Why presenting matters to you and your community? Short Stories and Conversations with Ontario’s presenters and performing arts professionals.
We are continuing our Presenting Q series with Glenn Brown, Theatre Manager, Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts, the host for the upcoming Members Retreat that will take place June 5 - 7, 2013, in Brantford, ON.
Glenn has spent the past twenty-five years working at the Sanderson Centre in a variety of roles. His first job was tearing down the movie screen on the first day the theatre was being converted back from a movie house to performing arts. Since then, he has held a variety of production roles including head electrician and technical director before moving into administration and presenting. Outside of work, he spends most of his time trying to keep up with his three children and is often accused of being his wife Heather’s fourth child.
From your experience, what do you see as your role in presenting performing artists?
I see myself as a matchmaker. I need to understand my community - and the different audiences within it - in a way that I can bring them the artists that they will have a connection with.
Who/what inspired you to get involved in the arts?
My inspiration was an actor’s performance that had me so engaged in the story and the character that I forgot I was watching a performance. I was actually a little disoriented when the scene ended. That was the spark that got me involved in community theatre and eventually led me to production and to presenting.
What do you consider your proudest moment as a performing arts presenter?
I love to sit in the house and see and feel an audience responding to a performance. Those moments when both performer and audience are linked through the performance are very powerful.
What are the biggest challenges facing you as an arts presenter in Canada?
The price of a night of professional entertainment becomes a real barrier for the audience to try something new. With limited entertainment budgets, our audience picks the shows where they know what to expect and they miss out on lesser known or newer artists.
What are the main benefits of your work to your community?
Brantford is famous for producing hockey players who are inspired by our community’s history and the facilities we have to hone their skills. Our theatre plays the same role for those students who have very different dreams for their future. We serve as both inspiration through the programming we offer and a place to get early experience performing in a “real theatre”.
If a sudden crisis caused your organization to disappear from your community, what would be missed?
The ownership that so many in the community feel for our heritage venue would be lost. The economic impact of the venue as a regional tourism attraction can’t be replaced by the smaller arts venues in the community.