I have loved theatre since I was in a Cinderella ballet when I was five, but it wasn’t until I started doing shows at a local theater that it became a passion of mine and a part of my life I couldn’t live without. I had done camps at this theater since I was about 6 and then I found out they were holding auditions for The Music Man.
At the time, The Music Man was one of my favorite shows so I asked my parents if I could audition and they said yes. At this time, the theater was under construction, but not drastically (fixing up the theater into a black box and removing some pillars are the only changes I recall). Due to the construction, the show would be on the stage on a nearby college campus.
The day of the audition came and my mom and I got there late, so I had already missed the kids' group and had to audition with the teenagers and adults. This was terrifying for me because I was only ten and it was my first audition. As I walked into the audition, I remember seeing the director sitting in the middle of the house at a table. Little did I know at this time she would become one of my biggest role models. I sang Edelweiss from The Sound of Music for my audition. I didn’t make the cast for this show, but I was asked to be on costume crew and also got to be a part of the band at the end of the show. Being on costume crew helped me to get my foot in the door for shows, and I learned how to sew, a skill I still use today.
Since that show, I have been in 19 other shows at the theater and have been involved with costumes, stage management, lights, the pit, and the musical director. In addition to being in shows, I have also helped with several camps and classes. I also had the opportunity to be on their Board of Directors. Not only did I learn a lot about theater, but I gained many life skills.
Recently the theater announced its Capital Campaign to refresh and reinvigorate their programming and building. It makes me sad to see the theater I grew up at drastically changing. Many people are saying sure it’s sad to see the old theater go, but it’s a happy time for what's to come. Personally, I do not like what is being done to this theater. They are adding some great programs such as special needs theater workshop which I like, but to me, it’s losing its original mission. The name changed from youth and family theater to center for community arts and honestly, it's losing its family vibe. I know others from this theater will probably read this and have their thoughts as well, but I don’t know. There’s just something about the change that makes me feel uneasy.
So to the theater, I grew up in, I will miss you, but here’s to a new beginning with new adventures.