Saturday, July 23, 2005

Wonderful Bittersweet Wizard

Tonight was the last of my four public performances as The Cowardly Lion in the New London Theatre's production of The Wizard of Oz. Friends who have seen the other shows say that this was the best of all our performances.

It's been great to get to know the cast, crew, and staff of the show and to work together to make something special for an audience. Theatre clearly demonstrates the necessity for teamwork, since it takes techs, set builders, costumers, makeup people, musicians, prop creators, directors, fund-raisers, ticket takers and more to put on a show.

There's something bittersweet and ephemeral about doing amateur theatre. When you finally get good at a show it's typically time to strike the set and move on to another one. I've moved around a lot and have seldom had a chance to do multiple shows with the same theatre group. Maybe now that I've stopped being such a rolling stone I can enjoy the cameraderie of the group and keep the great feeling going by doing more shows together.

In theatre, like life, the cast of characters is always changing. Some are headed off to college. Some move away. Some are caught up in circumstances beyond their control. Some just don't have parts in the next production. You're never sure what's next and every show has its own special chemistry. As the Lion would say, "You've gotta have courage!" You just have to put yourself out there, audition, and see what happens next.

Still, I'm enjoying finding community here in Georgia -- at our congregation, at the New London Theatre company, and more. It will be fun to build on these new connections and see where they lead.


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