PORT McNEILL—Singer-songwriter Joey Clarkson of Courtenay is threatening to make Gate House Community Theatre something of a home away from home.
Clarkson led her second musical theatre workshop of the year for youth and adults Saturday afternoon, then returned that evening to serve as both master of ceremonies and a feature performer in an open mic session that drew six performers.
The day’s events were just part of an ambitious fall schedule of live entertainment at the local theatre, run by the non-profit Gate House Community Society to promote the arts on North Vancouver Island.
One night earlier, Gate House hosted a licensed Ladies Night movie, and the theatre will continue to feature pre-release movies Friday evenings, with occasional Saturday matinees. But society director Terry Eissfeldt has envisioned the facility as a home for live entertainment, and plenty is on the way in the coming months.
A pair of after-school youth drama programs have been under way since the school year began, and students began work last week on an interactive play to be performed with local adult actors Saturday, Oct. 26, from 6-8 p.m. The Magic Forest: The Mystery of the Wizard’s Daughter offers guests a chance to take part and assist the troupe in solving the mystery as they tour through several stops in the theatre. Admission is by donation, and guests can arrive to start their tour any time between 6 and 7:30 p.m.
The Wild Heart children’s choir, started earlier this year through financial support from Port McNeill-raised singer Georgia Murray, will perform its second concert in the theatre Oct. 9 at 7 p.m.
On Oct. 18, the theatre will host Wheat in the Barley, an eclectic Canadian roots combo that will be appearing in a series of Music in Schools programs on the North Island during the week. The show, with admission by donation, begins at 7 p.m.
November kicks off with the interactive cult film classic Rocky Horror Picture Show, making its first appearance at the local theatre Nov. 8.
The following day, Port Hardy singer-songwriter Richelle Andre appears at 7 p.m. as part of her debut CD release tour for her debut recording, Claimer. Erin Junkala will perform a short opening set and join Andre on stage. Andre promises “more surprises” for the evening. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door; stay tuned for advance ticket outlet info.
On Sat., Nov. 23, Gate House will host an Evening of Vaudville, featuring a variety of entertainment for $10 per ticket. The lineup is still being finalized and will be announced in the coming weeks; to inquire about taking part in the evening, visit Gate House Community Association’s Facebook page.
In December, the society is planning an old-fashioned Christmas concert with both voice and instrumental acts on Sat., Dec. 1. The following week, Dec. 8, Team Charlton Highland Dance appears in its popular Celtic Christmas show.