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Mindock greatly improved Thunder Bay Theatre

My wife and I were both shocked and disappointed to read in The News that a mutual agreement had been reached between Thunder Bay Theatre and Artistic Director Jeffrey Mindock to part ways. We would not have been surprised if the article said that Mr. Mindock had accepted a higher-paying job in a larger community, based on his fine record here, but that was not the case.

We have not missed a TBT show since moving to the area 10 years ago. We have seen TBT through four artistic directors. With Mr. Mindock, TBT has improved from producing shows with a professional core company of three to four, using good local amateur actors to fill the roles, to core companies up to 20. Under Mr. Mindock, we have seen the following improvements: Professional recorded music instead of a piano and saxophone, a raised stage, living quarters for the core company refurbished, a completely renovated lobby and new glass front, a capital campaign to repair other things to further improve the facility. When we first started attending TBT, you did not need reservations, and, if the house was half-full, it was a good attendance. Now, full houses are the rule, and, if you don’t get a reservation early, you may not get a seat. Mr. Mindock, has involved TBT in the Alpena community and has taken TBT to many schools in Northeast Michigan to expose students to acting and the arts.

Jeffrey and his wife, Paige, own a home in Alpena. Paige has recently opened her personal small business. They even personally have indicated to us that they had no plans to leave the area. I guess I could be more convinced that Jeffrey Epstein killed himself than this was a “mutual agreement.” I hope the TBT Board hasn’t made a huge mistake.

LES and JULIE MILLER,

Hubbard Lake

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