleville Theatre Guild
Location:Belleville, ON
Category:Non-Profit Company
Latitude:44.165583
Longitude:-77.383570

(613) 967-1442

info@bellevilletheatreguild.ca

Images

The Pinnacle Playhouse Theatre (as seen today) compared to the building in 1969.
[44]
The view of the Pinnacle Playhouse Theatre's seating as seen from the stage.
[45]
The view of the Pinnacle Playhouse Theatre's stage as seen from the audience.
[46]

Social Media

The Belleville Theatre Guild offers a variety of social media platforms through which audiences and community members can stay up-to-date on productions, auditions, and other Guild happenings.

Facebook Page

Twitter

Instagram

Company Newsletter

References

  1. "Later Life." Belleville Theatre Guild. Revue Design, 2016. Web. 19 Feb 2016.
  2. "For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again." Belleville Theatre Guild. Revue Design, 2016. Web. 19 Feb 2016.
  3. "The Music Man." Belleville Theatre Guild. Revue Design, 2016. Web. 19 Feb 2016.
  4. The Belleville Theatre Guild Constitution. 3rd ed. Belleville: Belleville Theatre Guild, 2013. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.
  5. Hendry, Luke. "A Theatre Guild Original." Intelligencer.ca. Fatwire, 17 May 2012. Web. 19 Feb 2016.
  6. Hendry, 2012.
  7. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild." Belleville Theatre Guild. Revue Design, 2016. Web. 19 Feb 2016.
  8. Hendry, 2012.
  9. Hendry, 2012.
  10. Hendry, 2012.
  11. Hendry, 2012.
  12. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  13. Hendry, 2012.
  14. Hendry, 2012.
  15. Hendry, 2012.
  16. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  17. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  18. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  19. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  20. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  21. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  22. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  23. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  24. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  25. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  26. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  27. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  28. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  29. Hendry, 2012.
  30. Hendry, 2012.
  31. Hendry, 2012.
  32. Hendry, 2012.
  33. Hendry, 2012.
  34. "History of Performances." Belleville Theatre Guild. Revue Design, 2016. Web. 19 Feb 2016.
  35. "It's a Wonderful Life." Belleville Theatre Guild. Revue Design, 2015. Web. 19 Feb 2016.
  36. "The Drowsy Chaperone." Belleville Theatre Guild. Revue Design, 2015. Web. 19 Feb 2016.
  37. "Jake's Women." Belleville Theatre Guild. Revue Design, 2015. Web. 19 Feb 2016.
  38. "The Woman in Black." Belleville Theatre Guild. Revue Design, 2015. Web. 19 Feb 2016.
  39. "A Christmas Carol." Belleville Theatre Guild. Revue Design, 2014. Web. 19 Feb 2016.
  40. "And Then There Were None." Belleville Theatre Guild. Revue Design, 2014. Web. 19 Feb 2016.
  41. "Belleville Theatre Guild Board Of Directors 2015-2016." Belleville Theatre Guild. Revue Design, 2016. Web. 19 Feb 2016.
  42. "Past Presidents." Belleville Theatre Guild. Revue Design, 2016. Web. 19 Feb 2016.
  43. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  44. "The History of the Belleville Theatre Guild," 2016.
  45. "Belleville Theatre Guild Photo Gallery." Belleville Theatre Guild. Revue Design, 2016. Web. 19 Feb 2016.
  46. "Belleville Theatre Guild Photo Gallery," 2016.

External Links

Name:The Belleville Theatre Guild
Location:Belleville, ON
Category:Community Theatre
Latitude:44.142798
Longitude:-77.398682