Williams Lake Studio Theatre rents and maintains a space from School District 27, which the theatre company has transformed into an intimate ninety eight seat performing space, complete with lighting, sound and storage for costumes, props, stage, and set.
Over the course of its performance season, the WLSTS will produce three to five plays of a diverse nature. Auditions for all plays are posted publicly and people from all backgrounds and culture are welcome. No experience is ever required to audition or help with Williams Lake Studio Theatre productions or operations. In 2003 WLSTS presented The Rez Sisters, which was entirely a First Nations cast. The play was very successful and helped to bring more awareness to the community. Each play has a rehearsal period of six to twelve weeks and a performance run of eight to twelve performances. All cast and crew involved are members of The Williams Lake or surrounding area and volunteer their time and expertise. The plays are promoted through local media and tickets are available to the general public. The WLSTS is a member of Theatre BC, and participates in its Festival each season.
Every two to three years, the WLSTS hosts the Festival in Williams Lake. WLSTS members are also involved entertainment during the Williams Lake Stampede and other community events throughout the year.
The WLSTS hosts a “script ordering” evening, during which members will pick a play(s) to order. Scripts are ordered from various publishers catalogues and the theatre then purchases approximately $600.00 worth of scripts. The Studio Theatre hosts workshops on diverse topics including, but not limited to acting, directing, lighting, Shakespeare. These workshops are open to all members of the community. One successful event is Play in a Day.The Studio Theatre is a member of the Williams Lake Community Arts Council and Theatre BC.
Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society sells tickets for each of its performances. Current prices range from $18.00 to $20.00, with a further discount on Wednesdays. There is a two - tier ticket price, with seniors and students paying the lesser charge. Musicals are usually much more expensive to produce therefore the ticket cost is slightly higher. Tickets are available at local vendors, which are publicized with production advertisements.
The Studio Theatre has also developed a “Performance Patron” program whereby companies donate $300.00 to $350.00 to the Theatre. Companies can also provide “in kind” services. They are listed in programs, advertising and posters. Space is also available in programs for a much lower fee for other community companies to show their support for the theatre. Occasionally WLSTS sells souvenirs. Local businesses advertise in the program provided for each show. This helps to offset the cost of producing the program.
Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society is fortunate to have a vast array of many talented people willing to volunteer their talents, craft and time. The Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society is managed by volunteer hours only. All monies received go directly back into the society for the purpose of presenting quality live theatre.
Williams Lake Studio theatre has a vast array of very talented members who have years of amateur experience or come from professional theatre backgrounds. The veterans are eager to mentor members in lighting, design, directing, acting, choreography, and all areas of production. Working in tandem with the local high school drama departments we encourage students to join the theatre WLSTS once they have graduated to continue their dramatic experiences.
Each year students graduating from local Secondary Schools have the opportunity to apply for the Biddy Jones Performing Arts Bursary (named after a long-time member).This bursary is to assist a student in pursuing an education in the performing arts (on or off stage).
Williams Lake Studio Theatre member Marcella Hyde graduated with distinction from the production program at Studio 58 at Langara College in 2003. Marcella is now a professional Stage Manager in Vancouver.
Randy Poulis, one of WLSTS' most active members, relocated to the Victoria area in 2001 and is now on the Theatre BC executive. He also now has an MFA from UVic and teaches the craft of stage lighting.
Sharon Malone and John Stewart relocated to Maple Ridge in 2001 and are the founders of the Emerald Pig Theatrical Society.
Marshall McMahen is a Jessie Award winning theatre designer. He specializes in set design, and is also an experienced lighting designer, projection designer, scenery and prop builder, and scenic painter.
The Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society is managed by an executive board of directors. The positions held are: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and three executive directors and past president. Meetings are held once a month or more often if an extraordinary meeting is required.
Annual General Meetings are held prior to the seasons beginning which is usually early September. The AGM is open to the public and membership. Whether you are interested in being a board member or not your voice, ideas, input and vote is greatly appreciated and needed at the AGM.
Membership fees are 10.00 for Adults, 5.00 for Seniors/youth (under 18 years) and 20.00 for family. Memberships are renewable at the AGM in the Autumn of each year. All people involved in a production must become a member. We do various membership drives including one during each show when we insert an application into the program. On the application we ask what areas people would like to be a part of. For your membership you receive theatre news updates, lower entry fee in to workshops, free coffee at a production. The best deal in town for a huge amount of fun.
In the middle of each season, usually in February or March, people interested in presenting a play to direct for the following season do so before the play selection committee. The committee is made up of executive & invited theatre members. The committee members then read the scripts presented and once that is done, they meet usually over dinner and decided the shows for the following season.