Addressed to: thenorthbaybay.ca staff
All the world might be a stage but North Bay should have two more of them.
Since the city doesn’t seem to have an issue with spending large sums of money or openly opposed developments, please allow me to propose that we spend $50 million on a twin-stage theatre.
The construction of a multi-million dollar building wholly dedicated to hosting not one, but two full-sized stages would prove beneficial to nearly everyone in the city.
One stage can be the common, traditional proscenium stage that most are used to, while the other could be a true-to-Shakespeare old style thrust stage. Imagine seeing Macbeth or Dr. Faustus surrounded by your fellow groundlings. Those too rich to stand on the floor could pay more for box seats and non-stale popcorn.
When the stages aren’t being utilized, North Bay’s new theatre could be used for writing circles like the Conspiracy of Three, D & D campaigns, board game nights, card tournaments, and by dozens and dozens of groups that have squirrelled themselves away in different parts of the city due to the lack of a central and sizeable creative and artistic hub.
A twin-stage theatre would appeal to actors, artists, singers, dancers, gamers, writers, poets, musicians, composers, and anyone who doesn’t have $2000 or a rich daddy to buy them all the latest CCM hockey pads.
You could also use some of that $50 million to make the structure look just like The Globe Theatre. If your primary goal is to drive tourism into North Bay, then look no further than being one of the very few places on Earth that has a reconstruction of Shakespeare’s very own Globe. Verily, you can have both tourism dollars and the pleasure of telling Stratford to suck it.
Now, if you’ve read this far and are saying to yourself “Ridiculous! $50 million for a theatre? Why should I be forced to pay to support the arts?” then just replace “theatre” with “arena” and “arts” with “hockey” and you’ll know how many feel about funding a high-cost, high-barrier sport that the majority of North Bay’s populace can’t afford to play.
The wonderful thing about the arts is the arts are for everyone. It costs little to write, sing, dance or perform, though for $50 million I’m willing to bet we could write, sing, dance and perform a whole lot better and a whole lot more often.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I hope I’ll see you soon on one of North Bay’s newest stages, where myself and a creative troupe of actors will perform a brand new play about the rise and fall of the North Bay Centennials.