St. Stephen told of importance of theatre company to community’s economy - Sep. 27, 2013
A vibrant theatre arts company can be a tourist attraction for its home community.
That’s the message delivered this week to a meeting of St. Stephen town council by a member of the board of the St. Croix Theatre Company.
Bill Breuer, a producer and playwright who divides his time between his homes in Kingsley, KY, and Chamcook, told town council he wanted them to be aware of the work the company does and the benefit it can be, and has been, to the community.
“We’re proud of what’s happened and we want you to be proud of what’s happened,” said Breuer. “We’ve made a move to become much bigger and stand out in New Brunswick.”
Breuer said next year the company will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a world premiere of a romantic comedy. The company will also begin educational work with the Boys and Girls Club of Charlotte County. Currently it is in the midst of presenting a series of shows for CHCO-Cable TV. It also presents murder mysteries and has a comedy improv troupe, a standing group which can “walk in anytime” and perform. He said the theatre company is supported only by advertisers and tickets sales.
Since the company began, Breuer said it has progressed to the status of “pro-am” which means it is of a standard that now attracts professionals to work with volunteers for the purpose of training people in stage craft.
He asked the council to consider the theatre company when planning events for the civic centre and conventions at the new hotel. Breuer said he has personally performed forensic murder mysteries at resorts and casinos, and can handle up to 400 conventioneers at a time.
“This could be another attraction for the town. We see it as a gateway,” said Breuer.
Mayor John Quartermain said he thought the theatre company should become a link on the town’s website.
“We need links to the different things that are offered in St. Stephen. As far as arts and culture goes that would be an important part of links on our website. We should be showcasing this stuff,” said Quartermain.
Breuer said statistics in both the United States and Canada show not-for-profit arts gives back $7 into the local economy for every $1 that goes to arts and culture. It not only attracts tourists to performances, he said, but supports food industry and hotels.
“We hope to be working with you soon,” Breuer told the council.
“Yes, absolutely,” said the mayor.