Love + Theatre + Love = Ken and Karrie Sebryk

“Movies will make you famous; Television will make you rich; But theatre will make you good.”
― Terrence Mann

If you could ask Karrie’s dad he might agree with this quote from Terrence Mann and he might share with you the story of Ken and Karrie’s first date to begin his explanation: It was a simple request from him, who also happened to be the Chief of Police in their town, that Ken agree to have Karrie home by 10pm. Everyone knows that regardless of how well the date is going, when the police chief makes a request like that, you should listen and comply. Normally most would, but not Ken on that night. After enjoying a wonderful evening that would be the precursor of many days, nights and experiences together, Ken didn’t manage to get Karrie home until midnight! Fortunately, the police chief was a forgiving man or this would be a short story but if you were able to ask the Chief’s opinion of Ken now that his daughter has spent her entire adult life with him and the both of them in theatre, he might agree that they are “good”. Truthfully, this dynamic couple had demonstrated a propensity for being much more than good as they have consistently and tirelessly promoted and produced excellent community theatre.

15134711_1153816354687695_3554923834441179614_nJourneying through the years together while forging a family and careers has taught Ken and Karrie many things about life and each other. For theatre in Puerto Vallarta, their pertinent lessons are stated without hesitation by Ken when asked what the catalyst for starting The Boutique Theatre was more than 10 years ago. “Karrie loves theatre and I like to build stuff.” he blurts out, over-simplifying what is a gargantuan task to undertake and maintain. A glint in Ken’s eye and a quick glance across the table between him and his love of decades confirms easily that his love is actually Karrie and that building things that bring her joy, meaning the infrastructure of shows and the theatre itself, is what also brings him joy. But the phrase does accurately and with brevity describe the relationship that has energized them and the theatres they have supported and built together. For over 10 years now, The Boutique Theatre has been a Puerto Vallarta favourite and the place where community theatre finds a home and its success is a clear indication of the labour of love undertaken by this couple.

IMG_2998“Theatres are curious places, magician’s trick-boxes where the golden memories of dramatic triumphs linger like nostalgic ghosts, and where the unexplainable, the fantastic, the tragic, the comic and the absurd are routine occurrences on and off the stage. Murders, mayhem, political intrigue, lucrative business, secret assignations, and of course, dinner.”
― E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

 

In its current incarnation, The Boutique is in its fourth venue and finding roots in the fertile ground beneath it that is the popular Nacho Daddy restaurant. Recently renovated to now accommodate 80 plus patrons, it is busy hosting everything from the current show The Best of Broadway or the popular TED Talks or any of the live music nights shared with Nacho Daddy making the space regularly alive with the sound of…. theatre! This is music to Karrie’s ears in particular. Starting at age 7 as a rabbit in the back row of a school production, her passion for theatre has never waned. It has carried her to multiple degrees

including a Masters in Theatre which she returned to university to pursue as an adult student. Ken remembers the days when the Boutique had a single frayed extension cord hanging from the ceiling for anything that might need power; a far cry from the state of the art light and sound system of today. The last three years have been the culmination of a lifetime of shared experience and the results are evident in the warm, welcoming, enabling and supportive theatre environment that is The Boutique Theatre. Artists of all experiences and talents have bloomed under the loving and watchful eyes of Ken and Karrie.

DSC_0510“If you want more people to come to the theatre, don’t put the prices at £50. You have to make theatre inclusive, and at the moment the prices are exclusive. Putting TV stars in plays just to get people in is wrong. You have to have the right people in the right parts. Stunt casting and being gimmicky does the theatre a great disservice. You have to lure people by getting them excited about a theatrical experience.”
― Catherine Tate

Stepping on the stage at The Boutique and seeing Ken and Karrie either working or watching (both always really!) reminds me of my childhood. Coming from a musical family there was always some kind of performance happening, even if it was just sharing the news of the day. What reminds me so much of The Boutique is the obvious appreciation and excitement sparkling back at you from Ken and Karrie’s eyes as you perform; just like parents who watch their kids with glee. They generate excitement about theatre naturally. They spur you on to perform and perform well by their fantastic support and love. The same works for those who attend and back the theatre. Ken and Karrie lavish their love and appreciation on everyone that makes a community theatre work. Naturally springing out of their own love for each other, they pour themselves into every show, every moment and the resultant overflow affects everyone who come in contact positively.

Of course we all come to the theatre with baggage. The baggage of our daily lives, the baggage of our problems, the baggage of our tragedies, the baggage of being tired. It doesn’t matter what age you are. But if our hearts get opened and released — well that is what theatre can do, and does sometimes, and everyone is thankful when that happens.

 – Vanessa Redgrave

Puerto Vallarta is thankful for Ken and Karrie Sebryk as am I because Puerto Vallarta and I have had our hearts opened at The Boutique Theatre, at their theatre, by their love for theatre and each other.

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