>What Community Theatre Taught Me

>From November 18th-20th I was in a play called “Altar Egos: The “I Do’s” and “Don’ts” of an American Wedding. Besides the grammatically correct yet still awkward subtitle, the play was quite good. I played Colleen McMasters, a bride-to-be in her early 20s. Colleen is moody, bossy, spoiled and most definitely wears the pants in the relationship. She’s nearly the opposite of the kind of bride I would want to be. This means it was an exceptionally fun character to play. I have never been on stage in this sort of capacity at all. Yes, we’ve done a bunch of improv shows but this was different.

This…this my friends, was community theatre. Not just any community theatre, this was Wellesley community theatre. You can read all about Wellesley here. The article is not very big but it mentioned Apple Butter, cheese and Noah Martin Summer Sausage, so all the bases were pretty much covered.

The first time I climbed the stairs in the historic library building, I never expected that Theatre Wellesley would turn into a blog-worthy event. But my goodness, did it ever. Here is a list of things that community theatre has taught me (with pictures!):

* Even though it may not be a high caliber show, it is still loads of work. I may not be a professional, but I still had to memorize a whack of lines.
* People will come to see your show based solely on a well written article in a small newspaper.
* Teenagers have an unbelievable amount of energy.

my co-lead and his adoring fans

* Teenagers consider 23 old. I’m no longer hip or with it.

See, totally cool!

* Old historical library buildings make me sneeze.
* You can find some really weird crap in old historical library buildings.

He was the understudy for my fiance

* Stage families are never believable.

I get my size from my Papa

* At first stage kisses are the most awkward thing on the planet. Then somehow they aren’t significant.

This was the G-rated picture of this moment

* Yelling from my diaphragm does not wreck my voice and results in impressive decibel levels from such a little person.

I screamed in the poor boy’s ear a lot

* Channeling my “inner Colleen” helps with substitute teaching in a rowdy class.

I don’t think I ever smiled in this scene. In any scene.

* Things that you as a cast laugh about may not make an audience laugh, and things you never laughed about in rehearsal may cause an audience to bust a gut.

Her company will give you a FULL INCH MORE BALL

* It is much easier to act in front of a large/easily entertained crowd.
* Celery and Popeye Sticks is the perfect pre-show snack combo.
* Accidental comedic moments can never be recreated for the next show.

Gun. Being inserted into his pants. Not in script.

* Stage makeup can make anyone look trashy.

* You can get very attached to people you see twice a week for 2 1/2 months.

The sign mentioned in my last post

 * I love meeting people I wouldn’t normally get the chance to meet. When else do you get to hang out with a chaplain, farmers’ kids, an artist, a priest and a mental health worker all in one afternoon?

Family on the couch!

* I need to be involved in theatre in some capacity in the future.
* All of the hard work was worth it. This was one of the best experiences, and I can’t wait to do it again!

Thanks for all the fun! See you next year!
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4 thoughts on “>What Community Theatre Taught Me

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