Recently, I was in a play title "A Chorus Line" at my local theater-The Baytown Little Theater. I have written a previous post lamenting the the lack of things to do in Baytown versus the array of things do in Houston. However, if there is nothing more in Baytown to do than the BLT they have certainly made up for it there.
When I arrived for the audition it had been quite some time since I had been in any sort of production. Even at the camp that I directed, I was the Camp Director and so I was not involved in anything but the direction of some of the skits. So, I was nervous. I didn't know what to expect, I didn't know how to dress, I didn't know anyone. I like to put myself in situations that make me nervous because they help me grow. However, I am also a chronic worrier and so leading up to a situation is the worst. I am also a self-examiner so after the fact I can be hard on myself too.
It is very possible in theater that everyone there can ignore you because either they know each other or, oddly, many theater types are actually reserved. They can be people who are lively and animated on stage but introspective offstage. I was very obviously a newcomer, but I was enthusiastically greeted by the ladies handing out the audition forms and then greeted by one of the long-time actresses at the Baytown Little Theater. The fact that anyone reached out to me recommended this theater from the start.
As I was cast in the play, rehearsed, and eventually performed the play, my love for the Baytown Little Theater and the people there grew.
My favorite part of the experience was learning the choreography for A Chorus Line. A Chorus Line is a play about professional dancers who are auditioning for a spot in a chorus line. It is about their struggles growing up, love, and how we all desire to know our place in life and that our place is something meaningful and lasting. In a sense it is also about how acting and dancing, the stage in general, is a place where people who don't fit can fit somewhere, can lose themselves in the beauty of that art. But how fame is difficult and fleeting and knowing ourselves is important to moving on with life. People are important to who we are. Community is important. Not feeling alone.
Many plays have these themes running through them and that is why they strain our heart with empathy. Why we find them sadly beautiful. It is one of many reasons that I love the theater and being a part of it.