Get to know the Board of Directors
Interview with Board President- Jim Konopetski
1. How long have you been involved with ITOPA?
My first connection with ITOPA, or live theatre for that matter, came along in 1992. The producer for ITOPA’s upcoming production of Arsenic and Old Lace suggested I audition, as there were some small roles for men that needed to be filled. I was cast as Lieutenant Rooney and got hooked!
2. What do you love about the Theatre?
I’ve come to learn theatre provides an outlet for our creativity, and a unique connection with other people that share the experience with us. I love crossing paths with a person that has been part of a past production with me and realize that bond is still there. There is a trust that develops while being part of a show, and I treasure that connection with all the friends that I’ve gained over the years.
3. Why do you believe community theatre is important?
The importance of community theatre lies in the people that embrace the experience, whether as a participant or patron. Every live event is unique, and different from a recorded medium. People are part of each performance.
4. With the current pandemic and lock down measures in place, what kind of future do you see for community theatre?
This little epidemic we’re enduring has profoundly impacted how society operates, and community theatre is no exception. There is a fear in the population of getting together in groups, and enjoying a show while sitting beside a stranger for a couple of hours. I’m sure that feeling will ease in time, once the virus has been eradicated, but we may not recover our audience base of all of our members for a year or two afterward. I’m confident the need we feel to reconnect with each other will return stronger than ever.
5. As the new President of the Board of Directors, what are some of the initiatives you have planned for ITOPA, over the next 12 months?
ITOPA is sitting idle right now, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t moving forward. Our facility costs about $2,000 monthly to operate, and that means our bank account is getting a little smaller every month. We’ve been very fortunate to have had some donations from our community and are thankful for their support. The board has been exploring a couple of other fund-raising options, so stay tuned! As well, there are a few projects we are getting done, like painting and organizing. A new box office program is taking effect in February too. Our board of directors has a wealth of talent and experience, and I’m privileged and excited to be working with them.
6. With the theatre currently closed, what do you miss most about the days of the past?
Prior to taking on the role of President last November, I was responsible for ITOPA’s publicity. Getting the word out about our news and upcoming events kept me occupied throughout each season, and I looked forward to connecting with each show’s production team. Suddenly, there wasn’t much to do. And the news wasn’t good. I miss the excitement and anticipation of each opening night. As well, I had the wonderful experience of acting in Theatre Tillsonburg’s February 2020 show, “The Birds and the Bees”. That was such a blast! That’s what is so difficult about the quarantine…the joy we’re all missing from our theatre lives.
7. What are some of your favorite past performances?
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have portrayed a variety of characters, from a murdering vigilante in “The Donnelly Trial”, to the owner of a nudist camp in “Bare Bear Bones”, as well as an English businessman stranded in the middle of a lake in “Neville’s Island”. Two roles that were extra special to my development as an actor were Inspector Davidson in “The Sound of Murder”, and Richard Cresswell, a romance novelist in “Seduced by Moonlight”. I can’t wait to get back on stage! And back on stage is what ITOPA will do! When we reopen later this year, I know you’ll enjoy top notch live entertainment at your community theatre in Ingersoll. Until then, play safe!