Curtain Call            

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 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.

Quiet On The Set

With a freshly purchased property in our grasp, we began to formulate some of the brainstorming in how we were going to reintroduce the newly branded theater to the masses. We of course, had to ensure that those seats that we hoped to fill would be safe though, and tackled the public areas first. Hiring out to a professional company to reinstall seating, and comfier seats than the old fold down styles that had one too many questionable things attached to them. While this portion was going on, we began to brainstorm about which event we would hold as our introductory event.

We had been working on a piece that would encompass four plays, Sumer, Winter, Fall and Spring, and figured that would be a great way to get things going. Trying to undertake four plays at the same time though was a pretty big task to take on, but one that we looked forward to. It was, of course a little difficult to practise as all this construction was going on around around us, but we still worked with it. We put out a casting call for local actors, and through a few weeks of rehearsals, managed to find the exact additional set players we needed to flesh out the scenes.

The next physical portion of our work, was ensuring that al the plumbing in the building was up to code and working correctly. So, we called in to one of the local plumbers and got them to work on every pipe in the building. Sure it was another big investment, but we all wanted to ensure that even if the building wasn’t successful in our venture, that we weren’t losing all of our money in a turnaround, so make the building more up to date, and get a higher resale value. Simple. At this point we began to work on set dressing. The back lot was full of artists and backdrops and painting, laughing and fun. It was a great time, working on our own construction while the housing for our venture was undergoing the same.

We began to rehearse our showings at this time as well. Starting with the Winter, the cold, the end. Talking of issues such as melting polar ice caps in a more divertive and subtle way, after all, we are the world’s theater. This led us to Spring and rebirth, Summer and growth, and eventually Fall and renewal. It was a fitting way for us to get going, and not going to lie, it led to a lot of jokes about the theater’s story as a whole, that we would only last for a year with this sort of symbolism going on. But we kept our spirits high, and our monumental staff working on so many aspects of this opening, we had nothing but high hopes for the first set of plays that would be gracing the new stage that we were going to have put in replacing the old battered one.

The World’s a Stage            

Looking at the name of our blog, you may find yourself confused as to what it all means, what we are and what we stand for. And in essence, our world theater approach is that of believing just that, the world world is one big theater, we are all individuals who play a role in the play that is life, and yet, also use the analogy of theater to speak to issues that affect us all. If one piece of the play is off, then the whole show is ruined. A broken back stage, a lighting cue missed leaving our players in darkness. When two actors don’t get along, it seeps into the page and is displayed to everyone. We believe in the harmony of the world, the stage, and the show we put on.

I suppose we should start by describing who we are. Our core group started as a theater group. We would work together on many plays, one man shows, and the like in our local college, and then into our local theaters. It was through a mutual passion for taking part in ecological awareness events and the like that we started to form a much closer bond. Leading us to create shows that tackle some of the important issues in the world, but in a way that is entertaining to a broad audience spectrum. It was always our ambition to deliver a subtle message, to let the viewer walk away thinking, and analyzing what it was they saw, rather than beating them over the head with a topic until they eventually turned away from it out of spite.

After we found moderate success in these areas, we found that the space in which we put on a lot of our shows was going up for sale. Now this location was by no means a knockout location. There was a lot of work that needed to be done to it, but the history, the many stories told on that stage, and of course the haunting legends that come along with any spot like this, we couldn’t pass up the offer. The group of us decided to pool our resources together, and still needed to take out a loan on top of that, but eventually managed to scrape together enough money to buy the place ourselves. It was a momentous occasion that a group of theater loving college kids couldn’t have dreamed of.

With our own property in mind, we began to think of all the things we wanted to do, shows to be had, events to unfold, gathering our groups across various interests and bringing them into one solid location to put their ideas out to the masses. But first, we needed to tackle the issue of the place being four steps away from condemnation. As none of us were really experts when it came to anything outside of set design in terms of construction, we needed to bring in some professionals while we focused on the eventual plans of the site.