I did some research and found several community theatres and troupes in my area. I got a list and checked it twice. Consequently, my husband and I recently have enjoyed several mini-trips and excursions to see plays put on by amateurs. I will mention two we saw last month. The Williams Community Theater (Bryan, OH) recently put on “The Dixie Swim Club,” and because we know a certain woman who was cast as Sheree, we drove to see the performance. It was a hoot! It was the last night of the run, and the five actresses were into their roles, and the audience loved it. Even though “The Dixie Swim Club” had been performed in a nearby city and has had successful billings elsewhere, nowhere was the play any better performed. “Not really a comedy, “my husband said, “but more of a tragedy at the end.” It was a performance worth discussing.
“Moon over Buffalo” at the Pulse Opera House in the tiny, tiny town of Warren, IN, was another venture. We drove back roads to get there. After buying our tickets, we noted across the street from the old building was a bakery having their “first Friday of the month pie night.” Well, what the heck! Sure enough, we finished our pie and coffee in time go back and up the stairs to the theatre, where we laughed at the antics of the characters, actors performing in repertory theater in Buffalo, confusing their roles in “Cyrano de Bergerac” and “Private Lives.”
Some plays can be edgy, risqué, or thought-provoking, and that’s okay. Most people, however, want to be entertained, to escape the realities of their lives, and exercise the willing suspension of disbelief. The playwright, therefore, has a huge responsibility. If not to make the audience laugh, the playwright’s lines must be so accurate and articulate that they inspire, reveal, or declare a certain truth. Every written intonation the playwright has in mind should be respected. After listening to one of his plays, Edward Albee was asked for his reaction. He pointed to a line in the script and said, “I didn’t hear the comma.”
Oh, the theatrics of drama! “All the world is a stage.” There is so much tragedy in the world, we need doses of comedy, and there’s so much foolishness going on, we need truth. We need community theatre. We need to support it. It’s entertaining, and it's worth discussing. It also helps keep us mentally balanced.