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VPP Co-Artistic Directors recognized for fundraising efforts

By Melissa Schilz, Postmedia Network

Co-Artistic Directors for the VPP, David Hogan and David Rogers, were honoured on the opening night of Fiddler on the Moose for their contributions to the theatre. Melissa Schilz/Postmedia Network

Co-Artistic Directors for the VPP, David Hogan and David Rogers, were honoured on the opening night of Fiddler on the Moose for their contributions to the theatre. Melissa Schilz/Postmedia Network

It was surprise that washed over David Rogers and David Hogan on opening night of Fiddler on the Moose. The Co-Artistic Directors said when it comes to the first big night, they tend to stick to a usual script, a formality that audiences have grown accustomed to. But things were a little different this time.

“We weren’t expecting the mayor to join us,” Rogers said. “He came up and we were kind of…what’s going on?”

That’s when Mayor John McCharles presented the two, also known as ‘D2 Entertainment’ with a plaque and framed certificate, recognizing them for the tireless efforts and contributions to the theatre and community.

“It took me awhile to clue in,” Hogan said.

“Then he started talking about us,” Rogers added.

“[The mayor] jokingly said, New York has Rodgers and Hammerstein, we here in Petrolia have Rogers and Hogan,” Hogan said.

Some of their recent accomplishments include raising over 80 per cent of the funding for new seats in the theatre, as well as raising $10,000 towards the Fort McMurray Fire Relief Fund.

While Hogan and Rogers were recognized for leading the pack, they said they couldn’t have done it without the support of everyone.

“We were honoured,” Hogan said. “Even though it says D2 Entertainment…it’s everybody, we all did it.”

Hogan said that even if they weren’t publicly recognized, they know the work they do is deeply appreciated by the town, council and mayor. Hogan and Rogers started their journey with the Victoria Playhouse six years ago, and their focus has always been on giving audiences not just excellent customer service, but an entertaining and positive experience.

“It’s all about them,” Hogan said. “It’s not about us…it’s not about the actors…it’s about them. That’s number one.”

Hogan said this season is a big one, with not just Canada’s 150th but also 25 years since the theatre’s rebirth after the devastating fire that gutted Victoria Hall.

With the 2017 season just beginning, both said they still have a list of goals ahead in coming years, including refurbishing the box office and outdoor facilities to further enhance the experience of the theatre goers. They are also in talks regarding another fundraiser after the huge success of last year’s Achy Breaky Seats.

“In the near future, we want to do small gains,” Hogan said. “We’re always refreshing.”

Hogan said they are happy to be able to call themselves the Co-Artistic Directors, and the reason they do it so well is because of those standing behind them, including the volunteers.

“Everybody is doing it for the wealth of the theatre,” he said. “We love the theatre.”

“The reason it was a surprise to me was that I’s just something that we do,” Rogers added. “We enjoy doing it…even though it may be considered going above and beyond…we love doing it.”

 

mschilz@postmedia.com