Intrepid Theatre’s artistic director stepping down after 25 years

For the past 25 years, Janet Munsil has lived and breathed the Intrepid Theatre.

For the past 25 years, Janet Munsil has lived and breathed the Intrepid Theatre.

But now, the curtain is falling on her time as the theatre’s artistic director. Last week, Munsil announced she’ll be stepping down at the end of the upcoming season.

“Twenty-five years seems like a good landmark number of years to be in one place,” she laughed.

“I’ve been around it a long time and have grown up with it. I haven’t even thought about working anywhere else.”

Munsil first moved to Victoria from Port Alberni to study theatre at the University of Victoria, where she picked up skills in stage and company management. After graduation in 1992, she joined the company at the age of 25.

Since then, the theatre has flourished as a space to showcase local and national independent performing arts.

Munsil played an important role in bringing the Victoria Fringe Festival, Uno Fest and the new OUTstages Festival to local audiences, and has brought more than 1,000 shows by artists from around the world to the city during her tenure.

But one of her proudest accomplishments has been expanding the reach of the theatre with the opening of a number of venues, such as the Metro Studio on Quadra Street and the Intrepid Theatre Club, to shine a spotlight on independent artists and plays not normally seen in mainstream theatre.

“It was pretty much impossible to be an emerging theatre artist in Victoria and be able to show your work before these venues were made available,” said Munsil, adding company spaces are now booked almost every night with a wide range of performances and all-ages concerts.

“That’s really important for the health of the performing arts community in Victoria. People aren’t just going to school, getting their degrees and moving to Toronto, they’re sticking around a couple of years and trying to make new performances of their own . . . and keeping theatre alive by making relevant theatre.”

But the job hasn’t been without challenges. Finding funding to add venues proved difficult.

Now, Munsil believes the theatre is in good financial shape and poised for more growth — a perfect opportunity to take her final bow.

“Janet’s humble yet unstoppable dedication to include the next generation’s artistic voice . . . is one of the many reasons why she is a pioneer in the Canadian arts and culture community,” said Heather Lindsay, the theatre’s current general manager who will take over the artistic oversight of the company.

Up next, Munsil, who is better known as a playwright, will devote her time to writing a number of plays for Real Wheels Theatre in Vancouver and The Powerhouse in Vernon.

She’ll also try her hand at directing Twelfth Night for the Greater Victoria Shakespeare festival this summer.

The Intrepid Theatre is also celebrating its 30th anniversary season. For more information about upcoming festivals and shows, visit intrepidtheatre.com.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bruce McLean, 91, has published his first novel, The Manana Treehouse, which is inspired by his wife’s experience with Alzheimer’s. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
91-year-old Saanich man publishes first novel based on wife’s Alzheimer’s experience

Former journalist Bruce McLean ‘on cloud nine’ after making fiction debut

The British Columbia flag flies at dusk in front of the B.C. legislature on election day 2020. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
NDP claims six out of seven Greater Victoria ridings after preliminary results

Mail-in ballots yet to be counted in provincial election

A new roundabout has been completed at the intersection of Peatt Road, Brock Avenue and Larkhall Road in Langford. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
New roundabout along Peatt Road completed in Langford

Allows for better turning movements for Langford’s fire trucks, improved safety

View Royal Coun. John Rogers stands next to an unearthed home heating oil tank. As a way to prevent environmental disasters, he is lobbying for a provincial registration system and mandatory inspection for all above-ground tanks, as well as a requirement to remove any underground tanks not used for a prescribed period of time. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Efforts to regulate Greater Victoria home heating oil tanks continues

View Royal councillor part of movement to identify old tanks, prevent catastrophic leaks

Residents enjoy the annual Halloween Trick or Treat on Oak Bay Avenue. (Robert Harwood Photo)
Oak Bay to host series of Winter Markets

No Halloween, Christmas events in Oak Bay Village

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Most Read