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Langham Court Theatre board shake-up


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#21 Listener

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Posted 30 December 2021 - 10:40 AM

A  lot of brilliant theatre has been made by re-imagining classics as alt-history or setting them in a different place and time.  West Side Story is Romeo and Juliet with the ethnic gangs of New York.  The Royal Shakespeare Company did a black Hamlet set in West Africa with a Ghanaian as the lead and incorporating African costume, rituals, and dances.  But a company can also choose to do a play as it was conceived, written, and intended by the playwright.  Michel Tremblay is on record as saying that at the time it would have been a little absurd to put a black woman in Les Belles-soeurs, and he never has.



#22 Spy Black

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Posted 30 December 2021 - 11:02 AM

Indeed there are many directors who have (via their very personal vision) re-imagined a classic into a completely "new" time period or environment, with roles filled by completely different genders, completely different ethnic backgrounds, etc.

 

Pucini's La Boheme becomes the Broadway smash hit Rent, then hits the big screen as Baz Lurhmann's trendy Moulin Rouge, it was also the background story for Cher's hit film Moonstruck.

 

A piece of music from La Boheme (Musetta's Waltz) becomes Della Reese's big 1959 R&B hit Don't You Know ... and on, and on it goes.

 

But when a director states "there are no black characters in this show" ... it literally means nothing more than those simple eight words taken at face value, and based on that directors personal vision for their show.


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#23 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 31 December 2021 - 03:31 AM

Unfortunately, the TC article only relies on the press release for information.  Nothing more.

 

 

 

 

Langham Court Theatre has cancelled its three remaining productions in the 2021-22 season and closed the theatre temporarily, citing an insufficient COVID plan, lack of a code of conduct amid reports of racism and harassment and lack of a general manager.

 

In a statement released Wednesday, the theatre’s board of directors pointed to “three major challenges”: an­ insufficient COVID-19 WorkSafe plan, an insufficient code of conduct for members and volunteers amidst reports of ongoing ­racism and harassment from community members, and an inability to produce theatre without an acting general manager or administrator.

 

______________________________

 

The statement said “there will be zero tolerance for harassment, bullying, or violence of any kind in regards to this notice, or otherwise.”

 

It said since the appointment of five new board members in November, there have been several reports of vandalism, racism, “anti-Blackness,” violence, harassment and intimidation of marginalized community members.

 

“This behaviour is egregious, is not okay, and is unacceptable,” the board said. “We, as the newly elected board, want anyone who has experienced harm due to their involvement with this society to understand that we see you, we believe you, and we stand with you.”

 

The theatre reached a settlement this year in a Human Rights Tribunal case in which a Black actor alleged the company and a director discriminated against her on the basis of race after she was told there were no roles for Black women in a play.

 

In its statement, the board said it wanted to “create a safer, more inclusive, respectful artistic space where anyone who wishes to be part of this community can thrive, free from all forms of harassment, including sexual harassment, discrimination, racism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, bullying and violence.

 

“We believe that every artist, cultural worker, volunteer and employee should expect a work environment that encourages the creative process, provides transparent communication, and promotes mutual respect for everyone involved. The community is not currently up to these standards. This work needs our time, attention, and priority, and cannot happen without further anti-harassment and anti-racism training for the greater Langham community, and the assistance of an active general manager.”

 

 

 

https://www.timescol...ullying-4912093



#24 Spy Black

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Posted 31 December 2021 - 09:16 AM

The new Board of Fools takes over in a carefully crafted AGM coup for no other reason but to punish all the existing long time Langham Court subscribers and members for not sharing their woke-washing, SJW agenda.

 

That punishment now takes the form of shutting the Langham Court theatre company down completely, very likely never to re-open. 

They will no doubt burn through any cash reserve they have while attempting to put forth an image that Langham Court Theatre is still a viable operation, but 6, 8, or 12 months down he road, when that cash is all gone, the building will go up for sale, and the 6 decades of highly successful Langham Court Theatre will uncerimoniously cease to exist, while the Board of Fools responsible for its demise parades around town declaring that Langham Court was "simply too damaged for them to repair".

 

What an utter load of garbage.

 

The amateurs currently running Langham Court into the ground will certainly manage to do the damage that will result in Langham demise before they're finished ... one can only hope that the entire Victoria theatre community will forever remember the members of this current Board of Fools, and avoid them all as if they were plague, forever rejecting them from the Victoria theatre scene.

 


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#25 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 31 December 2021 - 09:22 AM

Who is earning salaries while it is shut?  What would theoretically happen to any proceeds if it was closed permanently and the operation/property sold?


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 31 December 2021 - 09:23 AM.


#26 Spy Black

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Posted 31 December 2021 - 09:38 AM

They have a combination of paid staff, and unpaid volunteers who may, or may not receive a stipend for their hours worked, depending on the position, and the amount of time, skill and effort required.

 

Generally speaking, if a company like Langham Court were to be dissolved, after all the debts were paid off, any remaining funds would be dispersed amongst paid members of the Langham Court Theatre. Considering what's currently taking place though, it is almost a sure thing that the courts would see all funds immediately placed into some sort of a court administered trust while more permanent resolutions were being sought.

 

In all likelihood, at some point an experienced group would emerge (likely comprised of long time Langham Court members) who would propose to (as did Bastion Theatre back in the day) re-invent the company as the New Langham Court Theatre Company, at which time the courts would presumably release some of the funds in order to support such an endeavour.

