Welcome to the official Hamilton Players blog: All the world's a stage...

Thoughts and ruminations on all things theater...and then some!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

This is community theater...part 1

In 2012 the British Museum had a book on display that rivaled the Gutenberg Bible for media attention.  The book was not particularly old, it wasn’t a rare text, it wasn’t a clean text; it had scribbles in the margins and was obviously well used.  It had been owned by Nelson Mandela. but more than that, it had been owned by Nelson Mandela in prison and for years this so-called "Robben Island Bible" sustained and inspired him..  He often read aloud from it to his cellmates and it inspired and sustained them all. The book? Not scripture, but sacred nonetheless.  It was the Collected Works of William Shakespeare.  Those characters, those stories…they sustained him and others through those dark years in prison.  That, my friends, is the power and magic of theater.

Hamilton Players’ mission is to put the spotlight on education, inspiration, and community through the performing arts.  But even more important than our mission, is “why” behind it.  What drives us, as an organization, is a belief that live theater has the power to change individuals, both those who participate in it, and those who view it.  Performing on stage is a life-changing event–you can never be the same, afterward, when you’ve worn another person’s life in front of an audience. Each time, you become a little more open-minded, a little more understanding, a little better parent, a little better neighbor.  Just a little better.

Over the years Hamilton Players has staged more than 100 major productions, everything from classic Shakespeare to a drama about the effects of 9/11; from big musicals with upwards of 50 performers, to intimate 1- and 2-person shows.  In the course of a typical year, easily 5,000 people--and sometimes as many as 7,000--will attend or participate in our productions and events. Imagine that: 7,000 opportunities for our community to become just a little better.  That’s the power and magic of theater.

Hamilton Players has a large and growing number of all-purpose volunteers of all ages; an extraordinary corps of performers, directors, musicians, dancers, costume builders, designers, helpers, advisers, and artists.  All of them participating because they have each, on their own, decided that this is the most valuable thing they can do with their time, the most important thing they can do for their community.  Not everybody enjoys being out in front of an audience, but nearly everyone enjoys the feeling of having contributed to something larger than themselves, and a Hamilton Players production offers just that.  Beginning with nothing more than words on a page, everyone - from the director right on down to the person who checks to make sure there’s toilet paper in the bathrooms - begins working together to create the transforming experience that the audience has. Inspiration. Teamwork. Community.  That’s the power and magic of theater.

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