I’m a big believer that support can go a long way. Whether that support means being there for a friend in need or listening to someone talk about one of their passions (aka musical theatre) when maybe that it’s not necessarily a passion for you. And, really, in the biggest sense of the word, I mean supporting the arts.
As someone who would say that I am untalented in many artistic areas, I believe, perhaps because of that lack, that the arts are something to be treasured. And really, I owe a lot to the local theatres, museums, festivals, and so many other things in my town that allowed me the opportunity to explore the world just outside my doorstep.
So I thought, just to see, I would make a list of all of the different musicals, plays, operas…anything I can think of…that I have been able to see live in Springfield, MO. I think that too often people get caught up in BROADWAY and PROFESSIONAL companies and forget that everyone–every performer, every director, every scene designer and lighting designer and sound and all that…they all have to start somewhere.
Beginning in June of 2011, here are a list of shows I’ve seen at Springfield Little Theatre, which is the main local theatre in the area.
Noises Off, Legally Blonde, Monty Python’s Spamalot,
Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Exit Laughing, Shrek the Musical,
To Kill a Mockingbird, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, A Streetcar Named Desire, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,
Now, granted, some of these were better than others. I’m not saying The Great American Trailer Park Musical changed my life and that I think of that experience daily. However, I am saying that that list–for ONE theatre company–is huge. And that is just a sampling of the shows that they’ve actually performed in the past five years.
I could keep going. I could say I’ve seen two operas with the Springfield Lyric Opera: La Boheme and La Traviata. I could say I’ve seen Snow White as a ballet. I could say that I’ve seen two Shakespeare plays performed in the park and Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins performed just last week by the Springfield Contemporary Theatre in their 22nd season.
I could talk about Tent Theatre and what a tradition it is for the Springfield community. How I’ve seen Fiddler on the Roof and Damn Yankees, and My Fair Lady. And then, if I wanted to, I could list all of the university and high school productions I’ve ever seen.
But what I’m saying is that the list is LONG. Very long. And I did all of it without leaving my city. The list doesn’t even include touring productions. All of them, every single one, was a piece of local theatre and I think, even though my contribution has been small, that local theatre continues because of my interest and the interest of thousands of others.
So go to your local theatres. See the talent and the hope and all of the effort and bright lights and everything, everything that you love about theatre will be there with you.
Because–and here’s the deal–if we don’t support our local theatres, who will? I really don’t want to think about a world where theatre isn’t a thing. Where the stars who flock to Broadway, who traipse around the country touring world famous shows…that they were never provided a local space to spread their wings.
So here’s to local theatre.
Until next time…