Eliza Gardiner is stepping down from her role as TheatreOne general manager. (Photo courtesy Vancouver Island University)

Eliza Gardiner is stepping down from her role as TheatreOne general manager

Gardiner oversaw modernization and economic surplus for the Nanaimo theatre company

Eliza Gardiner, who saw TheatreOne through its most successful financial year, is leaving her position as general manager of the local theatre company to focus on her teaching role with Vancouver Island University.

Gardiner began her role in March of 2015 and under her leadership the organization went from what a she described in a farewell post as a “significant deficit” to a surplus.

She said she was drawn to the position because she wanted to work with award-winning artistic director David Mann, it was a good fit with her work as a theatre instructor at VIU and she is a believer in TheatreOne’s mission.

Gardiner said she feels she accomplished her goals of modernizing TheatreOne, streamlining its branding, developing its Just Kidding family series and putting more bodies in seats.

“Lack of funding and politics in the past decade have made operations challenging for a lot of arts companies across the province,” she said.

“And I was determined to use that marketing to really attract people to something that they would leave with a sense of wonderment in their mind and a smile on their face and build an experience for people, not just a ticket to a show.”

Gardiner said she is proud of her final year with TheatreOne. She said she veered from the company’s “traditional” perspective and took more risks.

“I started to get a little bit more courageous and helped to choose some shows that push the envelope a little bit because that’s my thing: the socio-political power that theatre has over the centuries, over the millennia, really, to impact a culture and a civilization,” she said, mentioning staging Mark Kunji Ikeda’s performance Sansei: The Storyteller, which covered the Japanese internment, and Jennifer Wynne Webber’s women’s labour movement play, With Glowing Hearts.

“As much as, in a way, I don’t want to go, I’ll look back and say it was a good way to end.”

Gardiner said it’s been a dream of hers to work full time at VIU and this is what she will be doing. She will now be able to give her full attention to her scholarly duties, which include teaching five courses, tutoring students in the writing centre, directing plays for the theatre program and doing research.

“It’s with some regrets that I’ll leave here, but with a lot of excitement about what’s to come,” she said.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Nanaimo Theatre Group will start its season by staging a farce

Self Help follows married second-rate actors who become famous self-help coaches

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: School buses need seat belts

If I had a child in school, I would be insisting on seat belts in school buses, says letter writer

Nanaimo United forgoing soccer balls for snowballs

With soccer cancelled, snow fun day to take place at Beban Park on Saturday, Feb. 16

Man arrested in shooting at Nanaimo hotel pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

New museum exhibit presents Nanaimo mysteries

Nanaimo Mysteries exhibit unveils city’s fiction and even stranger facts

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 14

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Dallas Stars pay tribute to Nanaimo woman who died of cancer

NHL team wore Arlene Forbes’s initials on hockey helmets last week

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Most Read