BWW Blog: Publishing a Book!
14 months ago I and a group of students from my college (Pitt-Johnstown) embarked on a project working with a local Summer Stock theater in our area to commemorate their 80th anniversary. The Mountain Playhouse is local professional equity theatre in Jennerstown, PA that got its start in 1939 being created from an old Gristmill. Other than being shut down during the war, and a fire, this theater has been putting shows on every year.
My role in this project was being a researcher in the history of this great theater. I, and 3 other students, would go out there almost every week to go through old scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, old programs, and stories. We pieced together a timeline of events from the theater's start to current day. This work finally came together this past week when we had a book release at the Mountain Playhouse to document this historic theater and anniversary milestone.
Our entire team did a wonderful job bringing the research to life, especially the student writers for finding a voice for the narrative to be told.
My involvement as a researcher in this project lasted for the summer of 2018. Due to my class load for the fall, I wasn't able to continue helping more with the project, but the work I did helped my theatre studies immensely.
Being able to bring historical artifacts together is something that I'm also doing for my senior project for my Theatre Arts major. I'm in the current process of writing my own show in which I'm taking a piece of history and telling its story in stage format. This book project helped me be able to get a better idea of how to pull history together to get a clear picture in the most entertaining and interesting way.
This was an amazing project to be on, and I was grateful to celebrate our team's achievement at our book release last week. After the opening show for the theater's 2019 season, we were all invited for a party and book signing. Being able to be with everyone again to celebrate our book was fantastic. Parents and grandparents, local theatre professionals, theatre enthusiasts, friends, and actors from that night joined us at the party to celebrate the release. Looking out into the sea of happy and proud people was something that I will never be able to forget. Granted, 20 minutes later I managed to completely faceplant in front of everyone in my heels (It's fine, it's fine), but nonetheless, the night was magical.
I can't wait to see where this project will take us, and I can't wait to see what the future holds from here.