Community Theatre

January 21, 2018

Community Theatre.  I absolutely enjoy watching people that I know and love in the real world, take on roles onstage that really stretch them.  I love watching it, and I love being involved in it.  I never would have thought that I'd say that -- having expectation of professional snobbery when I talk about it -- but I really, really do.  I have so enjoyed directing productions at the Grand Opera House in Dubuque, Iowa, where the community theatre group resides.  There is a different sense of investment and enjoyment that community brings to an artistic endeavor, than an academic one.  Both can be good -- but definitely different.  So far, I have directed for the Grand: Love, Sex & the IRS, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, To Kill a Mockingbird, and now I'm working on The Man Who Came To Dinner.  I haven't had much time to be IN shows at the Grand (or anywhere, really) but in the past ten years or so, I have portrayed Eulalie McKecknie Shinn in Music Man, the Nurse in A Streetcar Named Desire, M'Lynn Eatenton in Steel Magnolias (at the Platteville Community Theatre) and most recently Inspector Kemp at the Grand in Young Frankenstein.  For GMETC, I also played Amanda in The Glass Menagerie at Five Flags theatre in Dubuque.  


When you're a good 1-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours drive from the Big City, you have to make your artistic voice heard where you are, on a daily basis.  I live the arts: music downtown, community and educational theatre, story-telling guild meetings and performances, art museum events.  One is more invested -- and more SEEN -- in a local arts community.  I used to struggle with that, but now I love it.  


This is especially the case with some of the young people I've worked with over the years.  I had students in summer theatre camp years ago, who have grown into really wonderful performers and people!  I believe theatre makes for good people: compassionate, creative, resourceful, resilient.  Even after all these years, I'm still hooked.  

Cast of Young Frankenstein - October 2017



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