On my way in to work this morning, cruising along at a healthy but not outrageous amount of speed on the 404, I was struck with an idea.And as it generally takes me 45 minutes to get to work I was able to think that idea through before it was struck into the abyss of conceptual ideas as I changed my focus to how I would write this new piece of code at work. Hey, sometimes a long commute can be beneficial!

The idea stemmed from my morning ritual of going through my e-mail. As I have been involved in theatre for awhile, I have managed to get my name onto many e-mail listings (whether I asked to or not) that promote different groups, whether for auditions, workshops or shows themselves. One of them was sent by my friend Shelley, who is the President of Newmarket Stage Company, promoting their upcoming show. As you can see in the last posting, I actually took her e-mail and revamped it for my blog. Seemed a nice thing to do for them.

I then forwarded the three or four others that came in today, and forwarded them down to my work e-mail so I could read them later. Mainly it was to look at my schedule and see whether they fit in, but in the back of my mind I was considering posting them as well on the blog.

Fast forward to my car ride. I suddenly realized that I shouldn’t post those on my main blog, which in my heart is for writing practice and to work through concepts occurring in my life. I should create a whole new blog just for this area.

Hence GTA Theatre is born. And it’s somewhat fitting too.

Over the many years that I have been a website developer, I have run several theatre websites, all of which have met their doom for one reason or another (except for the South Shore Website – but even that is in it’s 4th home and has been completely redesigned every single time). There were various reasons. For starters, I always did them for free, so to save money I would host them on my own servers at home, using free regional .ca addresses that were available for non-profit groups. Occasionally my provider would protest this so I had to move them, which caused disruption and chaos. Then Canada changed it’s internet policy on domain registration and the addresses all went poof!

Sadly, that’s the simplest and most politically correct explanation. The real reason the websites died is the members of the groups just didn’t care. I put hundreds of hours into the design and content of these sites, even going so far as to delve into the twenty year past of one of the groups {coughQPcoughcough} and detailing every single alumni member and what they did. I wrote special software and databases to track this stuff. And when I asked for help to keep the website fresh and alive – I got nothing. So, after taking that abuse for several years (I’m nothing but patient) I shut them down one after the other. Still have all the info that those groups could ask for if they wanted (except for NSC for some reason – that mysteriously disappeared – sorry Shelley)…but even that has not been requested. It’s frustrating on a scale you could not fathom.

My one foray into a generalized website for all theatre groups in the area was an actual domain I went out and bought called yorkregiontheatre. Still got crickets from the groups I was associated with, but I was getting a lot of interest from the groups in the southern regions so felt inspired to put more work into it. Then I changed jobs, moved out of the region, and a very nasty eight months later limped back into town practically broke. Some stuff had to be cut, and yorkregiontheatre was one of them.

Blogger, and other blogging websites is the perfect forum for me to start again. Promotion is easier, the community exists and it’s less maintenance for me to endure. I look forward to seeing how this works out.

Info on the who, what, where, when and how can be found on the new blog.