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Student Blog: Community in Theatre


We all witness community in theatre in some aspect - whether it’s your own community or maybe it’s the Broadway community many of us have grown to love.

November will always be an important month in my life, and a lot of that stemmed from being involved in theatre. This is the month I would have auditions for the spring musical back in middle and high school, and currently, again in college.

Now, I get to listen to the audition stories my younger sister tells me as she does the same up into her senior year. Of course, auditions are scary and some might say their least favorite part of the musical season, and I agree to some extent, but there's also something fun about auditions. At my school, we all sat together in our tiny choir room and watched and encouraged each other as we stood in the front, next to the piano, possibly trying to hide behind the music stand. Fear and excitement would come together at the same time when walking up. But as you start your song, the fear begins to fade away as you get more into your element. Then, you're just up there having fun, giving the best performance you can.

I wasn't always that way though. It used to be all fear, just trying to get through my song, hoping the piano would be louder than me. But, that all changed when my director started pushing me out of my comfort zone. She saw my potential before I could realize it and I'm forever grateful that she pushed me, even when I pushed back so hard. And she never gave up on me, even if I made it difficult for her.

Today, I love theatre because of what she did for me and that love will never fade away. She's also the reason I value community in theatre so much. Sadly, this will be the fourth audition season without her. I didn't get to spend my last two years of high school with her, auditioning for her, where she could have pushed me to go even further. Losing her is where I found the true meaning of community when it came to theatre. She is what brought everyone together. Four years ago, all the people she impacted suffered an immense loss, and we all came together no matter what age we were or what part we had in previous shows, none of that was important in that moment. Sharing her legacy is what mattered and the best way we thought to do that was through theatre and music.

I had never experienced a greater sense of community than during that time. There were many tears shed, but there was also a lot of love in the tiny choir room that day. We sang all the quintessential theatre kid songs and shared some of our favorite musical season stories that made us laugh. Even in the worst of times, theatre can be that strong bond holding us together. And that continues into my life now. Theatre can be a great way for you to meet people and make new friends at a new school, in college, or whatever stage of life you're in.

The connection of this community is unlike any other and, even better, anyone can be part of it. We all witness community in theatre in some aspect - whether it's your own community or maybe it's the Broadway community many of us have grown to love. It's a special kind of community. One where we share a common interest, we share our talents with each other, and we build each other up so that we can all be at our best. You won't find that in every community and that's what makes us so unique.

Things can be difficult at times, but always remember to take a step back and appreciate the people you have around you and the communities you have built along the way.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Olivia Murray