The city’s oldest community musical theatre company, Hamilton Theatre Inc., is celebrating 60 years of ‘Memories’ with an incredible stage show that opened last Friday and runs until Feb. 25.
Audience members will be given a taste of nearly every production the troupe has performed over the past six decades. The calibre of talent will blow you away.
Community theatre groups are underrated. You don’t have to travel to Broadway or the Toronto Theatre District to find the kind of talent that inspires little kids to be the next generation of Annies and Maria Von Traps.
But the theatre is so much more the lead character. It’s where talented people come together and give everything they’ve got to bring fabulous characters to life. It’s where actors get over their fears, brave the lights and step on stage to entertain the lucky patrons, who are watching high quality productions at a fraction of the price of professional theatres.
The theatre teaches discipline and perseverance. Actors must learn to trust their fellow cast mates, directors, and makeup artists. It teaches people to be on time, to respect others and that the show must go on.
For some, the thought of stepping onto an empty stage, with nothing but a spotlight, in front of an audience is a petrifying nightmare. But for others, it’s a time to shine, a chance to entertain, to make their mark, and to be someone else – just for a little while.
Trust me, you will be just as moved, just as impressed, and just as entertained in a quaint community theatre as you will be on the biggest stages around the world. And as the song says, ‘There’s no people like show people!’
Community theatre companies are like a second family who have seen you at your worst and celebrated you at your best. They are a group of warm, (mostly) talented individuals who light up the dark stage, regardless of where the spotlight shines. They spend long hours perfecting an accent, a dance step, a chord or a solo.
In Hamilton, we’re lucky. We’ve got some amazing community theatre groups, helping to open doors and fulfill the dreams of Hamiltonians young and old.
Community theatre is the essence of community and team work. The moving parts of the playhouse, box office, costumes, props, sets, the directors, producers, actors, choreographers, crew, etc., work together toward a massive common goal – to entertain the audience through the magic of theatre.
On these cold winter nights, why not check out a local production? Who knows, maybe you’ll see one of the company members on Broadway one day.
Emily Bolyea-Kyere is stage mom to Page and Ava, assistant stage manager of ‘Memories’, and Sister Mary Patrick in Hamilton Theatre Inc.’s production of ‘Sister Act,’ opening in May.
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