Directors and Producers in Community Theatre have a pact with two distinct populations whose needs are different but not conflicting: 1) Actors and 2) Audience. The pact is sacred.
The Pact (with the Actor)
You have come out for this community theatre show and you won a part. You are thrilled to be involved but, if you’ve done a bit of community theatre, you’re not sure if this show will be any good. And dammit, this is a lot of your time and effort and soul. Soul. Well and time. Time away from your kids, your spouse. Time away from sleeping, let’s be honest. You go to rehearsals. You learn your stuff. You’re the first person off book. You think about your part, really flesh her out, really try to understand who she is. Finally, it’s opening night. Are you in the right place? Will your friends and family really like it. Are you making a fool of yourself….?
Don’t worry. To the best of my ability, I will always put you in roles that you can do, that you look great doing, that stretch you but not too much, that allow you to grow as an artist. Further, I promise to give you what you need to do a great job. Ask the right questions of you, answer as many questions as I can, furnish the tools and the support. I will bring to bear decades of experience and stage the show well, thoughtfully and beautifully, with purpose and resonance. I promise you that by the time you’re done this experience you will be a better performer. I promise that you will be able to hold your head high when you step onstage.
Why? Because you, my dear, are frickin’ awesome to even try to do what you’re doing. You work all day and then, in your personal time, you get out there and just for the love of it, bring to bear a host of talent and energy that I simply cannot thank you enough for. You are gorgeous and deserve the best I can give you. And dammit. That’s exactly what you’re going to get.
My Pact (with the Audience)
I know you came out to watch your cousin (finally – she’s been bugging you for years) in this community theatre show. And I know you’re not really looking forward to it (as much as you love your cousin). And I know that you have to sit through a bunch of crap before your cousin has her moment. But you’re there and you feel good about being supportive. You are wondering if you can slip out your phone during the bits she’s not on. You sigh.
But don’t worry. You will be entertained. You, my dear, will be pleasantly surprised. You will have a great time even when your cousin is not on stage. That I promise you. Why? Because I think you’re frickin’ awesome to come out and support theatre in the first place. I feel so thankful that you are in the space and giving us your attention and your so precious time. We could not do this without you. You deserve to be entertained. You deserve to have a great night. And that is exactly what we are going to give you.
That’s it. The Pact. In the end, The Pact is love. #onward