Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Richmond theater rules

Andrew Hamm had a recent post on his blog noting specifically the coolness of Scott Wichmann but also generally the unique nature of the theater community in this town. Theater people in Richmond are to a large extent incredibly friendly, accessible, and down-to-earth. If you want further proof of this, you can check out a comment Bruce Miller posted on this here blog not too long ago. It refers to a production out at Hanover Tavern last year that he directed.

His honesty and openness about the challenges in putting up this production are refreshing, though I would say his self-recrimination about his direction of the piece is a bit harsh. But regardless, how cool is it that Mr. Miller – founder / writer / director / artistic director / possibly most prominent name in local theater – would put such comments out for public consumption? It’s certainly a testament to the impressiveness of Mr. Miller but also a further reflection (IMHO) of the unique nature of the stage scene here.

4 comments:

pnlkotula said...

I'm so old - I read the headline, and went "there are rules??" However, I completely agree. We have the most supportive, TALENTED, amazing network of friends anyone could ever wish for. The out-pouring of love for Scott Minor in the fall of 2000 is engraved on my heart. Although I played a very small part, I think of it often when I reflect on how fortunate I am to be a part of this community. Thanks Dave, for reminding us...

Andrew Hamm said...

Ha ha ha. What are the Rules of Richmond Theatre?

JB said...

One of the cool things about this theatre community - and maybe because it is a small one- is the support. We all show up auditioning for the same parts and we are all good friends. We sincerely wish each other well and there is more of a feeling that we are competing FOR something as opposed to AGAINST each other. I also love seeing all the actors in the audience whether I am in a show or watching as well. Sometime when you are in a show the last place you want to go to on a night off from the Theatre is another Theatre but that being said I feel that when I do go see a play on a night off - I am better for it - I am often inspired by my friends.

Frank Creasy said...

Well dang, I think JB stole my thunder a bit, but it's cool!

I agree completely...auditions around town here are as much a chance to reconnect and appreciate the talents of others (for free!) as to try to nab a role, and I seek every opportunity I can to watch others from the house, ticket in hand. I'll take her thought a bit farther, at least from my perspective: Watching and learning from other actors in Richmond gives you a chance to grow, to ask yourself how you can expand upon your own skills, so while there is definitely support, it's not completely altruistic - there's a very worthy, albeit self-serving aspect of watching other productions as a Richmond actor.

For those who are willing to humble themselves and admit they still have much to learn in life, and then to reflect that learning onstage (or while directing those onstage), there are great opportunities in this town - there's a great appreciation here for those who are generous of spirit. I think that intention is reflected quite often in Richmond theatre, even if someone like Bruce might not publicly say in so many words that "I could have done better".

Humility, not hubris, is the distinction of Richmond theatre. Andrew, that seems to me to be the most important Rule of Richmond Theatre!