The other day I was driving home, reflecting on all that has happened to me in the last year. It’s no secret that I have had problems with my town’s community theater. Long story short: I participated for five years, took part in seven shows, directed two others, and created and ran their web site. Then when I detailed a plan in public for the long-term survival of the group, the rank and file took that as an attack on the group’s president and roundly ostracized me. Sadly, that came only after said president had already made it abundantly (and indirectly) clear that I was no longer welcome.
Since that time, I went back to the neighboring community theater where I had started out years earlier and got cast in another show. Then I was asked to join their board, followed by a stint running their sound board for a different musical. A few months later I was cast at yet another nearby community theater, after which I signed on to be on their board as well as their new webmaster. As if all that weren’t enough, I was cast in a NY theatrical production and DVD series. In my own town’s community theater I am a pariah. In Haddonfield, Burlington County and Brooklyn, I am welcomed with open arms, both as a performer and supporter.
These are the things I was thinking about as I drove. I have made many new friends this past year and reconnected with many more. I have also found a level of acceptance that I have never experienced before. While it is sad that these things aren’t happening in the very town in which I live and that I adore, I am so very grateful that they are indeed happening.
And for the record, I do still want the Collingswood Community Theater to be around for many years to come and wish it the very best. I still fear for its future, but sincerely hope it will grow and mature and that more people will get involved.