New theatre troupe aims to increase audiences, theatre use

William Shak­es­peare once asked “What’s in a name?”

The Bard went on to answer his own question in Romeo and Juliet. And when it comes to analyzing the name of the new­est theatrical troupe in Centre Wellington, he would likely give a nod of approval to the images it suggests.

Climbing Vine Productions has been recently formed and will be presenting its first play at the Fergus Grand Theatre in December.

“We’re growing,” said Dean Dunbar, a founder of the troupe, who managed with that statement to ex­plain a part of the metaphor the name evokes.

Shakespeare might have added that such vines grow upwards, and that is exactly the hope Dunbar has for the new troupe.

He said there has not been enough in theatrical produc­tions in the community, and he would like to see the lights on more often at the Fergus Grand Theatre. Another troupe in the community can only help in that cause.

Dunbar said he has per­form­ed in a number of produc­tions around the community, but, “There’s no reason why that theatre isn’t active 12 months a year.”

He noted that Trillium fund­ing is helping with current reno­vations, and a number of groups were involved in working for that grant.

Climbing Vine Productions will present The Diary of Anne Frank Dec. 10 to 12 at the theatre. The troupe is already in rehearsals, the cast is set, props and costumes are being dealt with – and Dunbar’s aim for the troupe to increase awareness of theatre will be taken care of with a full house for a special show.

“We have a matinee per­for­mance designed for school kids,” he said. The the­atre is full for that one.

Dunbar said there is an ex­perienced cast and Rachel Beh­ling is a well known area dir­ector.

He is working with the local Rotary Club and Legion to ensure students get to see the show, and he said the troupe can also help high school stud­ents obtain the volunteer hours they need to graduate through its non-profit status.

“Many of the kids in the community will get to see this play,” he said.

Dunbar said the new troupe hopes to run two shows per year, and added that the next one will be a little “lighter” than the drama being offered in the initial production.

“Our goal is to put on more shows of quality so people will come and see the theatre,” he said.

Ticket prices reflect that goal, with students paying $5, and adults, $15.

For the Dunbar family, the­atre is a passion.

“We’ve all been involved in theatre,” he said.

His wife, Sara, has been the chairman of the Children’s Drama Group.

Dunbar himself has per­form­ed with the Elora Commu­nity Theatre and Grinder Pro­ductions, and he also had a role in Death On The Nile earlier this year, a Vision Theatre Pro­duction.

To him, “This is an oppor­tunity to carry on and to do some other work.”

The Dunbars’ daughter, Zoe, is also involved in theatre. The Centre Wellington District High School student is in the coming play, and she is also in That Summer, which opens in a few weeks for the ECT.

Dunbar said there is no shortage of talent in the com­munity.

“There’s a great talent pool where people want to be a part of something,” he said of local theatre.

As for The Diary of Anne Frank, “We have an excellent play, a good director, and an excellent cast – and the rest will happen.

Tickets for the show are avail­able from the Fergus Grand Theatre web site and also from the box office.