My First Community Theater Experience

It was a blistery and cold Saturday afternoon when I climbed the two flights of creaky stairs to find myself in a photography studio reading for parts in six different one acts. The directors were spread out, partially hidden behind semi-permanent walls and backdrops and the auditionees shuffled back and forth, first reading for an old lady/man at a reunion here, a man in hospice over there, a woman yelling at her ninja husband in the corner. Stage Door Productions, a local community theatre here in Fredericksburg, VA, puts on a One Act Festival each year. Playwrights from all over (mostly the U.S.) submit their original one-acts which are read and the top six are selected and produced. It's a beautiful weekend of theater that ends in a few cash prizes for the winning playwright... :o)

I've always wanted to get involved in community theater...I loved drama in high school and in college I did a play where I had a living, breathing, hairless and toothless cat on stage with me....that's probably a tale for another day. And with a desire to make friends here and be around creative people, the one act festival seemed the perfect, short term avenue to pursue.

I adore the casts of the two shows I acted in. I was an ex-finance in "Brothers" where I merely walk into the waiting room where my ex is talking with a nice older lady, make the scene awkward, and scurry off to the other side. My larger role was in "Last Words", where I played a hospice nurse for a dying playwright who wants his last words to be remembered. I spent much more time in rehearsal for Last Words, and Michael, Bob, and Jackie were witty, inviting, and just plain fun to be with. It was also magical that we rehearsed in that same photography studio, on the third floor of a building in downtown Fredericksburg, a street that has seen so much history dating back to the revolutionary war!!So this past weekend I made my Fredericksburg "acting debut", it was four days of shows, hanging out backstage (lots of whispering!), and grabbing ice cream/food/drinks into the evening hours. We performed at the Downtown Library and got to meet a couple of the playwrights who were local enough to make the drive. I met a gal in another one-act who literally lives down the street from me here in Colonial Beach (small world!). And while there are no further plans of acting for me.... I do think I could make a pretty fantastic usher at their next run of shows... :o)