Posted by Courtney Fisher on Jun 03, 2019


15 members and 2 guests:  Barry Haugen, Alison Overington 


O Canada?   Danny Cassidy


Grace Tony Baker 


Toast to the Queen, Canada and Rotary:  Gerd







Speaker: Alison Overington 

Alison, an active producer with Scarborough Theatre Guild for 37 years, shared the processes involved in putting on a show and the challenges and the joys of working in amateur community theatre. In her eloquent presentation, she explained that at Theatre Scarborough there are three groups (Scarborough Players, Scarborough Theatre Guild, Scarborough Music Theatre) producing 11 shows annually with each show spanning approximately 10 weeks from beginning to end. Within the 10 weeks, there are three processes—auditions, rehearsals and performances—requiring the services of a director, a producer and a stage manager.   


Alison explained that the director, after advertising auditions, chooses the people who will perform.  The producer and stage manager then coordinate the remaining sundry contributors—approximately 20 people inclusive of painters, set builders, costume designers etc.—to make the performance come together. From that point, rehearsals run for three nights per week.  At rehearsal, the director determines what the actors will do in a performance and the stage manager keeps notes of the director’s instructions. Alison emphasised the ongoing importance of these three positions—the director, the producer and the stage manager—throughout the show’s life cycle from its genesis to its final performance.  




While emphasising that it takes a village to put on a performance, she made celebratory mention of set building and painting contractors, drivers, light and sound technicians and the enhanced and all-powerful role of the stage manager at the time of performance. 


Regarding challenges, she spoke comically about things occasionally falling apart and needing to be fixed. She shared stories about a fire alarm going off during a performance, soles of shoes falling off, electrical outages and the creative problem-solving brought to bear on each challenge.  She spoke of even more frustrating challenges involving last minute cancellations by essential contributors.  However, in the midst of it all, the resolve, the fortitude and the enduring conviction that challenges can be overcome and that the show must go on were evident. 


“Wine and cheese anyone?”  With excitement, enthusiasm and her love for theatre shining through, Rotarians were invited to attend the Scarborough Theatre Guild’s May 31 performance that included wine and cheese and conversations.  Further, Rotary was encouraged to consider using Scarborough Theatre tickets as a fundraising tool for Rotary. 


The 2019-2020 Scarborough Theatre Guild Season includes: 

The 36 Steps—October 2019  

The Cripple of Inishmaan—January 2010 

The Red Plaid Shirt—April 2020 

Innocence Lost—June/July 2020 


Rotary Club of North Scarborough thanks Alison Overington for sharing the processes, the challenges and the joys of working in amateur theatre.   





Basil made celebratory reference to Harry who brought a cheque for Rotary. 

Gerd referenced the upcoming Scarborough Food Truck Festival presented by Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough.  This event to be held on June 8th 11 am to 7 pm at University of Toronto Scarborough. He further referenced the end of his time serving as Chair of Rotary Club of North Scarborough luncheon meetings.  In doing so, he expressed gratitude to the club’s members for their support throughout his tenure. Customarily, we were treated to a fine joke. 


Marvelous Marble Draw  Arthur 

Won by Alison but only $5.00





Dave Hardy congratulated Gerd on his three years of service as Chair of the luncheon meetings and made a joke. 


Barry Smith was happy to announce the birth of his granddaughter, Natalie. 


Peter Masson was happy Air Canada had solved the technical challenges it was experiencing in time for his travel plans. 

Danny asked for prayers concerning his upcoming ride for cancer research. 220 km is a long way!

Arthur joined Dave in celebrating the work done by Gerd in his role as Chair of our luncheon meetings. 

Basil made mention of spam and announced his upcoming travel plans to Germany. 

Rocco celebrated the successful conclusion to an earlier meeting. 


Things that make me think:

When I see lovers names carved in a tree I think it's surprising how many people bring a knife on a date!

Why are there braille keys on a drive in bank machine?

Who was the first person to milk a cow and what did he think he was doing at the time?