 

One thing is for sure ... it would be a complete and utter mess initially.

But of course that "utter mess" is 100% the intent of this current Board of Anarchists, who have made it their mission to literally run Langham Court Theatre into the ground as punishment and payback aimed at long time Langham Court supporters and members.


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#27 spanky123

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Posted 31 December 2021 - 09:50 AM

The amateurs currently running Langham Court into the ground will certainly manage to do the damage that will result in Langham demise before they're finished ... one can only hope that the entire Victoria theatre community will forever remember the members of this current Board of Fools, and avoid them all as if they were plague, forever rejecting them from the Victoria theatre scene.

 

Classic case of folks being united in their criticism but not in their resolution. The same thing will happen with the RBCM. After the exhibits are dismantled and destroyed it will become clear that there is no agreement on what they should be replaced with and thus the museum will languish for years. The only difference in this case is that the Province will continue to pay $12M a year in salaries for people to sit around and pontificate to themselves.


Edited by spanky123, 31 December 2021 - 09:51 AM.

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#28 Barrrister

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Posted 31 December 2021 - 09:56 AM

I am sure that the city and province will end up giving large cash grants to the theater.



#29 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 31 December 2021 - 09:58 AM

I think in the case of dissolution of a non-profit, they have to give any cash left over to another non-profit.

 

Can't the former supporters/membership rise up and try to win back board seats next year?



#30 spanky123

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Posted 31 December 2021 - 10:35 AM

I think in the case of dissolution of a non-profit, they have to give any cash left over to another non-profit.

 

Can't the former supporters/membership rise up and try to win back board seats next year?

 

Probably a reasonable outcome. I suspect that most of the 'activists' will have moved on to their next cause and won't renew. 


Edited by spanky123, 31 December 2021 - 10:36 AM.


#31 Moderation

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Posted 31 December 2021 - 11:07 AM

Another perspective on part of this issue from one of the key participants.

 

 

https://exbulletin.c...ainment/888262/



#32 Spy Black

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Posted 31 December 2021 - 12:41 PM

Another perspective on part of this issue from one of the key participants.

Old (ancient actually) news. 
There were no black Montrealers written into the show by the author for Ms. Treloar  (now deceased) to cast. 

As well, your link doesn’t offer “perspective” as much as it offers yet another actor complaining about a directors choices for the direction of any given stage production … and essentially suggesting that “they” could have done a better job of it. 

Such complaints are commonplace in theatre, this one just added the race-baiting component so it got some additional press, and further attracted the attention of some bored SJW’s looking to further their agenda by weaselling their way onto Langham’s BOD.   
 


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#33 Moderation

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Posted 31 December 2021 - 01:04 PM

per·spec·tive
/pərˈspektiv/
 
2.
  • a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
     


#34 Barrrister

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Posted 31 December 2021 - 01:20 PM

Moderation: Do you actually have a job? Or are you old and retired?

 

Your comments seem to be rather non linear advocacy that are an assault on reason.



#35 spanky123

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Posted 31 December 2021 - 01:41 PM

Moderation: Do you actually have a job? Or are you old and retired?

 

Your comments seem to be rather non linear advocacy that are an assault on reason.

 

You mean there are people here who are not old and retired?!


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#36 phx

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Posted 31 December 2021 - 03:03 PM

Sigh, another cultural institution destroyed by narcissist sociopaths.


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#37 Mike K.

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 09:55 AM

You mean there are people here who are not old and retired?!


We don’t deserve the coveted Forum for Boomers title from newly arrived very important people for nothing.

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#38 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 10:24 AM

Some sniping back and forth here for sure.

 

 

https://www.facebook...44722845777369/



#39 Spy Black

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 12:21 PM

Some sniping back and forth here for sure.

The exchange in this Facebook group might lead folks to believe that there are indeed "two sides" to this story. 

Sadly, the situation is representative of exactly what was noted in this very V.V. thread earlier. A bunch of SJW's took advantage of a race-baiting situation (initiated by the general publics fundamental lack of understanding of how live theatre actually works, and the concept of a singular vision provided by any given plays stage Director) and in a classic sweep at an AGM, managed to get all of their SWJ buddies installed as the new Board of Directors of Langham Court.

 

They then shut down the entire season on utterly false premises, in order to send their message loud and clear to the theatre community in Victoria, a message that simply noted that it was the SJW way, or the highway.

 

It's a shame, and a large percentage of former Langham Court members and subscribers have already permanently departed, effectively throwing this new Board, and Langham Court in the garbage for their bad behaviour.



#40 spanky123

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 12:30 PM

^ I looked up funding for the LCT as they are a charity. Aside from covid money from the Feds in 2020 (and I presume this past year as well), most of the funds come from private donations and ticket sales. I haven't checked but I assume there is a tax exemption from the City. There doesn't appear to be any other public money involved.

 

The theatre runs pretty much at break even so I don't see how they can afford a paid general manager without a substantial increase in the number of tickets sold annually (ie more events) or an increase in ticket prices.  None of my business however as this is up to the members to sort out. I would add though that as a taxpayer I would hope that the next council would not grant them a property tax exemption (if indeed they are now getting one) unless they are actually running events. 


Edited by spanky123, 01 January 2022 - 12:30 PM.

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