Saluting our


National Volunteer Week

April 21-27, 2013

Volunteers a vital part of Dreamcoat

MICHELINA BEAM Executive director Trying to write an article about volunteers is not an easy thing. Where do you start? Who do you mention? Should you name names or just talk about the infinite duties that these amazing people attend to. Either way it would fill the whole page. Probably three. For Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre, volunteers are not just the backbone of the organization, they are the whole body. We are incredibly fortunate that we have so many people that we can turn to when things need to be done. Ask Hali Carlson if a day goes by that she does not take a phone call or solve a crisis to keep the Dreamcoat machine humming along. As a founding member whose children are no longer actually involved, she gives an incredible amount of her free time to ensure that the show goes on. She is extremely thankful that the network of supporters has grown so large over the years that she is able to call on people, whether they were involved years ago or just last week, to help her organize something or perhaps just provide advice. Over the years, Dreamcoat has had some wonderful people share their time - teachers, artists, business owners, police officers, fire fighters, medical professionals, accountants, stay at home moms. If you ask them how they became involved, you will hear some interesting stories. My story, which is really the Beam family story, began in the typical way. The NHL draft was not in the cards for our eight year old, so in Nov 2001 we signed the boy up for a show. We volunteered backstage because the kid had five costume changes for a one-hour show presented in the old gymnasium of what used Dreamcoat volunteers at a thank you luncheon at the Capitol Centre. to be known as the girl's school St Joe's College at the Motherhouse. Not a huge venue - no personal dressing rooms. Said costume changes happened backstage - and a couple of them at lightning speed. That was 47 shows ago. We are still here even though the boy is off at theatre school. Talk to our volunteers and you will also hear fun stories about what kind of duties they have taken on. The jobs we seek assistance for are a fascinating blend of required, and sometimes bizarre, task meeting a willing volunteer. Like the black-masked, "invisible" ninjas who helped Peter Pan fly. Or the students who hid in boxes on stage to make plants grow or glasses of potion drain. And I am certain Bonnie Beam, who has volunteered countless hours costuming kids and helping with hair and makeup, dreamed about "Who hair" for weeks after spending the show mornings of Seussical styling 50 + kids to look the part. Ray and Cheryl Girard, a retired couple who have become an invaluable part of the organization became involved because one of our directors said, "Hey I know a woman who sews...". Ray is now one of our main 'goto' guys for set building and engineering the unique. You name it - alligators, inflatable blueberries, 12 foot man-eating plants, flashy crosses - and he brings it. The list of people to thank seems endless Michelina Beam when we try to isolate names - Mary Ann and Jack Jones for everything they do, Marty and Art Southcott for planting the roots and instilling the passion for theatre in our community, Lynn Morrison who has costumed so many of our shows, Stacey Caverly, artist extraordinaire, who can paint any scene (or face) or build any prop and has been with the company since its inception in 1997, Jocelyn Bell- Summersby who has also been there since the beginning and still takes our panicked phone calls, Chris Clarke who never says no, Lindsay Furlong, Jan Boulet, and Cathy McCallum,

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