Try the Light – Trylight Theatre Company

Try the Light – Trylight Theatre Company


I am Gord Day-Janz and I am co-founder and
artistic director of Trylight Theatre Company. I was a dreamer when I was a kid and my Mom
used to say, “Gord, it doesn’t cost a penny to dream” and she’s absolutely right and so
I’ve never given up dreaming. My name is Lynda Longe and I have been with
Trylight since its inception in 1991. I asked my co-founder, Lynda Longe, if she
was interested in starting a theatre company and she didn’t even hesitate, she just immediately
said yes, even though we had not the faintest clue what we were doing. In the beginning years, he was on stage and
I was the director, stage manager but it didn’t take long before we got lots of people interested. Trylight actually began as an opportunity
to engage with the broader community. I’m Dylan Shumka-White and I am a Trylight
Theatre Alumni… I guess? I like theatre a lot, I went to school for
it. That’s what started out my curiosity for theatre,
um, was Trylight, really. Trylight is a little box of magic. I can remember asking Finn as he was going
through the rehearsals for A Christmas Story, “what is it that you like so much about this?”
and he looked at me as if he had no idea how to answer it, he just looked at me and said,
“Dad, everything”. I didn’t really get a true introduction to
theatre until my senior year in high school. I was cast in this show and, like Finn, I
just absolutely fell in love with the whole process. A sense of belonging, a sense of finding your
voice. The Trylight theatre folks became Finn’s people
and they are still today. When I first started, of course, it was just
the excitement of being part of a production and seeing it happen. I’d never in my life been a part of anything
like this before. When I moved to Kenora, for me, Trylight was
the first time that I felt like I was from Kenora and I still really feel that way, like
I found another family and it grows. With every show that I do it gets bigger and
bigger. I came to watch The Music Man because one
of my friends was in the chorus. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve just kept coming
back ever since. Then one day Riley Sleeman asked me if I would
be interested in doing the props and I kind of got hooked. I was voluntold to come. I seem to have fit a part and I went for it. Oh, after the first one, I was… smitten. After the first show I was, I was hooked. Well I think Trylight has grown from what
it was in the beginning to now because there are so many talented people in this community
who really just need a place to explore their talents and we have provided that over the
years. I had to rely on other people to see something
in me that they thought was valuable and I didn’t think was there. What I love about theatre is that, when you
get on to the stage, you’re an actor. You’re not a ten year old, you’re not a sixty
two year old, you’re not a 15 year old, you’re an actor. The lights come up and you’re that character
and the audience is watching. It’s magic. I mean, it’s cheesy but it’s theatre magic. And that’s what kept me coming back was, it
was almost like my family away from home, a little bit. I spent a lot of time at this theatre when
I was a kid. It brings so many things to so many different
people in different ways and I really don’t think we can begin to comprehend how we’ve
touched, how Trylight has touched people’s lives. I think to have a community theatre of this
calibre is incredible and we’re really lucky to have it. The arts are so important for a community. We can’t just be worried about roads and policing
and infrastructure. Those are obviously all really important but
the things that make life worth living, they’re things like theatre and music and art. I think it creates a sense of something bigger
than yourself, a sense of the world. So important to have theatre. This is who we are. It’s just another draw to why people would
choose to live here and it’s a great place to get cinnamon buns. It enriches our community, it makes us a better
community. And it’s the part you don’t see I think is
the most important part of Trylight. When it comes down to the nitty gritty, Trylight’s
about relationships. There are a lot of people who have been friends
for the last twenty years because they met here. You know, there’s all sorts of light that
you can try and I think that’s what Trylight is all about. It’s about hopefully an exploration of truth
and honesty and hope and that’s all a little piece of light and I think we need more light
in our world.

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