Brian March, Artistic Director of Western Edge Theatre from 2016 to 2020 and more recently one of three Artistic Associates setting its creative course, has announced that he is stepping down from his artistic role, effective immediately.
March says he will leave the job with fond memories. “It’s been a privilege working as artistic director of Western Edge for the last four plus years. I’ve engaged with many actors, writers, stage managers, directors, and designers whose talents made my job a lot easier.
“Thanks to them and the creative force of Brianna Hamilton and Dan Puglas as artistic associates, Frank Moher as executive director, and Lorna McLellan as board president, I see nothing but success and excitement as the company moves forward into the post-Covid era.”
March has been involved with Western Edge since its earliest days. “Brian and I used to haul risers up the stairs of the Harbour Dance Centre together, to create a stage each weekend,” says Moher. “He’s been part of the backbone of the company ever since.”
Says board president McLellan: “Throughout his tenure as Artistic Director, Brian brought his considerable knowledge to the thoughtful selection and direction of Western Edge productions, and he worked to establish links in the community that will be felt long into the future.
“We greatly appreciate the direction he envisioned for Western Edge, and the wheels he set in motion — including initiating the shared artistic leadership of the Artistic Associates.”
March also conceived of the company’s 2020 Mid-Island Playwrights Initiative and its current Digital Theatre Initiative. Among his many directing credits at Western Edge are How I Learned to Drive, Night of Shooting Stars, His Greatness, Dead Metaphor, and Sequence.
He has appeared as an actor in numerous of its productions, including most recently 2 Across at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo and the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay. He directed his own play, Fireweed, for Western Edge in 2009, and the company’s popular murder-mystery dinner fundraisers are based on his scripts.
March will remain on the Board of Western Edge. He offers “special thanks to the audiences who have continued to support the company through the years. You are the life force that keeps us moving forward, and I look forward to rubbing shoulders with you again when live theatre returns.”
Photo: Josef Jacobson, courtesy Nanaimo News-Bulletin