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Letter: We need community theater

Is it important to support the arts in your community? Does it make any difference if you attend a community theater production?

Yes. Community theater contributes not only to the arts but to your community as a whole.

Firstly, community theater allows aspiring actors and lifetime theater hobbyists to come together. It creates a sense of accomplishment and develops a community spirit as they work together. A community theater production provides cast and crew with another family, a support system, and a sense of pride for their contribution in their community.

A local production not only gives back to those onstage, it also provides the community with the chance to come together. This side of theater is often dismissed when discussing its advantages to a community. The role of the audience is important. Coming together to view a production is exciting. Perhaps this local production will be the first time a future Oscar winner will experience theater, or maybe it will be the setting for a romantic evening out. You may make a new friend, discover a new interest, or find a new set of tunes to sing along with.

Apart from the social aspect, theater can be educational while still being entertaining. A local production of Shakespeare allows high school students to see the Bard’s work, rather than simply reading it in the classroom. Many plays and musicals are about important historical events; perhaps they will spark the interest of the writer in you or encourage a research project for a class.

Community theater is a place of new discoveries and learning. It can open your eyes to something different: a new relationship or a new path in life. It contributes to the arts in a community, along with teaching many important skills such as teamwork, problem solving, and confidence in public speaking. It strengthens a community’s cultural environment, provides catharsis to its participants and viewers and is a safe place for people of all ages, cultures and experiences to come together and work towards a common goal.

Support the arts in your community by visiting your local theater!

Heather McCarthy, Lake Lillian