‘Sense of belonging and community fuels everything:’ Knowlton Players

By Taylor McClure, Special to Brome County News

Founded in 1990, Knowlton Players has been serving Brome Lake with exceptional amateur theatre for decades and has supported the community along the way. While productions of the group are currently postponed due to COVID-19, the Players plan to be back with lots in store as soon as possible. While we’re all waiting for that day, The Brome County News caught up with a few members of the group to get a glimpse as to what the Knowlton Players is all about.
Danny McAuley and his wife Lucy Hoblyn are founding members of the Knowlton Players and have been actively involved for some time.
Acting, directing, and lighting with the group led McAuley to work in professional theatre..
“I worked in theatre professionally for a long time but I was always keeping a connection with the Knowlton Players,” he said. “Now I’m retired with the book store and I am part of the board and direct shows for fun.”
McAuley emphasized that one important aspect of the Knowlton Players is family.
“It’s always been a bit like a family. It’s a great group of people that are so diverse; there are kids right up to seniors. There are so many people from different walks of life. As an artist, if you’re doing a painting, you’re creating art but you’re doing it alone. With a community theatre group, you’re creating this thing together. Everyone is part of this creation so it’s so much closer to a family, you’re always working towards the same goal.”
Sheila Quinn, who grew up watching theatre, shared that she had her first experience with the Knowlton Players when she went to watch her best friend perform for the group many years ago.
“It seemed like a warm and fun community and people were enthusiastic to be on stage,” said Quinn. “It was in my mind for a long time that I wanted to attend other shows there, I really enjoyed it.”
After growing up in Richmond, Quinn moved to Knowlton around eight years ago and she became heavily involved in volunteer work for the community. While The Knowlton Players was always one group that was on her mind to help out with, she decided to hold off for a little while.
“A lot of things changed for me and I needed to focus on home and focus on my boys so I decided to wait and observe what’s going before I jumped on board for anything.” She started off by offering to help the group make costumes for ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Reboot,’ and before long the casting call came for ‘Mamma Mia.’
“I went to the audition and I had so much fun just auditioning. I live in Knowlton, I’m with these people, many who I’d seen on stage many years ago and over the years became friends, so when I was offered one of the leads, I was mind blown. It was unbelievable.”
What took her back the most was how well everyone worked together and the sense of community that was involved.
“I was so impressed with how everyone worked together and how after all those months, there was never any crappy points. There were sad points because people did have losses in their families but everyone came together and surrounded this person and they’d be back singing not long afterwards.”
Quinn relfected that the Knowlton Players are there for each other through the good times and the bad.

See full story in the April 7 edition of the Brome County News.

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