As the work on the theater progressed, so did the work we put into our show. With the inner workings and physical stage itself in place, we needed to focus on the last part of our theater construction, the roof. A friend had family who worked with www.citadelroof.com and so we decided to call them. As their professionals got on the go, we began our dry runs through the actual plays themselves. We started a campaign to get noticed in the area, and to get the word out. We’re not naïve, and we understand that the stage plays of today aren’t nearly as big of draws as they were in the past. But working in conjunction with a bunch of other in the area, we decided to make a giant event out of it.
We’d have painters selling wares in the front, and books from local authors, musicians peddling goods, all the artistic community in the area in one location, making an event out of the situation. We wanted to make something truly unique in the area. After roughly a year of working on our four plays, rebuilding the entire theater from the ground up, and starting a huge marketing campaign in the area to raise awareness, we sat there. The original group of six, waiting inside the back stage room, and just kind of staring at one another. The day had finally arrived where we were going to open the doors. None of us took a look outside, too afraid that there would be no one standing there.
We had a director showing all the painters, authors, musicians and everyone to set up. We even had a section for the local plumbers, roofers, and other construction people to advertise for themselves, as without them, we would still be working on one aspect of the building trying to do it ourselves. But we worried, what if everyone came with those people, for those people? What if we opened our theater, and no one actually wanted to see the play? It was terrifying sitting in that back room, but eventually we had to face the reality of the situation one way or another. As we made our way out of the room, down the gangplank, and into the stage area, we were stunned to see it filled to capacity.
There was people holding tags for artwork they bought and would pick up on their way out, various books, CD’s and otherwise. Our head usher looked at us as we came in, with a big grin on his face, and gave us a thumbs up. As we took to the stage, a bunch of young theater owners, the crowd burst into applause. Personally, I was brought to tears, but tried my best not to have it be too obvious. We began our introduction for the first part of the play, as the winds of winter slowly begin to die down, and rebirth begins, the first life starting to peek through, unknowing of what’s in store for it.