For the love of laughter.
Anne Lafont of the LAFT Players board of directors presents an appreciation plaque to a driving force behind the local live theatre group – Gladys and Doug Sidock – after Saturday’s performance of Beside Yourself.
When Lois Leclaire and Gladys Sidock decided Renfrew needed live theatre, the goal was clear. Make people laugh.
Since its inception the LAFT theatre group has been doing exactly that, and a whole new generation is stepping forward to keep the tradition alive.
Saturday night LAFT ended its run of the Nick Hall/Samuel French comedy Beside Yourself – the story of four sets of identical twins and how their paths cross at a human development behavioural study at a vacation resort.
As the play’s program describes, “Mistaken identities, romantic mishaps and elaborate schemes are just the beginning.”
The cast of four were Ray Maynard as Bob/Bill, Chris Kyte as Pam/Pat, Julie Hunter as Sally/Sue and Calvin Beaulieu as Jim/Jack.
The play’s producer was Rae Ann Dagenais and director was Derek Borgford.
After Saturday’s performance, the cast, crew, members of Renfrew council and fans of community theatre gathered in the AFAC lounge where Gladys and Doug Sidock were honoured for their dedication to LAFT Players.
Renfrew Mayor Bill Ringrose praised and thanked the Sidocks for their commitment to culture in community.
“What you are doing is extremely important,” the mayor said.
Ringrose also noted that recreation director Barclay Mayhew is working on a cultural policy for the Town of Renfrew.
He said if a swimming pool and second ice pad project proceeds, the recreation centre may be part of the decision-making process and could end up vacant and find new life as a home for culture and the arts.
“I would love to see that building (the rec centre) used for that purpose,” Ringrose said.
On the subject of culture, he further noted that recreation director Barclay Mayhew is actually working on a culture policy for the community.
‘”Thank you very much for all you’ve done,” he told the Sidocks.
Ann Lafont spoke on behalf of the LAFT board, and after recognizing the efforts of the Beside Yourself crew, turned her focus to the Sidocks.
“Together, with Lois Leclaire, Gladys Sidock had a vision to bring live theatre back to Renfrew,” Lafont said.
“For more than 12 years now, Gladys and her husband Doug have been the driving force and constant source of energy that has fuelled the flame that has kept this organization running,” she said.
“They have been tireless in their efforts from the beginning to the end of every production and have brought countless numbers of people together with grace, tact and friendship.
“They have opened their home, lent their belongings and shared their knowledge with all of us so that, hopefully, we will be able to carry the torch that they are passing us and continue to bring live theatre to Renfrew for years to come,” Lafont said.
“Gladys and Doug, we can’t thank you enough for opening up this opportunity for us, “ she said, “but we hope this gift will help you realize how very much you are both appreciated and loved by all of us.”