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Changing of the guard at Barkerville’s Theatre Royal

Newman & Wright Theatre Company, the partnership of Richard Wright and Amy Newman, have concluded their 16-year run as the principal operators of the Theatre Royal in Barkerville Historic Town and Park.

The Theatre Royal will continue to provide professional historical theatre entertainment in Barkerville in the 2020 season under a new principal operator.

“The legacy of the Newman & Wright Theatre Company is unique and treasured,” said Barkerville CEO, Ed Coleman, in a news release. “Richard and Amy have made immense contributions to the history and development of Barkerville as an historical site and a world-class tourism and entertainment destination.”

Richard Wright first arrived in Barkerville more than 30 years ago as an author in search of a story. The resulting book, Barkerville and the Cariboo Goldfields, is now in its fifth edition. Richard also served as an historical interpreter at Barkerville and is now the author of 22 books and the producer of several documentary films. He has served on the board of directors for the Barkerville Heritage Trust and continues to serve as a director for the Friends of Barkerville – Cariboo Goldfields Historical Society.

Amy Newman arrived in Barkerville in 1999 as a performer working for Eureka Theatre Company, the previous operators of Barkerville’s Theatre Royal. She came as talented actor, singer, dancer, and costumer and has since built more than 16 years of experience as a creative director. Many Barkerville visitors will know her better as Mrs. McGinley, the troupe leader of the Theatre Royal’s variety show.

In 2003, Richard and Amy joined forces to create their own theatre company, running their first season together out of the Jack O’ Clubs Casino and Music Hall in Wells. The following year, they became principal operators of Barkerville’s Theatre Royal, and have since delivered professional historical theatre performances to an estimated 300,000 audience members.

“We are leaving Barkerville with optimism for the future, to pursue our lifelong goals and to allow the Theatre Royal to move forward with a new vision and fresh enthusiasm,” said Wright.

Far from retirement, Richard and Amy will continue their creative pursuits through historical theatre workshops, a touring a jazz trio (Satin & Swing) and their ongoing historical film series, The Bonepicker Project. They have also begun a three-year partnership with New Pathways to Gold Society to locate, remediate and build trails and interpretive signs along the Cariboo Waggon Road from Yale to Barkerville. This holiday season, you can catch Amy in the Lower Mainland with her cappella carolling quartet, The Christmas Revelers.

The Barkerville Heritage Trust is currently conducting an internal selection process to establish a new principal operator for the Theatre Royal in Barkerville and is committed to providing the same high level of professional theatre presentation to Barkerville’s visitors in 2020. The result of the selection process will be announced upon its conclusion.

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