Ryan Mooney

Ryan Mooney

White Rock Players Club’s artistic director stays on, others step down

Board members of community theatre troupe divided after Ryan Mooney's status as a sex offender made public.

The future of Ryan Mooney’s position as board member and artistic director of the White Rock Players Club will rest with club members, according to past-president Dave Baron.

Contrary to a report last week from a longtime board member – who has since offered her own resignation – Mooney has not submitted a resignation after his record as a sex offender surfaced in media last week.

“We had a meeting (of the Players Club board) Monday,” Baron said this week. “We have not asked for Ryan Mooney’s resignation. He continues in his elected position.”

Asked about earlier statements made by a Players Club representative that Mooney had resigned from his volunteer positions, Baron said only that “he was thinking about it.”

“We talked about it. He has not resigned, and we have not asked for it.”

Instead, two other members of the board – president Angie Koropatnisky and long-serving treasurer Gwenne Farrell – have resigned and at least one other is rumoured to have resigned.

As well, vice-president and former club publicist Katherine Stadel, who last week would not comment on reports that she’s resigning, told Peace Arch News she already had plans not to run again for the board.

Mooney, 32, received a one-year conditional sentence in 2009 after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in an incident that took place in another community in 2006, where he was working as a choreographer on a high school production.

Baron said of the resignations of Koropatniasky and Farrell – a 40-year Players Club veteran – “it was something they felt they had to do; their personal decisions.”

Neither wanted to comment publicly this week.

The club’s annual general meeting, which includes board elections, is scheduled for Aug. 17, and Baron said he is in no doubt that the matter will be raised then.

“Something will come up at the AGM. It will be up to the club membership at large who they want to elect to serve on the board. Club membership will make their views known.”

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) – a summer co-production of the Players Club and Mooney’s own production company due to open this week, featuring Mooney as an actor – has been cancelled, Baron said, although a club Facebook posting says it has been postponed to a later date.

The upcoming 2014-’15 season will continue as planned, Baron said.

Mooney responded to PAN’s request for comment Tuesday only to say that he is considering whether to make a public statement.

Mooney pleaded guilty to an incident that took place when he was 24. The court heard evidence that he had taken a girl he had befriended during the high school production into the ‘green room,’ locked the door, placed his hands on her chest and suggested that she perform oral sex on him. The girl resisted his advances and left the room.

His sentence, which included no jail time, had the condition that he have no contact with anyone under 18 but did not impose a curfew.

The judge agreed with the Crown’s suggestion that Mooney’s sentence should not prevent him from continuing to work on theatrical productions or “deprive him of his livelihood.”

Mooney has since done work as a director and actor with his own Vancouver-based theatre group Fighting Chance Productions, and, more recently, with White Rock Players Club, although he has not worked on the annual Christmas pantomime, the club’s principal production that includes youth involvement.

When Mooney was named the Players Club’s artistic director, and word of his prior conviction was known to board members, the club said at that time that he would have no contact with minors.

Baron acknowledged he and other members of the board had been aware of Mooney’s sentence when he was first elected to the board two years ago. But he rejected suggestions made by some media that Players Club members had been “procuring” for Mooney in seeking young volunteers as “inflammatory.”

“He did something wrong and he was punished for it,” Baron said. “He recognizes he made a very bad mistake and he’s paid the price for it. He has had no involvement with minors in the club. His behaviour (here) has definitely been acceptable – we have had no cause for concern with his being in the club in general.”

Baron said he knows public reaction has included “shock and horror” at the revelations of Mooney’s history as an offender and the club’s acceptance of him. But he noted that others who know or have worked with him, including club members, “seem to be generally supportive of Ryan.”

“If parents have concerns, I want to assure them that Ryan has nothing to do with productions involving young people, that the club has a harassment policy in place and that parents are backstage for any production like the pantomime.”



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta character - and former White Rock resident - Pansy May Stuttard inspects a loaded revolver in the cover photo for Jim Dwight and Gary Cullen’s fascinating biography, Lord don’t want me Devil won’t take me. Contributed photo
West Coast’s ‘Pistol-packin’ Pansy’ lives on in colourful biography

Infamous Delta character ended her days in White Rock and South Surrey

A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Reports of student attendance ‘dwindling’ at Surrey schools: teachers’ association

STA president said he’s heard from staff that students might not attend in-person for 4th quarter

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Chilliwack Search and Rescue volunteers say that a call on April 17 on Vedder Mountain was affected by bikers who rode through the rescue site, throwing rocks onto members and the patient. (Chilliwack Search and Rescue image)
Chilliwack Search and Rescue team, and patient, sprayed with rocks and dirt during rescue

Volunteer crew speaks out after riders on Vedder Mountain show no courtesy at accident scene

File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
One man dead after shooting in Downtown Vancouver

This is Vancouver’s fifth homicide of the year

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of April 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Most Read