A new entertainment columnist ready to deliver a frontline experience

Richard Varty Joins the BarrieToday Team to Help Shine the Light on the City’s Cultural Scene

Richard Varty is no stranger to the spotlight, having been heavily involved in the city’s theatrical community for many years.

Barrie today leverages this knowledge, Varty joins our team as an arts and entertainment columnist. His new column, titled Scene Setter, will debut this weekend.

It will not only help shed light on the city’s growing theater and arts community, but also provide insight into what is happening in the local music scene and nightlife.

Varty has been involved in theater since his parents enrolled him in theater camps at a young age. The high school offered the opportunity to be part of a number of theater productions as part of the school year, including the Sears Drama Festival, now called the National Theater School Festival.

“I had amazing drama teachers who, along with my parents, supported my decision to pursue post-secondary studies in the arts,” says Varty, who attended Brock University and received a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in dramatic art studies.

The 32-year-old has spent most of his life in Barrie after moving here many years ago from the Toronto area.

“My family moved here from Etobicoke when I was young and the first school I attended was Assikinack before they built Holly Meadows and I transferred there,” he says. “I was fortunate enough to discover not one, but two new schools when Bear Creek opened a year before I graduated in Grade 8.

While in St. Catharines at Brock, Varty had the opportunity to work with professional and independent theater companies, which he said “opened my eyes to some of the intricacies of live theater production. “.

Having now been involved in the arts for two decades, he is the Outreach Director for Talk Is Free Theater and has worked on marketing, promotions, education and outreach for almost three years. But it will offer readers an access pass to all of the city’s theater companies by highlighting upcoming shows and events.

When it comes to her favorite performances, however, Varty says there is just too much to choose from.

“One of my favorites was during the Rocky horror show at the Loft on rue Anne. Part of the experience as a performer is interacting with the audience who have been asked to throw things, slur and sing, ”he laughs. remake the time chain. ‘

“Another favorite of mine was working with Theater by the Bay on We must have more men! and tell the story of Barrie in World War I, ”says Varty. “Although the space is very hot and the costumes very thick, it was a unique experience to be a part of the representation of a lesser known part of the history of our community.

To make the theatrical experience even better, he says he had the chance to perform with his fiancee.

“It’s that moment together on stage that I cherish the most,” he says.

With his new bi-weekly column, Varty says he hopes people will see “how much art is on the move in our beautiful city.”

“Barrie is home to an eclectic assortment of artists who create new work every day, be it poetry, theater, traditional art and everything in between,” he says. “Like many people and sectors during the pandemic, the arts have been deeply affected and are striving to come back better than ever.”

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