Friday, May 14, 2010

Theater for the Sheer Enjoyment of It

This is the exterior of Star City Playhouse.^

Cast took a final curtain call tonight.^

It is a truly soothing feeling watching people follow their passion with the enthusiasm, creativity, resourcefulness and joy Christina and I just experienced at Roanoke's smallest live theater: Star City Playhouse.

It is a tiny house--seating maybe 50--in an old warehouse-like building off one of the seedy sections of Williamson Road. It's hard to find and even though we've been to presentations there several times, I always miss it and have to circle back, slow down and look for it. Tonight, we sat down just as the curtain would have opened ... if Star City had a curtain.

Tonight's show, "Grave Concerns," a comedy, was written by co-owner Karon Sue Semones (her husband/co-owner, Marlow Ferguson, was the director), who has two writing-related degrees from Hollins University and an MFA from Brooklyn College. They're theater people through and through and their productions are low-budget and volunteer. The love of what they do shines even through the clunky moments on stage.

Tonight's show was an exercise in nice moments followed by community theater glitches, acting that reminds us of just how difficult it is to be good. It was followed by a lot of laughter and applause from an audience that simply gets it: theater is about the joy of the moment and not about how this would play on Broadway.

This is thoroughly enjoyable theater when put into context and it's awfully hard to go to Star City without knowing the context. So go. Experience the reality of theater. It is a joy.

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