In the midst of the mania of tech week, fretting at 4am over undone items on to do lists, one tends to ponder the purpose of community theatre. Why do we do this thing and does it truly have a noble purpose?
Could it be for the loyal and enthusiastic ensemble member stepping into a lead role, the young actress reprising the role her mother played some years ago, the seasoned actress once again delivering a gripping portrayal, or a family doing a show together? Is it for the actor who is stepping on stage for the very first time or the one who hasn’t done theatre since their younger days rediscovering their love for live theatre? Perhaps it is for the actor who just moved to town or the actor stepping behind the curtain for the first time acquiring new skills and an appreciation for the creation process. Maybe it’s the actor or production team member working tirelessly, unseen, simply because they need it to be right. What drives that purpose? That passion, that commitment to higher standards?
Could it all be for the audience? Those that need to escape, to socialize, to return to a night out with friends? Is there just one person that needs this show on some level? Truth is, I don’t know. I believe live theatre is unique and, yes, I do believe there is a reason, a reason each of us is here, in this moment, doing this thing. We chose it but it is something more. We may never know exactly what that purpose is but there is a purpose.