Peninsula Players Executive


Executive Members
Glen Brown
Gail Pickell
Raewyn Belson
Matt Watson
Allan Haynes

John Watts

 

President: Anna Lorenz
Treasurer: Yulia Ekeltchik
Secretary: Melanie Ehrlich

 

 

 

Webmaster: Gail Pickell
Past President: Marketa Mellows


The History of The Peninsula Players

On November 24, 1952, a meeting was held at St. Andrew’s Hall in Sidney for “all persons interested in participating in the formation of the Sidney and North Saanich Community Theatre Group”. Given the unwieldiness of the title this group re-named itself as ‘The Peninsular Players’…..well, some of them did. Others felt the name was ‘The Peninsula Players’, and eventually after a brief period of confusion this became the agreed name of the group.

However, this wasn’t truly the start of community theatre in the area. Prior to the meeting in 1952 there had existed the ‘North Saanich Little Theatre Association’, which in turn had risen from the ashes of the ‘Deep Cove Drama Society’. No dates are known for the lifetime of either group, though the Deep Cove group is known to have been in existence in 1933, possibly for many years prior. Despite the changes of name a common thread of membership ran through the three groups. Membership in the Players cost $2.00 at the time of inception.

The Peninsular Players presented their first show on March 7, 1953, for one performance only at the North Saanich High School. The evening started with a performance of ‘The Pie and the Tart’ by students from Sidney School, followed by ‘High Tension’ and ‘Elmer Cleans Up’ by the Players. By June the name had changed, and The Peninsula Players presented two performances of an evening of one-act plays, ‘Heaven on Earth’, ‘In Black and White’ and ‘Fit as a Fiddle’. Whether or not the name change had confused the Press is hard to say, but several news items list these performances as the launch of the Players.

The first full-length production occurred on November 6 and 7,1953, ‘Laburnum Grove’ again at North Saanich High School, and all productions continued in that venue until 1957 when they re-located to Sidney Elementary School. However, one-act plays continued to be very popular and the Players presented nine such presentations in the first seven years of their existence. Oddly, none have been presented since 1959.

In 1965 the name changed again, dropping “The” and becoming just Peninsula Players.

A complete (we think) list of productions is attached to this document. Some interesting items are seen in this list:

• The first Christmas show was presented in 1955. This was ‘Hansel and Gretel’ and was not presented as a traditional pantomime;

• The first musical production was ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’, done with an in-house band in 1977, and presented again in 1985;

• The first panto was ‘Dick Whittington’ in 1968 and this seems to have been the only foray into this genre until ‘Aladdin’ forty years later, though ‘Dingalingy Dragons’ came close in 1978;

• For the first twenty years or so shows were presented for two performances only; this increased gradually to four, then six and by the early 90’s shows were presented for eight performances;

• At least four shows have been done jointly with other groups, either as a split Bill or as a shared production;

• The Players first entered the BC Drama Festival in 1955 and have participated many times since then, winning many awards along the way;

• Things seem to have gone very quiet during the 1970’s – for the five years from 1972 – 76 only two shows were presented (or at least, only two shows are identified in the archives);

• In 1971 a traditional Punch and Judy show was presented at local seaside locations;

• There appear to have been seven venues prior to the move to the Charlie White Theatre in 2001; since then additional shows have been presented in a further four venues;

• Archival dating for some shows seems inconsistent, with some years showing no productions while the next year records, for example, five;

Performance History

1952
No shows listed

1953
High Tension and Elmer Cleans Up (plus The Pie and the Tart done by Sidney School)
Fit as a Fiddle, Heaven on Earth and In Black and White
Laburnum Grove

1954
The Tail of Fire, Susanna in Napoli and The Old Lady Shows Her Medals
Quiet Weekend
The Goldfish, Old Hands and Still Waters

