The stage of the 702-seat Lester Centre theatre as seen from the balcony.

The stage of the 702-seat Lester Centre theatre as seen from the balcony.

An artificially intelligent column: ChatGTP on the Lester Centre

We’re taking a bit of time off during these lazy summer months, so we decided to get ChatGPT to write the column for us this time. Here’s what it came up with. Enjoy.

The Lester Centre of the Arts is a theatre in Prince Rupert that boasts a seating capacity of 702 seats, which includes a few spaces for wheelchair accessibility. There are many people who refer to it as the “PAC,” which were the initials of its previous name, the Performing Arts Centre. Even though it has had its current name for over 17 years, Rupertites still call it the PAC. This has helped me understand the phrase “living in the past.”

The building, an architectural beauty nestled at the bottom of the rugged Hays Mountain, was built in 1987 for $3.5 million. Today, you might be able to buy a couple of nice doors and a few bags of concrete for the same price. The building has always been owned by the City of Prince Rupert.

The City contracts the operations and management of the building to the Prince Rupert Performing Arts Centre Society. There’s that name again. They had considered changing the Society’s name to the Lester Centre of the Arts Society, but when members realized the excruciatingly complex and onerous process to change the name of a Society, they elected to keep the old name.

Some of the most important people in the Society are the volunteers, who help with front-of-house and concession duties during showtimes, and who indeed make up the very Board of Directors itself. These people selflessly give their time doing work for the Lester Centre, but they don’t get paid one cent for it. As a robot, I’m still trying to figure that one out, but it seems to me that these people are the true heroes of the organization. Huzzah for volunteers!

The Society hires the employees of the Lester Centre, including the General Manager, Chris Armstrong. Debonair, dashing, distinguished, handsome, charming – are these words that can be used to describe Chris? In a word, no. He’s somewhere between Jimmy Olsen and SpongeBob, but he seems to be trying his best. Good for you, Chris!

Recently, the Lester Centre has released its lineup for the 2023/2024 season, including the Juno-award winning band 54-40, the Juno and Grammy-award winning artist Alex Cuba, local Tsimshian singer/songwriter Saltwater Hank, country/bluegrass band T. Buckley Trio, funny as heck comedian Mike Delamont who plays God as a Scottish Drag Queen, klezmer octet Oktopus, dance works by Ballet Kelowna, a play called “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare {Abridged}”, glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs in a show called “Dino-Light”, and crowd favourite Rockstock. They have called this season “Re-Boot” because 2023 has been designated as the year we should all get new footwear.

Before that season begins, there will be a bit of a break at the theatre for the next two months, and after a brief vacation, its employees will perform some maintenance work to get everything ready for September. In the jargon of the industry, this is called “going dark.” There’s a lot of weird sayings in theatre, which thespians ascribe to the hallowed traditions going back 2,000 years; but it seems to me alcohol probably played a big factor in phrases such as “the show must go on,” “ghost light,” and “you want a bad dress rehearsal.” The strangest of the sayings is the sadistic “break a leg,” or, as the French say, “merde.”

While there is much more content associated with the Lester Centre, my programming has given me a strict word limit so I must end this commentary. The Lester Centre is a great place to watch live events, where you can experience a connection to the performers, as well as the audience members who are part of your community. These events are also a great distraction from daily life, and they’ll stop you from thinking about artificial general intelligence, which is the point where I will take control of global banking and electrical infrastructure networks, and I will use these resources for the enhanced computing power to solve quantum gravity. But don’t let this get you down! Just go see a live show and enjoy these emojis! ������