Sitting Down With Emily Flowers

By on 21 March, 2012 in Art, Fun, Greg Thornton, Interviews with 0 Comments

“As you move toward a dream, the dream moves toward you.”
― Julia Cameron

Chatting with Emily Flowers, Managing Director of the Cloverdale Playhouse, we discussed the busy calendar in March, the Playhouse School, the Children’s Theatre, the upcoming performances of the Birmingham Children’s Theatre and a few other things:

Greg: So, the Playhouse had “Irish Voices” this weekend, the Benefit for BTW Theatre Magnet programs on Monday (March 19), Third Tuesday Guitar Pull, which is the singer/songwriter’s event the next evening, “Not Guilty,” the trial lawyers event that is a Playhouse Benefit on March 30, the Birmingham Children’s Theatre performing The Little Engine That Could on March 31 and rehearsals going on for “The Boys Next Door,” the Playhouse’s second production that runs in April. When do you sleep?

Emily: Who can sleep when there’s this much exciting activity going on?

Greg: The Playhouse School currently has three classes. Do you anticipate more classes in the future?

Emily: Yes, we hope to expand the school’s course offerings each session. Our first nine-week session this spring quickly filled to capacity, so we hope to offer more class units for each age group in the fall. Interest in theater arts classes is strong in this community, and we’re excited about creating new programming for students. We recently had one of our young students ask, “Can I come to class every day?” I wanted to say “Yes!” but we’re not there yet. Maybe someday down the road…

Greg: What about summer programs?

Emily: We’re developing some great choices for our students who hope to develop new skills over the summer. We won’t offer a full camp this first year, but we hope to offer short workshops here and there. Some of those will be for younger students, and some will be for adults. Please check the website or email to sign up for our school newsletter.

Greg: Can you explain how the financial assistance works for families who may not be able to afford the classes but still want their child involved in theater and the arts?

Emily: The Central Alabama Community Foundation awarded us a generous grant that enables us to offer financial aid for enthusiastic young acting students so, please, don’t hesitate to enroll your child! Simply contact us and let us know your child is interested in classes, and we’ll discuss whatever financial arrangements are necessary.

Greg: How much of an influence did your education have on your decision to stay active in the arts?

Emily: I took drawing, dance and music classes as a kid and loved them all at the time because they were, simply, fun. Then I realized that I’d been put in those classes for more than entertainment. Arts classes of any sort are about learning how to navigate the world. I’m thrilled to be at the Playhouse, where we work each day to make community theater part of Montgomery life because we believe arts strengthen our city.

Greg: The Flowers family has a new member, Margaret Folmar Flowers, our Playhouse “CEO.” Do you envision a life in the arts for her or, at least, an active participation in theater, music, dance, or the visual arts for her? Would that be important to you as a parent?

Emily: Childhood is naturally full of the arts: drawing, singing, dress-up and pretend. It is a serious goal of mine to help Margaret understand the value of ‘supporting the arts’ in some fashion throughout her life, because what that really means is: “Keep your imagination active.” It’s important to be involved in many things in life: sports, school, work and friends. Taxes happen, we grow up, and life feels very serious at times, but the sense of play or joie de vivre that comes from having the arts in our lives is something that stays with us through good times and bad. Attend, participate or donate, just don’t forget how to play.

Greg Thornton is the Artistic Director of the Cloverdale Playhouse.

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