I am lucky enough to live in a small city that hosts the longest continuous running summer (live) theatre in the state of Ohio. Known as the Huron Playhouse, the theatre department of Bowling Green State University puts on five plays and/or musicals in the space of seven weeks. Each play has a run of five nights, and the company is working on three plays at any one time. It's pretty amazing actually; after the curtain closes on Saturday night's performance, they immediately strike the set and replace it with the following week's set. The Playhouse draws music and theatre majors from universities all across the nation. This year I think I read in one of the playbills that the cast and crew hail from twenty different states.
A few townspeople are also involved with the theatre and get parts in some of the plays and musicals. My husband is one of these. In fact, tonight is opening night for Our Town by Thornton Wilder, and he has been practicing lines and rehearsing for the past few weeks. Our Town is considered a classic; I'll be honest, I've never read it and now only know those lines that his part (the stage manager) says. I can't wait to see it in its entirety. I suppose I could have picked it up and read it through. I have heard enough of the story to know it though. It was chosen, for one reason at least, because this is the 200th anniversary of our town , Huron (or in actuality, city...see, Mr. Holman, I do remember Ohio history and civics--Ohio only has villages and cities, no towns!). This is just one of the many celebrations planned for Huron's bicentennial year.
Offsetting the celebrations comes the potentially sad news that the Huron Playhouse may not have a sixty-second year unless the community comes together to raise an extra $ 100,000 in donations to keep it going. Like everyone else, including all institutions of higher learning, Bowling Green is economizing and downsizing. The Huron Playhouse has been informed that it will be one of those funding cuts unless money is raised. As a Friend and contributor to the Huron Playhouse already, I hope to give some more. I also hope others open up their wallets and give even a modest amount, so the show will go on!
To those in the cast of Our Town, break a leg! May your opening night be the first of five great performances.
For those interested in supporting the Huron Playhouse, contact Bowling Green University--Firelands Campus theatre department, Huron, Ohio!
Causes Nancy Smith Supports
Doctors without Borders
American Diabetes Association