…To make a Little Theater!
As we head into this week of Thanksgiving, I am overwhelmed by all who have helped me take these first steps in creating Little Theater Workshop. It is rare to find a community that is so energized and supportive of new ideas, and I feel blessed to have all of you joining me on this adventure.
There are a lot of points this past 6 months where someone could have looked at me and said, “A theater company? On your own? Nope, that’s not going to work,” and I would have shrugged, turned around, and headed back to more “comfortable” projects. I’ve done it before, and a lot. My family and close friends can attest that I’m an ideas person, and I like to dream of ways to apply myself in the world. I’ve imagined myself running a food co-op, working as a travel writer, opening a senior living community that also functions as a daycare, starting a farming community that looks like Hobbiton. I’ll do the research, I’ll plan the work, and then something happens that tells me it’s not supposed to be–not now, perhaps not ever.
The idea of making a small theater company has occurred to me before. Twice in my life, the conversation moved from idle wishing to action. Both times, I was surrounded by the best of friends who wanted to join in on the adventure, and it was all falling into place…until it didn’t anymore. Through nobody’s fault, and despite the power of the dream, situations changed and we all moved on. And yet, here I am again, with renewed energy and the surprise backing of so many people I didn’t know two years ago.
When people ask me where Little Theater Workshop came from, it’s hard for me to answer. It was a feeling, mostly. I noticed that our little town of Perkasie was rich in the arts, but there was no local, year-round theater opportunities outside of the schools. This struck me suddenly in July of this year (2019). It’s like how some authors say that their main characters just stroll into their brain one day–I had no intention of actually starting a new project. I was actually just beginning to find work-life balance with my full-time job. But then the idea for Little Theater Workshop appeared, and I couldn’t put it away.
The timeline of this project is what really boggles my mind. A couple of days after the idea appeared, I told my husband that I was thinking that I’d “eventually” try to start some theater classes. An obsessive week later, I had written up a rough structure and was begging him for help building the website. (He did, because he’s wonderful.) I asked my sister to take my crappy flyer layout and put something cohesive together for me. (She did, because she’s wonderful.) My larger family, although surprised by the suddenness of the idea, were ready to jump onboard and see what happened.
And then the community miracles started happening. Trinity Lutheran Church offered me the use of their space for better rates that I could have ever imagined (a necessity, considering that everything was out of pocket). I would go and hang up my flyer, and someone passing by would give me an idea of where else might be a good place for a flyer. Friends shared my Facebook posts. A member of the Perkasie Towne Improvement Association board saw my flyer and invited me to participate in their raffles at major town events.
The community rallied around me in a way I would have never imagined. With everyone’s help, I went from an idea to leading classes in only two months. And, once my classes started, I had a group of friends cheering me on, helping with photography, doing makeup for the sharings. And of course, we couldn’t have done ANYTHING without the young actors and their families, who took a chance on Little Theater Workshop!
This is just a long way of saying, “Thank you.” Thank you for your support, thank you for showing interest, and thank you for helping me navigate a new adventure. And, if this blog post is your first introduction to Little Theater Workshop, thank you for simply taking the time to look into our work. I am so grateful for this past Fall, and look forward to the Winter and beyond!