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Feature - Whistler Players, Act II

Local troupe, Millennium Place set the stage for theatre inWhistler

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By Alan Forsythe

Culture and Whistler, most people would regard that as an oxymoron. After all this is just a resort town, but it is also a community with close to 10,000 year-round residents, and as such people with families and roots in the community.

That¹s a lot of people who quite possibly are looking for more than a round of bar hoping to pass the long winter nights. Of course there are

refreshments of a more horizontal nature, plus the old standby of curling up in front of the fire with a good book, or as is more often the case these

days, in front of the TV with the latest video release.

But in the interests of bringing more diverse entertainment to this idyllic mountain burg, and to hopefully help avoid the incipient onslaught of cabin

fever, a few passionate individuals have managed to cultivate the seeds of a local performing arts community.

And as much as I would enjoy writing headlines like, ³Crazed Australian decapitates roommates with snowboard,² I applaud them for their tireless

efforts, for which they ask nothing in return, except for possibly your applause.

To understand where the performing arts in Whistler originated, we have to go back to the start of that crazy mixed up decade that has come to be known

as The ¹90s.

In November 1991 a small acting troupe ? The Whistler Players, first formed in 1989 ? put on a production of the Wizard of Oz at the Whistler Conference

Centre. Featuring a cast of over 40 it was the then high point of live theatre in Whistler. From there they mounted over a dozen productions in the

next six years. None were of the scope of The Wizard of Oz, but by 1997 The Whistler Players had a cast of about 50 regulars to call on.

Unfortunately they had no real venue and had to rely on the availability of high school gyms or hotel ballrooms in lieu of theatre space. In fact, some

of their most popular plays were Monty Python, Fawlty Towers or their own Chairlift Revue sketches performed in local bars.

Lack of real theatre space and the inevitable intrusion of families and careers led to the dissolution of the troupe in 1997.

Now, with the completion of Maurice Young Millennium Place earlier this year, Linda Marshall ? one of the founding members of the theatre group,

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