Support Your Local Arts
This past weekend I went and saw a community theater production for the first time in years. The play was Picnic, by William Inge, and the venue was the Huntington Beach Playhouse. This play has a special place in my heart because one of the first scene studies I ever did was from this play (I was Alan, and my best friend was Hal).
I had quite a nice time. The production did suffer from many of the problems that community productions often do, but it was still fun to see. It reminded me of the days when I was more involved with the theater. I made a lot of friends in my high school theater department. I met my future wife in one of those high school productions. And in college some of my fondest memories involve acting in or directing plays.
It was nice to see that one of the actors was a high school student. Participation in the arts can be just as important in building a child's identity as sports or other extracurriculars. Theater helped me become more outgoing and shaped many of my experiences later in life. It remains a strong part of who I am, even though I don't have much time these days to be involved in shows.
And community arts aren't just for the artists. There is always plenty of room, and need, for volunteers to help bring off any community arts program, whether it be theater, music, or visual arts. So you're not a musician? Maybe your local choir needs help working their sound system. Not good with electronics? Maybe you could help paint sets for your community theater. No technical skills? Help raise funds for an art show or work the box office at a performance. Trust me, there's a way you can help.
But maybe you just don't have the time to commit your weekends to volunteer work. I bet you still have time to go see a show. And you're probably bored with television anyway! Not a big fan of the arts? You might be surprised. So you don't get Picasso. Go check out the photography expo at your local junior college. Or maybe you don't like classical music. Why not try the Latin music festival? Trust me, there's something for everyone. And not only can you alleviate your boredom and take in a little culture, but by buying that ticket you are helping support a vital part of your community.
Whether you're an artist, a volunteer, or even a patron, there's a place in your local arts for you. Well, what are you waiting for?