Playing your part — onstage

Published 9:53 pm Friday, January 8, 2010

The announcement by the Canebrake Players community theater about its upcoming auditions for “Arsenic and Old Lace” brought back memories for me.

No, I wasn’t in the movie with Cary Grant. I performed in the same play with the Canebrake Players the last time I was working for the Times, back in 1990.

I’m not an talented actor, nor will I ever make that claim. I think my performance in the fourth-grade play about the solar system was better than what I emoted over that weekend as Dr. Einstein, the twisted but sympathetic plastic surgeon played by Peter Lorre in the noted movie.

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It’s not about being a talented or experienced actor. That’s not the purpose behind community theaters. Community theaters give people in the community the chance to work in an actual stage production in many areas: set design, costumes, publicity and, of course, in acting.

Most productions have several roles that need to be filled. Whether it is the lead or “Townsperson No. 5,” each role is important in the production of the play.

Almost everyone has fantasized about what it would be like to perform, whether it’s on TV, in movies, on the radio or on stage. Community theater is the best way to see what it’s like and become involved not just in a performance, but in a group effort working together in service to the community.

I want to invite anyone who thought about working with a performance to go on down to the Old School on Sunday and Monday for the auditions. I think you would be surprised not only in what you can do but in who else you see on the stage. Several people who live and work around the community are involved in the Canebrake Players, and you may surprised at who you see onstage.

The Canebrake Players began back in 1981 and has been a popular organization from the start. It has seen several people cross the Old School theater stage, young and old alike, and from all walks of life.

If you have an inkling, give it a try. It was lots of fun, and I learned a lot. There are lots of ways for people to take part, onstage and behind the scenes. It’s a great feeling to see your name among the credits!

David B. Snow is the managing editor of the Demopolis Times.