Bert Church Live Theatre has a new lead player
Theresa Cochran is the new team lead of the Bert Church Theatre (BCT). We asked her to introduce herself, talk about the upcoming season and tell us why live performances matter.
airdrielife: For starters, please give us a quick synopsis of your background and what led you to the BCT.
Theresa Cochran: My background is varied, with 20 years experience working in a municipal government environment. Within my time at the City of Calgary I had the chance to work in four great departments including 10 years with Calgary Recreation. I have varied education that ranges from being a certified holistic nutritionist and fitness instructor to having a master’s degree in business. Although I don’t have any specific arts and culture training my children are both very active in the arts world, with my daughter finishing her last year in a degree in fine arts with a major in ceramics and my son taking a degree in musical theatre and performance.
What led me to BCT, well, I was looking for a fun job that was far beyond anything I had done. I wanted to have more ability to influence arts in Airdrie and was excited at the prospect of becoming more involved in the community.
AL: Favourite live performance ever?
TC: The Lion King Musical is one of my absolute favourites. The costumes, the music, the dancing…. Amazing show.
AL: What show coming to BCT has you most excited and why?
TC: I am really excited about this entire season. Really there are so many shows to see and enjoy; however, I am very excited about the Anastasia Ballet, the Rainbow Dance Theatre’s presentation of Selfie, the Olate Dogs will be sure to make me laugh, and I am very excited to see Gerry Madigan live on stage with a spectacular 10-piece band. Really, I could go on and on as I am excited about every show on our performance roster.
AL: What is the biggest challenge of running the theatre?
TC: One of the biggest challenges is getting our programming information out to the community. We have such a beautiful theatre; however, there are still so many people in Airdrie and beyond that don’t even know we exist. Our goal this year is to get out into the community to ensure we have a sell-out for every show! The more community support we have, the more shows we will be able to present. We want our citizens to not have to drive to Calgary for their date night or their family weekend events when we have so much to offer right here in Airdrie.
AL: What show should every child see?
TC: We have so many great family and children’s shows this season, with Pinkalicious the Musical, Charlie Brown’s Christmas, The Halloween Howl Masquerade ball, The Purple Pirate Ship, Cinderella, James and the Giant Peach, and of course the winners of America’s Got Talent – the Olate Dogs. I hope the children in Airdrie get a chance to see them all.
AL: Best place to sit in the theatre?
TC: We are so lucky that with a smaller theatre, every seat is a good seat, but I love right in the middle of the theatre. You get a great view of everything.
AL: Why does live performance matter so much in this digital age?
TC: Live performance takes you to a new place, one that is fascinating and beyond your day-to-day life. During each show you get to be up close and personal with the performers and for a few lovely hours nothing else matters. I have been to so many shows where I am mesmerized and so enthralled with the performance and those on stage. This is a feeling that can never be replicated with technology!
AL: You’ve booked more than 30 performances this season, everything from classical symphony to comedy. What was your philosophy in planning such an impressive listing?
TC: We are looking to ensure that there is something for everyone in the community. Further, as suggested above, we want the citizens of Airdrie to be able to go to amazing live shows right in their own city. The theatre is easy to get to, parking is free, and as I said every seat’s a great seat! Lastly, exposing more people to theatre and live performance through the amazing talent that is booked here this season will enhance support and continued growth in arts and culture in the city.
AL: If your life was a Broadway show – what would it be called?
TC: Some days if feels an awful lot like Groundhog Day! But wouldn’t it be cool if was more like Come From Away?