Community theater interest meeting draws about 60 people

Posted on 09 April 2014 by eestes@tusculum.edu

A definite interest exists for creating a community theater group in Greeneville and Greene County.

Nearly 60 people attending a meeting Sunday afternoon enthusiastically discussed their support and interest in a local community effort to establish a theatrical group for Greeneville and Greene County.

The meeting was scheduled to gauge interest in the formation of a community theater group for the local community and discussion ranged from expressing individual visions for a local community theater group to types of theater productions and possible venues. Those attending represented a wealth of theatrical experience, from actors to directors, dancers to choreographers, stagehands to setbuilders, along with those who enjoy live theater.

A second meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 3, to discuss the next steps for the formation of a community theater group, including its structural organization and leadership and a mission statement. The meeting will be at 2 p.m. in Room 46 of the lower level of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building.

Facilitating the meeting was Marilyn duBrisk, artist-in-residence and director of Tusculum College Arts Outreach, with assistance from Brian Ricker, assistant to the director of Arts Outreach. duBrisk emphasized that Arts Outreach wish to help facilitate the discussion and provide assistance but does not want to take a leadership role in the actual organization effort.

In her experience, duBrisk noted, community groups that succeed are those that start at the grass roots level and grow from that solid base.

Ideas were not in short supply about what a community theater could be. Several people mentioned children’s theatrical productions, acting and training classes and non-musical plays as they expressed their vision of what the community theater could provide.

Also mentioned were productions that would reach out to all parts of the community, dinner theater, use of both small and large venues and a self-contained school for the arts.

In addition, brainstorming also yielded a number of options available for the development of a community theater group.

Again, ideas varied. Several people spoke of the need for education through school programs and working with home-school groups to introduce students to live theater. Also mentioned was seeking advice and guidance from successful community theater groups in the region.

Possible venues for productions, including Dogwood Park, the Crescent Building Auditorium and the Capitol Theatre, were also discussed.

High quality productions are a necessity for any community theater to succeed, it was agreed.

In addition, Organizational structure, leadership, venues, rehearsal space, financial issues and creating a mission statement were mentioned, all issues which will be discussed further at the May 3 meeting.

Anyone who was unable to attend Sunday’s meeting and is interested in the community theater group is encouraged to attend the May 3 meeting.

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