THE UNITY OF COMMUNITY at Community Theatre
There's something very special about the atmosphere of a theatre.
There's no natural light. It's all 'created'. Words and music notes are taken off the pages and placed in a space that manifests the power to interpret and share with others. The colours, sounds, moods and emotions are all man-made. It's glorious!
It becomes even more special when that theatre is part of your personal development, where memories were made and the foundations of your creativity were learned, developed and encouraged. The lessons, the memories, the feelings embedded in your life forever.
Theatre is a central part of community life.
Whether it be within the suburbs of a large city or in the centre of a town, they're there.
Involvement in community theatre is so much more than what happens on stage.
The creativity is of course at the heart but it is the merging of people from all walks of life, in a collaboration that breathes life into a story. The theatre community is what makes it a very unique and celebratory experience.
Learning to work under pressure with people would not usually associate with, the commitment, multi-tasking, negotiating, collaboration, the list goes on as new relationship skills are developed, people's differences are respected, all with the show at the centre of, well everything.
I'm currently directing in a theatre that I'm privileged to have grown up with. I've helped carry bricks, been on the committee, cleaned the toilets, been on stage in various shows, watched my children on the same stage and as a bonus I got to direct not only well known shows but all of my own shows and from there grew a business.
Theatre gets crazy, tempers can ignite, stress levels rise but when Opening Night comes around and the magic happens, all is well.
After announcing many times that you're fed up and this will be your last show, when the show is over and there's a big gap in your life, one finds oneself thinking about the next one.
Recently a key person on the production team of a show I'm involved with coined it perfectly when she said, " We're just like one big theatrical family with a couple of crazy uncles and aunts!"
That's the unity of Community Theatre at work.
Watch out for more on The Unity of Community Theatre.
This is the first article of a series.