It is with sadness at her passing and appreciation for her considerable service and support that Regina Little Theatre acknowledges the death on Monday, February 1, 2020 of Jacqui Shumiatcher.
Jacqui's participation in RLT began back in the 1950s, serving as a volunteer in many capacities. In addition to undertaking duties on the board of directors and leading the Ladies Auxiliary that operated then, she and her husband Morris frequently opened their home for official gatherings such as drama festivals. Not one to shy away from the tedious or mundane, Jacqui was constantly involved in the many small-scale fundraisers and publicity events that were necessary in those days to keep RLT afloat, often bringing refreshments to her fellow volunteers.
Jacqui was renowned in her later years for philanthropic activity, especially for her support of a full range of artistic endeavours: theatrical, visual and musical. Regina Little Theatre was one of the many organizations she generously assisted and we were privileged to acknowledge that with an honourary lifetime membership in 2007. We were further honoured to see her in the audience on a regular basis for many years beyond that.
Regina Little Theatre joins the many institutions and individuals who were the recipients of her generous spirit in saluting Jacqui Shumiatcher.
Not everyone is aware that, in the original draft of Hamlet, Horatio surveyed the dead bodies of Hamlet, Laertes, Claudius and Gertrude and declared, "Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels remind you that at least you didn't have to endure 2020."
The new year is starting out without much improvement on the last one, but like everyone else we are hopeful that 2021 will soon bring us relief from the pandemic that has restricted so many of our activities.
Regrettably, the upsurge in Covid numbers over the past few months has caused us to shelve our plans to put on a mainstage production of "Writers' Runaround" in February. That play has been tentatively rescheduled for April 7-10. Naturally, it will proceed only if conditions and provincial government guidelines allow. Director Carri Lelliott's cast and crew are continuing their preparations individually and awaiting the day when rehearsals can safely resume.
RLT has not been idle, prevailing through the pandemic to produce the podcast of Devin Melnyk's adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" and to provide the "Kringle Calls", where Santa Clause visited children over the Internet. We will continue to explore new ideas in the coming year and maintain our unbroken 95-year record of providing entertainment to Regina and environs.
Our best wishes to you for a safe, prosperous, healthy and happy new year!
To Regina Little Theatre members and the theatre community,
Recently there has been considerable social media discussion involving RLT's editing of a cast photo and its subsequent removal from our Website.
These measures were taken in the aftermath of a member's complaints to the board. The details of those complaints are very personal and private and should not be addressed in a public forum. In fact, having received a request from someone involved in those complaints, RLT is legally and morally obligated to respect and protect the privacy of that person.
The matter of the complaints themselves has been dealt with thoroughly. We consider the matter closed, but a dissatisfied party has threatened legal action against both RLT and another member. Because of this and reasons stated above, we will not comment further nor violate our obligation for confidentiality by divulging any further details.
The board is doing its utmost, as volunteers and leaders, to act in the best interests of all who are involved in RLT's activities. We trust that our friends and supporters will appreciate the position in which we have been placed.
President, Regina Little Theatre
Regina Little Theatre is the longest continually operating, all-volunteer, primarily English-speaking theatre company in Canada. Over our nearly 100 years, we’ve grown and evolved with Regina and its community: we’ve sought shelter and space in venues all over the city, seen local talent rise to fame, watched our members build families and then seen those families and their children watch from the seats and volunteer to perform on, behind, and around the stage.
Our greatest asset is our community - it always has been, and always will be. Without our members; actors, directors, writers, stage crew, board members, technicians, costumers, set designers, ushers, and bakers - we could not be what we are today. Our volunteer-only organization does not employ even 1 person, and through the strength of our community, we’ve continued to raise the curtains each season for nearly 100 years. And this year will be no different.
We want to thank our community for all their support, especially our volunteers; and in light of everything that is going on in our world today, remind the community that we are here, and we welcome you.
Dear Friends and Fans of Regina Little Theatre:
We hope this message finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. If you are one of the thousands of essential workers putting yourself at risk for the rest of us, thank you. If you are simply doing your part to fight this pandemic and following the rules as they come, thank you for that as well.
Most of all, thank you for supporting RLT by purchasing season subscriptions. You and fans like you are the lifeblood of Regina Little Theatre. We are deeply grateful for your dedication to us. We are proud to have had supporters like you during our 95 years.
We want you to know we are committed to you and to the future of RLT. Right now, like you, we’re trying to cope with the fact that Covid-19 has literally created a world of uncertainty.
Regrettably, we must announce the cancellation of the June performance of the play Helium. Currently, if and when we can resume presenting our performances is uncertain at this time.
You’ve already helped us by investing in a season subscription. Your support, patience and understanding through this challenging time will help us even more. We can’t thank you enough. Would you consider further supporting RLT by agreeing to donate the value of your unredeemed tickets for the 2019/2020 season? At your request, an income tax receipt would be issued. This would assist us greatly in meeting our ongoing expenses.
We are following the news, listening to public health experts, and monitoring the latest from our political leaders, for signs that life will start to return to normal and, when and if the time is right, we can safely get back to the theatre and back to gathering together.
Like you, we’re doing all we can to weather this storm. We’re optimistic and we’re looking forward. We remain hopeful we’ll have a great 95th season in 2020 / 2021. But this pandemic is forcing us to also consider all the other possibilities, including the ones we hate to consider, such as fewer plays if that is what we have to do to help keep Canada safe and healthy. We wish we could return your loyalty by telling you how all of this will turn out, when our plays will be performed and exactly what our season will look like. Unfortunately, all we can do right now is be as transparent as possible, to tell you we are working through all the possibilities, and to be as deeply grateful to you as you clearly deserve.
Whatever you are going through, at work or home or in your family, we want you to know we consider you an important part of our RLT family. If you have lost a loved one, or you are coping with the effect this virus can have on anyone’s physical, mental or financial health, please know we are thinking of you.
I know we’re going to get through this together. And when we do, it’s going to be a great day for Canada. We’ll celebrate with live theatre, friendship and our resilience. And more than anything else, when we see you again at the theatre, we’re going to celebrate you.
Thank you so very much,
Faye Daborn, President