Local playhouses benefit the entire community

June 23, 2010 05:00 am

The old show business saying “The Show Must Go On” is definitely applicable in Curry County where the bad economy has not closed the curtain on community theater organizations.

We had heard rumors to the contrary and were glad to report in last Saturday’s issue that it wasn’t true.

At a recent production of “Aladdin,” by the Brookings-Harbor Community Theater, the audience could be seen cheering, booing, laughing and clapping as the cast of children and adults worked their magic spells on stage. It’s the same for other theater productions from Crescent City to Port Orford.

Still, in these days of NetFlix, Internet TV, video games and hundreds of stations on cable and satellite,  community theaters – here and elsewhere – are struggling to survive.

Presenting a theatrical production is not an easy endeavor, even in the best of times. It takes a lot of hard work, planning, promoting, rehearsing and praying. And those who attend a performance can take pride in supporting people in their own community instead of lining the pockets of Hollywood.

Local playhouses benefit not just the audience but the entire community. How?

The stage helps our children and adults develop valuable skills: confidence, commitment and responsibility. If they’re not acting on stage, they’re working behind the scenes, learning carpentry, painting, lighting and sound engineering.

How can we support our local playhouses?

First, attend shows. The money from ticket sales goes right back into covering current and future production costs.

Second, advertise. Theater-goers are a captive audience, thumbing through the program as they wait for the curtain to rise. It’s the perfect opportunity for small business owners and will help the performing arts thrive.

Third, try out for a play. Don’t be shy. Community theater is the perfect place for beginning thespians, and playhouses are always in need of actors. Whether you work as an assistant director, a chorus member, the star of the show or a stagehand, one thing is certain: You will meet new friends. 

So go audition. Offer up your skills. Advertise in the program. Contribute your time and energy. And by all means, go see a show! You’ll become a part of the vibrant, long-cherished tradition of the theatrical storytelling that is still very much alive despite this age of TiVo and YouTube.