Growing up in British Columbia, Jamie Caccia was able to get involved with theatre while in elementary school, but the opportunity to take it further than that just wasn’t there.
The experience left a mark on her.
“It would be a shame if my kids had to go through that, too,” she said recently.
Now a mom of two girls — Hannah, 7, and Cali 5 — and living in Pasadena for the past three years she’s been starting to think that history may repeat itself.
Caccia said Hannah has been asking for a couple of years to get involved in some kind of theatre or arts program.
“But it’s a huge commitment to commute back and forth to Corner Brook or Deer Lake several times a week for practicing, so it’s never been something that we’ve been able to do.”
Recently Caccia got to talking with some other parents in the town and found a lot of families are in the same boat. Many of them work in either Corner Brook or Deer Lake.
“So you drive home at the end of the day, and then you’ve got to pick your kids up and then drive back. That’s a lot.”
There are options out there for adults who are serious about theatre, and so the parents thought why not start a theatre group in town for kids and families?
“This will be more for people with kids who want to be able to participate, but just can’t put the time commitment into doing it outside town,” she said.
And so Crown Valley Theatre has been born.
Caccia envisions some junior productions with parent involvement, from acting and singing, to helping behind the scenes.
“We’re not expecting to be Broadway ready, just start small, amateur level and go from there.”
To get started she sought out some advice on the ins and outs of a theatre company from the Corner Brook-based Off Broadway Players.
What she learned helped her to see that hers is a realistic idea.
“Theatre isn’t really one person running everything, it’s kind of a team of people working together with a common interest.”
And she thinks there are enough people around town with the experience the group will need.
She recently put up a Facebook page for Crown Valley Theatre and has gotten a great response from it.
She plans to soon meet with those interested to put together a core crew — directors, stage managers, lighting and sound. Once the crew is established in their roles the goal is to be ready for the fall to put out a call for auditions for the group’s first show.