Why Community Theater Is Important

Why is it important to support the arts in your community? Looking at the big picture, does it make any difference if you attend a community theatre production?
The answer is yes. Whether it is semi-professional or wholly amateur, community theatre contributes, not only to the arts, but to your community as a whole.
Firstly, community theatre allows aspiring actors and lifetime theatre hobbyists to come together and hone their craft. It creates a sense of accomplishment and develops a community spirit as cast and crew work towards a common goal. Whether the performers intend to fly off to an audition in New York City after the curtain falls, or simply plan to go home to their families and day jobs, a community theatre production provides its cast and crew with a second family, a support system, and a strong sense of pride in their contribution to the arts in their community.
But a local production does not only give back to those on-stage, it also provides the community with the chance to come together to celebrate creativity and teamwork. This side of theatre is too often dismissed when discussing its advantages in a community setting. The role of the audience is as important, if not more important, than that of the performer. Coming together to view a local production is an exciting experience, whether the performance is fantastic or a flop. Perhaps a local production of a musical will be the first time a future Oscar winner will experience live theatre, or maybe it will be the setting for a romantic evening out which leads to a long-lasting relationship. You may make a new friend, discover a new interest, or simply find a new set of tunes to sing along with in the car.
Apart from the social aspect, theatre can be educational while still being entertaining. For example, a local production of Shakespeare allows high school students to see the Bard’s work, rather than simply reading it in the classroom. Many plays and musicals are about important historical events; perhaps they will spark the interest of the writer in you or encourage a research project for a class, especially if they highlight an aspect of a particular era which is not usually focused upon.
Community theatre is a place of new discoveries and life-long learning. It can open your eyes to a new hobby, a new relationship or a new path in life. It contributes to the arts in a community, as well as teaching many important skills such as teamwork, problem solving, and confidence in public speaking. It strengthens a community’s cultural environment, provides catharsis to its participants and viewers and is a safe place for people of all ages, cultures and experiences to come together and work towards a common goal.