1955
Mr Pim Passes By
Sunshine on the Righteous, Blunder and Festival Day
The Holly and the Ivy
Hansel and Gretel

1956
Women at War, The Maker of Dreams and The Dear Departed
The Chiltern Hundreds

1957
The Fish, The Friends of Valerie Lane and The Price of Coal
Miranda
No Birds Sing

1958
Our Hearts were Young and Gay
Villa For Sale, Dark Road and The Twelve Pound Look
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Blithe Spirit

1959
The Wendigo of the Forbidden Plateau
The Lovely Miracle, The Boor and Suspicion
High Ground

1960
Outward Bound
The Silver Cord

1961
Rise and Shine (with Green for Danger by a Duncan theatre group)
Duet for Two Hands

1962
Pygmalion
Arsenic and Old Lace

1963
A Ladder for Lucy
The Happy Journey
As long as They’re Happy

1964
The Second Duchess and Tea for Mr Bellringer
Pink String and Sealing Wax

1965
The Curious Savage
The Rape of the Belt

1966
Hocus Pocus
More Than Meets the Eye

1967
Quality Street

1968
Dick Whittington

1969
The Gazebo

1970
Exit the Body
Lily, the Felon’s Daughter

1971
Bell, Book and Candle
Punch and Judy (This was a traditional Punch and Judy show, done at various locations)
Victoria’s House

1972
Barefoot in the Park

1973 – 74 No shows listed

1975
Lovers and Other Strangers (joint with Grassroots Theatre Company)

1976 No shows listed

1977
Any Wednesday
Summit Conference
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (joint with Manta Players from Colwood)
The Puppet Prince

1978
Butterflies Are Free
Dingalingy Dragons

1979
Plaza Suite
Overlaid

1980
The Wind in the Willows
The Lady and the Travelling Salesman

1981
An Evening of One Act Plays (joint with Fine Line PLayers)
Charley’s Aunt

1982
Many Moons
Encore un Peu
Table Manners
Little Mary Sunshine

1983
Play Strindberg
Ladies in Retirement

1984
You Can’t Take it With You

1985
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

1986
Arsenic and Old Lace
The White Sheep of the Family
Fumed Oak
The Dock Brief
The Importance of Being Earnest

1987
See How They Run

1990
The Heiress
The Best Laid Plans

1991
Dangerous Corner

1992
Woman in Mind
Breath of Spring
Confusions

1993
Murder by the Book
Steel Magnolias
Pack of Lies

1994
Barefoot in the Park
Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii
The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society Murder Mystery

1995
Absent Friends
Ladies in Retirement

1996
Just Between Ourselves
Living Together

1997
Crimes of the Heart
Hurray for Johnny Canuck
Butterflies Are Free

1998
Time of My Life
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds

1999
The Affections of May
And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little

2000
Guilty Conscience
Confusions

2001
Last of the Red Hot Lovers
Fool’s Paradise
Sylvia

2002
Daughters
Plaza Suite
The Man with the Plastic Sandwich

2003
Opening Night
Rattle of a Simple Man
Steel Magnolias

2004
My Three Angels
Dial M for Murder
Breath of Spring

2005
The Odd Couple (Female version)
The Importance of Being Earnest

2006
The Mousetrap
Confusions
A Murder is Announced

2007
Oliver (joint with Victoria Youth Musical Theatre)
The Dining Room
Pygmalion

2008
A Shot in the Dark
Under the Yum Yum Tree
Aladdin

2009
Play On
And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little
Godspell
I Suppose You Think That’s Funny

2010
Blithe Spirit
Dial M for Merlot
The Wind in the Willows

2011
The Hostage
The Unexpected Guest
Gone With the Wine
Robin Hood

2012
Murder At The Howard Johnson's
How The Other Half Loves
Crown Jewels
Cinderella: A Pantomime

2013
Suddenly Sasquatch
The Unexpected Guest
The Importance Of Being Earnest

2014
Cirque du Chablis
A Christmas Carol: The Panto

2015
The Mousetrap
Farndale
Space Wars (Muse Winery)
Jack & The Beanstalk

2016
Fawlty Towers: Part 1
Tainted Justice
Red & The Wolf: A Christmas Pantomime

2017