Black Box Backdrop

Our lit but empty stage

Black Box Backdrop: Some projects for this year

This week, I’m going to talk about a number of outstanding projects that I’m thinking about for the theatre, but don’t yet have owners. Some of these are topics that came up in the previous board year that didn’t go anywhere, or questions/decisions that were deferred to a future date.

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Black Box Backdrop #1

Hello and welcome to the first edition of the Black Box Backdrop! In this biweekly column, I will be talking about all the work happening in the background that supports our excellent events – notes from board meetings, committees, etc.

Board Meeting Highlights: July 5th

Here are the highlights of what happened at our first board meeting:

  • We appointed each board member to the board-level roles. You can see the full list on the Board Page
  • We approved a budget maximum of $13,500 for the Show Control Committee to purchase the equipment and construction materials to expand and improve our tech booth.
  • We approved a form to be signed by company credit card holders going forward. The goal with this form is to ensure that all KWLT credit card holders understand their responsibilities with the cards, as well as the repercussions for abuse. Notably, this form is NOT being implemented as a response to a problem, but as a risk mitigation measure to help prevent future problems.
  • We discussed 2 inquiries from the production team of The Devil’s Disciple: when the production should go forward, and what COVID restrictions exist around rehearsal and performance. 
    • The date for this production remains to-be-determined, as the Artistic Director is newly coming up-to-speed with our productions and will be more prepared to set dates at a later time.
    • The Board realized that they will need to create policies for rehearsals and performances in accordance with provincial rules in the transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic. A committee was formed to begin collecting information and bring a recommendation to the board, consisting of Nadia Ursacki, Todd Vercoe, and Monica Maika. 
  • We discussed promotions for the Flash Madness event which occurred July 9-11, and took action to ensure it was shared out by the KWLT social media accounts.
  • We received a complaint from a member regarding holding the AGM despite the widespread power outages across Kitchener and Waterloo. We did not discuss this in depth, but noted it for future consideration should something similar happen in the future. Notably, the AGM still had enough attendance by our membership to achieve quorum for voting. Quorum at general meetings, per our bylaws, consists of members who are NOT Board Members, and must be at least the number of Board Members at the time the meeting is called minus one. There were eight board members at the time of the meeting, so quorum at the AGM was seven KWLT members who were not on the board (and there were 21).
  • We discussed the problem of not having anyone interested in the role of Communications Director. (While Matt Walsh helpfully took the title and is working hard to make sure the role is covered, he is not interested in the full role on a permanent basis.) Our hypothesis is that we may have more success were we to find a way to spread the load among a team of officers under the Communications Director. The Board created a committee to explore the problem more in-depth and present a recommendation, consisting of Matt Walsh, Elizabeth McFaul, and Colleen Daley.
A photo of the new booth under construction. The floor is being constructed with plywood on top of dimensional lumber, and set into a metal framework.
The first step in building a new booth: building a new floor for the booth! We’re expecting this work to be done early in August.

Active Committees

Here are the current active committees, their mandates, and current status. If you are interested in joining/starting a committee or would like to provide input, please email president@kwlt.org

Show Control Committee

The Show Control Committee was established in the 2019-2020 season and was tasked with the analysis, planning, and execution of redesigning the KWLT tech booth. Currently, they are in the process of purchasing and gathering materials to begin the actual re-building of the booth.

Lobby Renewal Committee

The Lobby Renewal Committee has been ongoing for several years, and was tasked with the design and execution of re-designing the KWLT lobby to improve the experience of patrons and Box Office volunteers. A majority of the re-design has been completed, with only some signage and PPE (personal protective equipment) installation remaining.

Communications Role Committee

This committee was newly established at the July 5th board meeting, tasked with proposing a new breakdown of the Communications role & officers to the Board.

COVID Safety Policy Committee

This committee was newly established at the July 5th board meeting, tasked with proposing COVID safety policies for our productions & events, taking into account provincial and federal restrictions.


Next time in the Black Box Backdrop, I’ll be talking about some of the ‘miscellaneous’ projects happening around the theatre that I’m hoping to tackle over the next year. In the meantime, if you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below or reach out to me at president@kwlt.org!