There’s No ‘I’ in “Theater”

By on 26 October, 2018 in Art, Fun, Sarah Thornton with 0 Comments

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

 Director Alexander Zeldin once said: “Theatre is always about together, whether it’s the audience and the performer or the group of people that are making the work or the wider community that the work is connected to in some way.” As audience members, we all come together to experience a story. We sit together in the seats and share those brief moments of time. We are connected to each other. We are connected to the characters onstage and the actors playing them. The energy between an audience and the actors is a tangible thing, and oftentimes an audience guides the experience much more than people may realize. While the actors tend to be the most visible part of the team, they are only one part. In theater, we say “there are no small parts, only small actors.” That translates to a lesson about finding the deeper value in any sized role in a cast and recognizing its importance as a part of the whole. It also ripples out to a larger lesson about every single element of putting on a play or running a theater. No one can do it alone, and no one component is more important than any other in the process.

Just like an orchestra is nothing without a bass section, the theater is nothing without every element working together to advance and advocate what we so passionately work for, teach, and enjoy; that “the play is the thing!” Theater is a team sport and none more so than a community theater. Whether onstage or off, every piece of the puzzle must work together to make the big picture. Whether you sew a costume, paint a backdrop, build a staircase, edit a sound effect, volunteer at a reception, sell tickets, sponsor a show, plant some flowers in the courtyard, help us spread the word, cheer from the audience, take the stage as an actor, or work behind the scenes as a stagehand, one thing is certain: the whole team is stronger than the sum of its parts.

On November 1, the Playhouse will be announcing our 2019 Season, our eighth year of storytelling in Cloverdale. We like to keep the titles a surprise until the big announcement event, so we hope you’ll all join us to celebrate our wonderful seventh season and usher in the “Great Year Eight”! While I can’t spill the beans about which shows we will be doing, I can tell you that all of the plays next season highlight the power of the ensemble (the French word for “together”). The stories we will share all speak to us because they explore what it means to be human, to lean on one another, and to come together. At the heart, that is the true meaning of community. So come audition. Offer up your skills. Advertise in the program. Contribute your time and energy. And by all means, come see a show! Become a part of the vibrant, long-cherished tradition of theatrical storytelling. We want you on our team! We can’t do it without YOU!

The 2019 Season Announcement is a free event, but RSVPs are appreciated.

The event will take place on Thursday, November 1 at 7:00pm, and will be followed by a reception. Visit www.cloverdaleplayhouse.org or call the box office at (334)262-1530 for more information.

Sarah Walker Thornton is the Artistic Director of the Cloverdale Playhouse, who walks like a New Yorker and waves like an Alabama girl. She is a product of a Montgomery arts education, with several years of life in NYC thrown in for extra flavor.

 

 

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