LET'S PUT ON A SHOW! Immortal words from every Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney movie. Judy and Mickey seemed able to produce a full scale, block-buster with little or no effort. In real life, it's not quite that easy.
Here's how it works in Yuma Community Theater. The director selects a script and presents a play proposal to the YCT Board of Directors. If approved, the work and fun begin.
Someone, in a moment of weakness, agrees to be the Producer. The Director-Producer team then sets out to create stage MAGIC. Auditions are held and the cast is chosen, always a traumatic for all concerned. A performance location is selected -- dinner theater at a local hotel? a school auditorium? Negotiations begin. Rehearsals are set. The schedule will never suit everyone; after all, there are conflicts (earning a living, spending time with the family, going to school, eating, sleeping and walking the dog). It somehow works out, with a lot of support and understanding from family, employers, and teachers. Oh, and the dog.
Costumes are created from the meager costume collection, the thrift shops, and everyone's closets-with the help of some talented seamstresses. Sets are built, painted and endlessly hauled around. Props appear. Furniture is re-built and re-covered. The Producer, keeper of the budget, slowly goes gray.
Cast members can no longer carry on a normal conversation; they speak their line to whomever will listen. One cast member, who has learned 2 1/2 acts of the Play, has to drop out and be replaced by someone who can learn 2 1/2 acts in in less than 2 weeks. Fortunately, there is always someone.
The Director alternates between euphoria and despair: It's Broadway quality (cheers and standing ovations), it's not ready and will never be (turn out the lights, close the curtain, and sneak out of town).
Meanwhile, everyone hammers, paints, sews, writes publicity releases, gathers props, runs errands, rehearses, makes endless phone calls and, in general, has a great time. The MAGIC is there. It is a sense of working together on a wonderful project. New friendships are formed, old friendships are tested, and new talents are discovered. Everyone is bigger and better than they were before.
On opening night, it all comes together. A Yuma Community Theater production comes to life. Everyone has contributed and everyone shares the applause. WE DID IT AGAIN!
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