There is something special and magical about community theater. It’s an amazing conglomeration of passion, talent, and flat-out love. Community theater exists because people have a desire to act, want to try something new, and need a safe place to explore.
I have been a part of community theater for at least the last 20 years. First, in my hometown. My great-aunt Barb helped found the Albion Community Theater (ACT) and is largely responsible for getting me on the stage for the first time and helped me fall in love with the stage. Barb was always bigger than life, beautiful, strong and a force on the stage and off. I miss her tons and am sure she’s organizing tech rehearsals in heaven right about now.
Once I moved to college and realized getting a part at IU was going to be impossible, I connected with the Monroe County Civic Theater. I have been a part of MCCT in some degree or fashion for the last 18 years. Sometimes I was on stage, often I was not. When I wasn’t in a show, I went to the shows. Shakespeare in the Park made me feel like I was connected to something that reminded me both of home and challenged me to be better.
And today, another show goes on sale. I’m a part of MCCT’s “The Trojan Women,” which runs next weekend. We are not the most polished or the fanciest, but what we lack in funds for sets and costumes, we make up for in a genuine love for each other. And, through MCCT I’ve been honored to work with some of the best actors I’ve ever known; they’re ridiculously talented, risk-taking and smart.
If your hometown has a community theater, give it a chance. Support the volunteers who don’t get paid but do it anyway. Everyone in a community show has another life, another job, another family. We are all crazy busy people with crazy busy lives. But, we do it for the love of the stage…and for the love of each other.