Theatre Is A Conversation About Your Community

There are those that think of live theatre as an event. You attend. You enjoy (hopefully). You walk away. Event over. Actually it is much more than that. This year, Virginians for the Arts, the organization that lobbies our Commonwealth’s government for funding for the arts, has adopted the slogan, Theatre Builds Communities.

Talk about timing. In many ways building community and the conversations that surround that enterprise is what we are all about at Wayside Theatre. I moved back home to Virginia from Chicago to be the Artistic Director at Wayside Theatre for the primary reason that I wanted to be creating theatre and conversations in a community where the process of creation can have an impact. In Chicago, there was so much theatre that much of it was disposable. When we do a show, any show, at Wayside Theatre it matters. That is a wonderful thing.

Today demolition is underway for our much needed renovation and expansion efforts for Wayside Theatre’s home in Middletown, Virginia. It has been a long time coming and to tell you the truth, it feels good to hear the noise as the work proceeds. Of course, many memories are also being torn down with The Scene Shop and the Love Shack. But I hope, this will allow us to create many more memories for generations to come.

We’ve had to go through more than anyone could ever have imagined to make this happen. In addition to raising funds, dealing with architects, and contractors, government agencies, and the like, we’ve built a brand new theatre in Front Royal Virginia at the Royal Phoenix, so that we can keep operating during this hectic time. We could have gone dark. But to do so would have meant losing many of the wonderful artists who call Wayside Theatre home, and who make the work we do so special.

None of this has been easy on the theatre staff, our patrons, or our community. The local businesses in Middeltown have taken a hit while we have been performing elsewhere. Our audiences are confused as to where we are. We really enjoyed the challenge and the result of creating a new theatre in Front Royal at The Royal Phoenix. But I’ll admit, we’ve all been a little disappointed in the attendance of the wonderful production of Forever Plaid. We’re also thrilled about the production and the response to it of Tuesdays With Morrie at Shenandoah University.

We’re equally excited about the Word Premiere of Steve Przybylski’s new play with music, Shadow of the Raven: The Stories of Edgar Allen Poe. That promises to be a real treat this October and November. And make sure you stay tuned for some wonderful events from Education program with Emerging Artists in Action presenting a new play about the life of Young George Washington in the Shenandoah Valley.

If you’ve found your way here you’ve found some more info about Wayside Theatre and if you keep coming back, you’ll find even more. More importantly using this format you can not only read about what is going on, but you can talk about it with us as well by leaving a comment. That is what this is all about. We want to really extend the conversation. So, let’s have some fun, let’s extend the conversation, and let’s work together to make Wayside Theatre a great conversation about our community.


1 Response to “Theatre Is A Conversation About Your Community”

  1. 1 ghost ride Trackback on January 24, 2018 at 1:08 pm

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Inside Wayside is a weblog designed and operated by the staff of Wayside Theatre. It serves as a portal for dialogue within our community. Think of this as your backstage pass to our theatre and our world.

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