June 11, 2011

(Hannah & Stella, Cheshire Cat & Alice, March 2011)
How do you grow a community theatre?

Time between the end of DFT spring acting classes and the beginning of Summer Performance Camps is a little like a vacation and a little like a full-time job – planning annual budgets, reviewing scripts, interviewing interns, writing class descriptions for the 2011-2012 season.

Yesterday is a great example – I skipped my usual morning administrative on -the-computer time and pretended I was at the beach, which meant taking my current favorite book, “A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare – 1599,” to the Beyu Cafe, ordering a large iced latte (temps near 100) and making myself comfortable for over an hour in the big cushioned window-chair – reading with a pink highlighting marker at my side all the chapters on the creation of one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, “As You Like It.” This will be our opening production for fall 2011; it was fascinating to read James Shapiro’s insights into the cultural/political influences on the play and the creation of the engaging characters, including one of Shakespeare’s greatest comic heroines, Rosalind. Shapiro also uncovered the possible reasons that this one, of all Shakespeare’s plays, resembles a musical with English madrigals sung in every act. We’ve already begun putting together a core group of madrigal singers for the DFT production.

At home I continued the theme of restful work by watching a movie about Queen Elizabeth, followed by reading her 0n-line biography. Since the age of 12 when I began studying theatre, I’ve loved that actors, directors, costume, scene, light and sound designers are all required to be continual learners – curious about the world both past and present. It’s perfect work for an inquiring mind.

For a break from Elizabethan times in the evening I browsed murder mystery plays, getting ready for our Teen Performance Camp beginning on June 20th. TEN-DAYS AWAY! If you haven’t registered yet, do it today! It’s going to be a mysterious, comic blast!

Today (as DPS students celebrate the first day of summer vacation) I’m back at DFT administrative work both in my coffee shop “office” and at a meeting of DFT Advisory Council members this afternoon. There’s so much to tell them about performing spaces, student interns, budgets, not-for-profit applications …. How do you grow a community theatre? One-step-at-a-time, and loving the work every day.

Warmly, Jenny

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One response to “June 11, 2011

  1. Sounds like an exciting season ahead!

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