Putting the Community in Community Theatre

Yesterday was the last day of the Monroe County Civic Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park run of Macbeth. It was a truly great cast and a truly great experience. I had a very small part in the show, but I am still so thankful that I got to be a part of it at all! For me, this was a hard show. I had one real scene, so I didn’t really know or interact with many of the people IN the show until the last couple weeks of rehearsals. There was a definite disconnect there for me – I am used to being in a show and having to be at all the rehearsals and being in the center of the action. This was different, and it was hard. It made me have to reach out to my cast mates and interact with them. It made me have to work really hard for my one moment. But, I also go to enjoy the show in a different way, because I got to see most of it from the audience’s point of view at one time or another. And, that made me a spectator and a participant at the same time.

Macbeth sees Banquo at the banquet (Photo Courtesy: Richard Mattsson)

Lady Macduff and daughter murdered (Photo Courtesy: Richard Mattsson)

I am always surprised by the level of talent that shows up for community theatre productions. There is something humbling about people that are so willing to give so much of themselves and their time for free. And, really, that is why I love community theatre so much. It brings out people that are committed to doing something they love, regardless of the time and energy involved. They bring raw passion and creativity to the stage because they love it, not because it’s a job or something else they’re paid to do. Most people who do community theatre have a full time job, a family…a life outside of the stage. And, in reality, all of that suffers a little bit when you do a show. Because, there is only so much time and so many hours in a day a person can give.

Lady Macbeth & Macbeth (Photo Courtsey: Richard Mattsson)

I love people who audition and perform in community shows. This one was the perfect example. Our leads were insanely talented, smart, funny people who wanted nothing more than to see this show succeed. People who had small parts worked hard to do them to the best of their ability. Everyone was encouraged and lifted up and set the bar a little higher every day. Everyone gave willingly of themselves to make the show a success, and a success it was.

I am thankful for the people who do this time and time again. And, I am thankful for the people who just did a show for the first time (or the first time in a long time). I was proud to be among them. As the run ended, I realized how much I will miss my MCCT friends this summer. I feel like I just got to know them, and they’re gone already, off to the rest of the summer and their “real” lives. Hopefully it won’t be long until we meet again. Until then, thanks for the awesome memories!

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