Changing the World – One Play at a Time
Welcome to the Beech Street Theatre Company (BSTC) "The Little Theatre with a Big Heart"
Beech Street is relatively new to the Durham Region arts scene, having incorporated in December of 2013. Since then we have continued to grow as a theatre – one that we believe is a little different from other theatre groups in the Region.
What makes us different?
First of all, the only plays we produce are plays written by Canadian playwrights. We give special consideration to local writers. Often the plays you come to see are on stage for the first time. What we’ve learned is that these plays are every bit as good as the “old standards” that people like to see.
Besides our full-length plays, we also perform dinner theatre at various restaurants in Durham Region. Often we perform in small, intimate venues that provide just the right mood for an excellent dinner and a play. The perfect evening out!
The BSTC reaches out to the community, bringing the theatre experience to people who may not otherwise get the opportunity with our “Build A Play” program. In 2018, the BSTC worked with the Brain Injury Association of Durham Region (BIAD), the Thrive Program at the Abilities Centre and the Alzheimer Society of Durham Region. These groups create their own plays and characters, create the set and design the costumes. After several weeks of rehearsals, they perform the play. In 2019, we have added the Back Door Mission and the BIAD Youth Group to our group of theatre participants.
The BSTC believes that by developing art and culture we help people become confident, educated and happy. This in turn helps people become better neighbours, employees and customers. By contributing to the growth and development of art and culture you help us in developing a more vibrant and engaged community.
See you at the theatre!
The Beech Street Theatre’s Commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:
1. No Poverty
For those in financially struggling situations, special concessions will be made in ticket prices for select pay-what-you-can performances.
2. Zero Hunger
Select performances will grant admission to those who make a donation to the Food Bank. All donated food will be delivered to the nearest food bank in our community.
3. Good Health and Well-Being
We ensure that our venues, sets, props, and costumes are free of harmful toxins and are safe to use. We endeavour to provide healthy snack alternatives during all rehearsals and when our performances include an intermission.
4. Quality Education
Our education program brings theatre to the community, affording experiences to youth, seniors, people with various levels of ability, and those otherwise unable to experience conventional theatre through training sessions, workshops, and lectures.
5. Gender Equality
All our productions provide equal opportunities for all gender identities to participate on stage and behind the scenes. When creatively viable, we explore and encourage cross-gender casting. We prioritize shows that give strong voices and full characterization to all roles.
6. Clean Water and Sanitation
The venues of performance we select all provide clean and sanitary rest room facilities for all together with clean water for drinking. We always ensure there is clean and fresh drinking water for all cast, crew, and audience members during our productions.
7. Affordable and Clean Energy
We use affordable and clean hydro-electric energy during all our rehearsals and performances. We also support efforts to upgrade venues to alternate clean energies like solar and wind power, as well as encouraging the use of LED lighting and other energy-efficient means of production.
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
We have always had a mandate that prioritizes paying artists first. As a small non-profit theatre company, guaranteed payment is often not an option, in which case we take care to provide profit sharing, training opportunities, and other personal growth programs that provide remuneration for work done. We consider ourselves a part of the Whitby arts, culture, and business communities and prioritize purchasing from local businesses and providing free or low-cost advertising to give a voice to those same businesses, all a part of our ongoing commitment to the economic growth of our community.
9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
As members of the Whitby Performing Arts community, we are actively involved in the general performing arts industry and support innovative approaches to building and maintaining an infrastructure that support the theatre community at large.
10. Reduced Inequalities
Our commitments to SDG1, SDG2, and SDG5 ensue that pre-existing inequalities in our community are reduced by providing accessibility to our performances for all regardless of gender, financial situation, or people with various levels of ability. We extend this mandate to our employment criteria for both full-time and contract workers.
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
We recognize that more than 50% of the global population live in cities. As a city-based theatre company, we strive to make our contributions to the urban environment through sustainable practices such as recycling sets, props, and costumes and through giving back to the community with our charitable, humanitarian, and educational programs. On each Earth Week, we conduct a Plastic Pick-up Challenge to inspire others in our community to reduce the practice of discarding plastic waste and to encourage the use of non-plastic materials. These efforts contribute to Whitby’s overall sustainability and help keep our communities strong.
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
Whenever possible, our construction materials are all biodegradable and recyclable materials. We apply the same consideration to the acquisition and manufacturing of costumes and props. We extend this mandate to our print materials using only recycled paper and never producing more than we need to maintain a zero-waste policy.
13. Climate Action
Our board member, Dr. Mark Terry, is a climate activist, environmental studies professor, and a communications partner of the United Nations Climate Change secretariat. In this capacity, his efforts support our objective to bring climate awareness to the world and climate action to the policymakers of the United Nations. Through his efforts, we have established a showcase of our climate-themed one-act plays at the annual World Higher Education Conference hosted by UNESCO.
14. Life Below Water
We do our part to protect marine life by reducing our use of plastics, toxic substances, and non-biodegradable materials that may otherwise poison or harm those who live in our lakes, seas, and oceans. We use reusable containers as often as possible and require our cast and crew to do the same.
15. Life on Land
Our sustainability measures and practices with respect to zero-waste, the reduced use of non-recyclable product, and the safe disposal of potentially harmful toxins and by-products respects all life on land and contributes to a healthy environment for all living creatures.
16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
We support good governance within our company, our community and our governments. We extend that support to fair and just decisions and access to all groups who work with us and for our customers.
17. Partnerships for the Goals
In addition to our global partnerships with Earth Day and UNESCO, we continue to establish partnerships with local businesses and charities to support each other through a series of workshops, training, and educational programs as well as commercially supporting businesses with special rates for advertising. In all our partnerships, we bring our mandate to support all 17 Sustainable Development Goals into practice.