The Community of Community Theatre by Thomas Putnam
Our production of Mary Poppins closed a few weeks ago. It was a wonderful way to conclude weeks of rehearsal and set building and costume/prop gathering. Suddenly—after four great audiences—it's done. Everything is getting put away and washed and stored. But it ain't over.
Yes, the great joy of offering the weeks of efforts to appreciative audiences is a huge thrill, but there's much more to community theatre. There were about 30 people involved with the production. I would guess that well over 50 percent of them did not know most of the others in the cast or crew. They came from Corning and Westfield and Blossburg and Liberty and all points in between. They spent weeks together dancing and singing and sweating and laughing and encouraging and waiting and acting and painting.
The unique community that is formed in a community theatre production is like nothing else. There are similarities to a sport team or a workplace or a church or Scout troup, but working together for 8 weeks on a creative endeavor and then offering it to audiences is enriching and empowering.
I heard so many comments from cast and crew how they have formed new friendships and have great appreciation for the others in this creative endeavor. Some will keep in contact; others will never be seen again. (One is moving to Iowa next week.) Phone calls and social media avenues will be made with some. Some will audition for other HG shows. Some will get together in non-theatrical opportunities.
Live theatre is just that: it lives. This production will never happen again with these people in this place at this time in history. A production cannot be repeated. It is here (gloriously, wondrously, thankfully) and then it is not. But the community for these weeks has indeed been enriching and empowering...and transforming. We're better persons for it.
Providing opportunities for people of all ages to enrich and empower their lives through community performing arts.
29 Water Street, Wellsboro, PA 16901