A Conversation for Community Theatre

I don't want to sing or dance!

Post 1


However, you can still be involved in community theatre.

I am a performance technologist by profession, which would be impressive if I didn't live in Madison, WI, which has an amazing inability to actually support a performance professional of any kind. Not that we don't like theatre--we do, we do! But the audiences aren't big or affluent enough. So, you do a lot of community theatre to keep your hand fresh...

While the previous entry was accurate, it left out a rather important bit: there's more to theatre than what you see on stage. Community theatres need more than singers and dancers--they need lighting designers, wardrobe supervisors, assistant directors, stage managers, and ALWAYS they need crew. These are not glamourous positions...but what the glamour people don't realize is that while they're out singing and dancing, there is a whole crowd of people on the headsets critiquing their performance, making snide comments about the dancing, picking up on every flat note, and generally having an auditory party during the show (think of MST3K). So, if you don't want to sing or dance, but you like playing with control panels straight out of the Enterprise, volunteer to run the light board at the theatre. If you like playing dress-up, offer to costume design a show (live dolls! Oooh!).

And when you get tired of it, as I do, you can always audition for the next show...and since they know you, the odds of getting a good part are often even better...I volunteered for my first play and ended up running a little reel-to-reel tape player in the pit. Four years later I had played Hamlet in a Rock version, Motel the tailor in "Fiddler", and Harold Hill in "Music Man". Now I'm back to designing, and have done shows big and small, paid and gratis...it's all fun.

And the headline I read on h2g2 was most accurate: Community Theatre is the most neglected place. So pay attention!

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I don't want to sing or dance!

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