Knox United would welcome Burns Wharf Players

Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty, played by Peter Baumgarten, on stage of the Burns Wharf Theatre Players production of HMS Pinafore, from Thursday, June 16, 2016 in Manitowaning. photo by Robin Burridge

MANITOWANING—Burns Wharf Theatre Players’ fans were disappointed to learn that the 2018 season of the popular community theatre troupe had been cancelled, but Gilbert and Sullivan fans can now rejoice, plans are already afoot for the 2019 season.

“There will definitely be a show in 2019,” said Marilyn Wohlberg, co-chair of the Burns Wharf Theatre committee. “The Knox United Church has offered their sanctuary up until the time that the Burns Wharf Theatre is repaired.”

To be sure, the troupe has not given up on their namesake venue. “No, heavens no,” said Ms. Wohlberg. “We are still trying to get the township to submit funding applications. We are very, very hopeful.”

The committee already has architect’s drawings for the work that needs to be done on the Burns Wharf building to meet the building code criteria and accessibility issues necessary to take to the stage in the heritage buildings on the Manitowaning waterfront. (Note: all donations over $20 to the building fund will be issued a tax receipt from the township.)

The Burns Wharf Theatre Players will also be approaching the Debajehmujig Storytellers to see if they may be able to work something out for next season.

“We were not able to use the Creation Centre until late in the summer, early fall,” said Ms. Wohlberg. “That wouldn’t really work out. Hopefully, we can work something out next year because it would mean a lot less adjustments would have to be made with the church.”

If the church is to be the temporary home for the theatre troupe, the company would need to expand the altar area for use as a stage, install the company’s lighting and sound equipment in the church and put air conditioning into the building as well. “The Debaj space would be a lot easier,” said Ms. Wohlberg.

The theatre company had already had two or three rehearsals for a reprise of the popular ‘Pirates of Penzance,’ with new leads, before discovering that the Debaj space would not be available and by the time a potential alternate came into view “it was a little bit late,” said Ms. Wohlberg.

The plans for next year’s show will figure large on the August 1 Burns Wharf Theatre Players committee meeting.

“Stay tuned,” said Ms. Wohlberg. Good news is in the offing.