We’re all living out a story. One way that people have told stories and worked through their own stories is through theater. If you’re looking for a way to express yourself or to add a new chapter to your story, you may want to look into theater. Maybe theater is a foreign concept to you. Maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s an intriguing idea but you know little about it so are wary of trying it out. Theater is a beautiful and unique way to express yourself, learn more about God and engage with the arts.
“But I’m not the creative type!”
Theater has something for everyone. If you don’t feel like you’re a “creative” or “artistic” person, you can still join theater. Crew members are the glue that keep the production together and working smoothly. Stage managers, assistant stage managers, props masters, ushers, house management, box office managers, follow spot operators, sound board operators, light board operators are all jobs crucial to the theater-making process! These positions require organization, attention to detail and the ability to stay on task. Crew members are deeply appreciated and valued by the theater community and are absolutely essential to making productions realistically happen.
“I just don’t want to be on stage”
If you do see yourself as a creative person, but you’re terrified of being in front of people, there are plenty of innovative positions in the theater that don’t require performing in front of a large group of people. Such jobs include lighting designers, set designers, directors, writers, costume designers, props masters (who often make the actual props used in a show). These people are another crucial piece of the production puzzle because they can make an abstract vision a reality.
“What’s so scary about acting?”
If you feel like you’re a creative person and you have no problem stepping on a stage, go for it! Acting is an amazing way to take notice of the world and people around you. It’s a beautiful way to bring a part of yourself into a situation; a life that isn’t your own. It teaches you to be selfless. It lets you walk in other people’s shoes. And, if acting isn’t your thing, you can try your hand at singing or dancing. Musical theater is full of big dance numbers with all types and styles of music that grab the soul and become a pivotal element of the play.
“What’s so special about theater anyway?”
Theater holds unique challenges as well as remarkable realizations. Sometimes the challenges can be personal, like feeling inadequate or struggling with changes in responsibilities assigned. Other times the challenges can come from the common struggle of working with other people, like having too many directors, or receiving conflicting messages. Whatever the situation, there are always challenges to face. Which means there are opportunities to grow. In these growing moments, weaknesses as well as strengths are discovered. You learn new things about yourself while contributing to something bigger than yourself. It can be scary. Whether your new challenges and growing experiences are in theater or somewhere else, remember what God said in Joshua 1:9. “Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
“So, now what?”
If you’re interested in joining theater, there are a few ways you can become involved. If your school has a drama program, talk to the drama director about where you might fit in best. Tell him or her that you’re interested in becoming involved and would like more information. Audition for a play at a community theater. There are plenty of monologues and other audition materials online. Call theaters in your area and tell them that you would like to usher. That way, you can make connections, gain some experience, learn about different types of plays and receive a free ticket to the show. Also, research acting or tech classes offered at your local community college, rec center or fine art schools. At the very least, create and produce plays with your friends and family at home. Finally, “Break a leg!”