Entertainment

Carousel Players to hold memorial show for McLauchlan

John Law

By John Law, Niagara Falls Review

A memorial show for Carousel Theatre's late board chairwoman Debra McLauchlan will be held Feb. 25 in Fonthill. PHOTO: Submitted

A memorial show for Carousel Theatre's late board chairwoman Debra McLauchlan will be held Feb. 25 in Fonthill. PHOTO: Submitted

Carousel Players theatre company will hold a free memorial performance for its former board chairwoman Debra McLachlan.

The arts advocate and Brock University teacher, who helped create Carousel’s outreach programs in Ontario schools, died suddenly at her home on Oct. 31. She joined the St. Catharines theatre’s board in 2004.

A performance of Matt Mackenzie’s Tick will be held in her memory Feb. 25 at E.L. Crossley Secondary School in Fonthill.

It’s the start of what will be an annual free show in her honour, says Carousel Players artistic director Jessica Carmichael. The location will change each year.

The first show is sponsored by many of McLauchlan’s friends and family members.

“Debra was a unique, bright and compassionate human being who cared deeply for the cultivation of young peoples’ passion and appreciation for the arts,” says Carmichael, who also directs the show. “She championed the ways in which arts can open dialogue for young people to express their concerns in society, and therefore creating a more inclusive society.”

Carousel Players’s Artist in the Classroom and Playlinks outreach programs involved more than 41,680 children in 2,358 classrooms between 2007 and 2016.

In 2008, she spearheaded a partnership between Carousel and Brock in which students research and develop study guides for each of Carousel’s plays as part of their final-year project.

In 2013, McLachlan received the Volunteer in the Arts Award from the City of St. Catharines.

“Her impact is manifold and we hope to impart her insights through the opportunity of having these free public performances,” says Carmichael.

Tick follows a young girl’s battle against city hall when cost-cutting measures appear to be a war on adolescents. Without aid from her family or friends, she instead turns to heroes she discovered through books: Louis Riel, Che Guevara and J.K. Rowling.

jlaw@postmedia.com

  • WHAT: Tick - Memorial performance for Debra McLauchlan
  • WHERE: E.L. Crossley Secondary School; 350 Highway #20; Fonthill
  • WHEN: Feb. 25, 11 a.m.
  • ADMISSION: Free. To reserve a seat contact 905-682-8326 or schools@carouselplayers.com