Twenty years ago, when I was ten, I first walked into Riverfront with my parents. We were going to build a set. I watched muslin cloth and 1x4 pieces of wood turn into walls. I learned how to dutchman flats together and make wood grain with a sharpie marker. The show we were putting up was The Mousetrap. Now here I am, no longer that ten year old boy, with a screw gun and big motherfucking screws, building a huge wooden set with my folks. It was fun.
Many of the faces have changed over the 20 years the Riverfront has been in existence, but the dynamic remains the same. There are those people who are there because they love it. They act, they build sets, they clean toilets... doesn't matter as long as they have something to keep them involved. There are the directors who don't fall into the first category, but consider themselves somehow 'above' it all and swoop in to watch people work for a few minutes then fly off on some mystery errand. There are the young actors who don't get the fact that, sorry, despite how good you are, it's community theatre and the actors are no better than the toilet cleaners. Fortunately there aren't many of them. (And it was fun cause I got to put him in his place while I was standing there with my screw gun, covered in sawdust and wood stain, by telling him that I'm a paid actor in Boston. He wasn't happy.)
Then there are the kids. I remember being those kids. The ones who have grown up with their hands in the paint, their fingers on the lighting dimmers, their noses in everything. You see the passion that they have for the place, and the excitement that working there brings to them. And they work harder than some of the adults. I was one of them once, and I think I turned out okay, so they probably will as well. And it's a good thing, cause they're good kids.
The Riverfront is one of the things I really do miss from here, and while I still prefer the friends and the life I have in Boston, it's nice to know that I can sneak back here and slip back into the fold, if only for a little while.
Theatre/Theater - Is there really a difference?