Wednesday, March 16, 2016


I am having doubts.
"What about, Dear Rob..."- I hear you ask?
The list isn't that long and heck, I don't even have a list really but I thought I'd talk to you about it-since you are all my closest and dearest friends...
It's this Theatre thingy.
Summer theatre and specifically- my Double R Production's Orillia Summer Theatre.
It's such a hard slog.
Every day I am trying to convince someone or some company to support this non-profit venture and that is not easy.
It's the part about producing a theatre season without grants and backers that I detest the most. Some theatre companies have the backing of the towns and cities where they are located. City/town councils may set aside 40 or 50 thousand dollars to help a theatre company produce a lineup of summer shows.
I wonder what that would be like? Just knowing that you have 40 thousand dollars with which to play? No scrounging for dollars from businesses that can hardly afford to support you- but do. No endless explaining why you are producing theatrical shows, why you need funding and how it all works. There are the endless explanations that the company is non profit and I don't revel in thousands and thousands of dollars of profit at the end of the season.
Last season I took $200 dollars for my own pocket. That's for 8 months of work. Pretty poor return until I tell you that venues alone cost us $10,000. Cast and crew were paid thousands. Rights were paid to playwrights. Sets were built. Lights rented. $3000 dollars was donated to local charities and on and on. I knew from the start there wouldn't be much left but we provided work for actors and brought in more than 20 groups and buses to our downtown theatre. Those patrons shopped and lunched downtown and visited local sites of interest.
Can you hear me Orillia?
Now, this season I am working with a terrific, determined committee of five who are trying to interest groups and buses to come to our shows. They are selling advertising and sponsorships and taking a bunch of stuff off my desk- except for the worry and the restless sleep some nights.
To be honest, the season could still fizzle.
On the plus side, our Kickstarter campaign will make it's goal bringing us a thousand bucks to pay for brochures etc. Some season sponsors and show sponsors are in place but not as many as last season- so our funding will be less. After the initial monies are in place, we still need ticket sales- "bums in
seats". Until our groups and bus tours start to come in- if they even do, we are on a precipice.
We are teetering on the edge of season success and ultimate fizzlement. 
Yes, I know. "Fizzlement" is not a real word but you get my drift.
It's a good thing we are only presenting two shows this year, albeit at two venues. We may pull this season off and come out in the black. The next two months will tell the tale. If tickets are selling we can do it. If we don't have ticket sales and see buses and groups, we'll just not be able to continue.
Our shows are "All for Nun...The 2nd Coming"- a musical comedy which I have written...well, almost written. I have even penned 3 new songs that I hope will be included in the show.
The second show is Norm Foster's "Sadie Flynn Comes to Big Oak".
Go to our Facebook page:
for details. You'll find our Kickstarter project listed there too. Any amount to help us along would be appreciated. If you are a business and care to help us with a sponsorship, send us an e-mail to
Our box office will soon have the ability to accept Visa and MasterCard and when it does, we invite you to call and order your tickets- for both shows. Order 2 tickets before June 30th and get them for
$45. That's a 9 dollar savings.
Donate $80 bucks to our Kickstarter project and get 4 comp tickets as a reward and save $28
For now, I still have doubts but I also have some kind of faith that "the show will go on".
It must go on.
We do it for the Orillia Community as well as ourselves.