Player's Guild exits stage left
By Kevin Gale
The curtain has fallen on one of Western's three annual student productions for the second time.
At last Wednesday's University Students' Council meeting it was announced the Player's Guild, part of the USC's Theatre Western, will lose its $9,000 budget next year.
Theatre Western is organized in such a way that interested producers put forward a proposal for a production and successful proposals get assigned to the appropriate section either the Guild, Purple Patches or the Gilbert and Sullivan Society.
USC VP-finance Chris Keith said the pure drama productions put on by the Guild had been losing money since the 1992-93 year, when it lost $8,000. "The demand just wasn't there," he said, adding the production is usually a lesser known play.
Scott Sullivan, VP-student affairs, said the students' council needed to come up with a realistic budget this year. "It was well promoted. There was just not the interest with the other talent in London," he said. "It's not appropriate to tax the students with the loss."
Theatre Western commissioner John Bayliss said the Guild was put on hold 15 years ago for the same reason, but was brought back to give students the opportunity to perform in and produce a purely dramatic play. The other two productions, Purple Patches and the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, traditionally perform larger-scale musicals. "It's really heartbreaking. I really wanted to see this fly," he said.
Bayliss said after last year, it was thought the production could be turned around by doing a more well-known play and increasing advertising support. However, this year's play Zombie, opened to a crowd of a dozen, even with a cameo by USC President Dave Tompkins.
As a result of the Guild's loss, Theatre Western will undergo a change in structuring as a committee will be formed made up of the commissioner and Talbot Theatre staff to oversee the other productions and ensure their success.
Sullivan said Purple Patches, which has a budget of $23,000, is expected to break even this year as is the Gilbert and Sullivan Society with a $29,000 budget.