Culture on My Mind
Where the Drama is Local
January 9, 2023
It’s time to talk about the performing arts again. This week, I’m thinking about community theater and a panel discussion courtesy of the Theater and Musical Lovers YouTube Channel.
The channel and its associated Facebook group were established as an unofficial gathering of Dragon Con attendees who love theater, musicals, and the performing arts. Their goal is to create a community of fellow thespians and fans at the convention. This group came together last weekend to talk about community theater and local productions. I mean, sure, Broadway is where everyone wants to end up, but some of the best experiences are homegrown.
When I was in the Navy, I volunteered a couple of times at Playhouse 51 in Millington, TN. That community theater is a non-profit run by volunteers. The theater is housed in the Millington Civic Center, which was once a Baptist church that ended up in the city’s hands. The city offered the space to Playhouse 51 for a $1 annual lease, effectively endorsing it so long as the volunteer force can keep the doors open.
That’s the kind of community that local theater creates.
On January 7th, a group of passionate curtain callers discussed the charms and pitfalls of local theater, along with how to find, join, support, or found your own local theater troupe, and why you should see that show they’re putting on in their uncle’s barn! Gary Mitchel and Sarah Rose were joined by Greg Bell, Christi Chalmers, and Ell Rhodes to chat about the creativity, passion, and drama that you can find in your own hometown.
The Theater and Musical Lovers Group will be hosting more of these panels. If you’re interested in participating or have some topic ideas in mind, head over to the group on Facebook and drop them a line.
You can find Gary and Sarah on the socials: On Twitter, they are Gary_Mitchel, SarahRose_KPK, and Daisuki_Suu; on Instagram, they are Gary_Mitchel and Daisuki_Suu; and Gary’s horror-themed podcast that he hosts with Erin McGourn is A Podcask of Amontillado. Of course, the Theater & Musical Lovers channel can be found on YouTube.
Culture on My Mind is inspired by the weekly Can’t Let It Go segment on the NPR Politics Podcast where each host brings one thing to the table that they just can’t stop thinking about.
For more creativity with a critical eye, visit Creative Criticality.