Who doesn’t love the local theater? Whether it’s a semi-professional production at the production company downtown, or it’s your child’s end of the year school play, the local theater has a certain appeal that no major Broadway production can match. These are people that live and work in your community coming together to put together a piece of art for the benefit of their peers.
Maybe you are an actor yourself. Maybe you already know how great the local theater is. If you don’t, it’s about time that you checked it out. It is a cost effective and high quality night of entertainment, regardless of where you live. The productions might not be of Broadway quality, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be a lot of fun.
The Local Performing Arts
What is the point of the local performing arts? People are creative, and thee stage gives them an ability to express that creativity. It doesn’t matter whether you are going to see someone you know, or just the local theater troup. This can often be one of the most fun and rewarding nights of the year. The local theater productions are often run by volunteers and the actors are not professionals. The support that patrons give them is not their end goal, but it certainly doesn’t hurt when encouraging them to keep doing what they do. Besides, the theater is fun and a way to relax and be entertained. Supporting this with your ticket purchase and your attendance is an easy way to give back to the community, too.
The Christmas season tends to be one of the busiest for just about everyone. Catching a holiday performance at the local high school or the community theater can be a lot of fun and a way to take a step back from the hustle of the holidays and relax for a few hours. At this time of year, a lot of theaters put on A Christmas Carol, the popular story of learning to think about others first written by Charles Dickens back in the 1840s. It’s been performed thousands of times in the 170+ years since the story was first told, and it’s still one of the most inspirational stories concerning altruism.
Schools, churches, and other organizations also put on Christmas time productions. These are generally family or small community events, but that doesn’t make them inferior. In fact, for some, these are the highlight of the year. It’s a time for groups to come together and show their support for their group and each other. These usually are not closed events, so if you see a local event that you want to attend, a quick call can secure you tickets and provide you with a new theater experience.
One of the things that makes local theater unique is that there’s a great need for sponsors or patrons. If you own a small business, you’ve undoubtedly been approached by a community organization looking for donations. This tends to be a pretty small task for many, plus it’s a way to show your support.
Being a patron of the arts might sound like something that only the richest can do, but this is far from the truth. It’s been said that where you spend your money shows where your heart is, and you certainly don’t need to be rich to show that you appreciate the hard work that goes into putting a show together. Even if you never give a penny in cash, you can still demonstrate your appreciation by helping to work on the night of the shows, building sets, or organizing fundraising activities during the offseason. There are a ton of ways to give back to your local theater groups, schools, and churches even if you cannot afford to give with your wallet. From volunteering to help with the shows themselves, to donating your own money, you can show your sponsorship of the performing arts.
Broadway certainly has a place. It is the pinnacle of the theater—the big show, if you will. But saying that local and smaller productions don’t have any value in comparison to Broadway is misguided. It’s like saying that Little League shouldn’t exist because of the Major Leagues. Not everyone will get to be a professional actor, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no passion or skill involved at the lower levels. This is a chance for your friends and family to shine, and for you to show your appreciation for them and what they do.
If you’re looking for tickets to a Broadway show, you can certainly find them. But if you don’t live close to New York or another major city, your ability to take in a show is probably limited. Sometimes it will take extra commitment to get the tickets you want. Until you are ready, the local theater gives you a chance to appreciate the performing arts from the comfort of your own town.
From Hamilton to a play written by a third grader, the theater highlights the capabilities of the creative human spirit. It can be a night of laughter, tears, or any emotion in between. But whatever production you go to, and at whatever level you go to see it at, the theater is a unique evening of entertainment.