The Power of Community Theater | Community


By Tim Smith

Where A r [ts] You?

East: January 2006

“…In all the arts it is training that brings the art to perfection.” [Mark Twain]

The Past Is Present: For those who are long-time readers, you know that I have a very special relationship with the Chino Community Theatre, (CCT) Chino, California.

The theater’s founders and visionary leaders, and close friends since 1984, Paul and Karen Larson, have sent me the following information which I am happy to share with you.

Story: “CCT sponsored the premiere of Picasso Presents Gernika, written by Chino native Dr. Begona Echeverria in May 2019. It documents the events surrounding the bombing of the Basque town of Gernika (as Basque Americans spell it) by Hitler as a favor to Franco during the Spanish Civil War. The story follows the lives of two Basque children as refugees, as well as Picasso’s beautiful tribute to the people whose lives have been torn apart. . . “

He continues, “…Picasso presents Gernika, the production that premiered at the CTC three years ago this month (May 2019) will be performed (June 20, 2022) on International Refugee Day at the United Nations. … Two of the actors who originated their roles in Chino. . . will reprise their roles…and the rest of the roles will be performed by acting students from Fordham University.

Due to the submission guidelines, I had a few weeks to think about the Tony Awards for the 2021-2022 season and two thoughts easily come to mind.

It’s amazing to me that with all the challenges the post-Covid world has thrown at New York City, that its Broadway community has had the resources to mount a season where, and at the very least, voting members of the prize received a reliable representation program in order to see all the nominated productions.

Note: The night after the Tony ceremonies, The Music Man star Hugh Jackman posted on social media that he had tested positive for the virus.

Second: On the long and winding road: The touring market: It’s always important when a certain number of productions (this year it was eleven) win at least one award. The more recognition and the stronger the box office (and the Tony certainly helps each), the more likely we are to see those honored on our local touring schedules over the next few years.

CCT’s Monthly “Post-Covid Update”: I’m a bit ahead of the latest report from the CCT production team, and yet, since I opened with a wonderful shout out to them, what better time to share the latest zoom meeting (direction) as the theater continues to recover from the effects of Covid and recent state legislation impacting non-profit theaters.

Tuesday the 14th was back to business, reviewing how they juggled audition, rehearsal and performance schedules, in other words, back to the new future. We will not be having monthly “ZooMeetings” over the summer due to all of the above activities. Their partnership with the City of Chino at their home of the 7th Street Theater remains positive, always a good sign that the normal flow of live entertainment will continue well into the future.

Arts and About: We were enjoying a night out at Bentonville, (Arkansas) Square last week when we stumbled upon the “Couture Gala” at the Amy Keever Gallery: Fine Art/Wild Flower. Ms. Keever was debuting her new line of handmade enamel jewelry, surrounded by her designs that extended her visionary work on glass, especially through its color and the textures that embrace/contain it. We enjoyed an “artist-to-artist” tour, while savoring the ambiance of his gallery/workshop canvas.

I like to celebrate the creative experience, especially when the talent behind their statement is ready to share their particular journey.

Next week: Let’s talk, Top Gun Maverick: What a ride it was. . . is!

Until we ‘see’ each other again, a very happy 4th of July to you and your family. Safe travels.

“Because that’s what we do, we storytellers – we restore order with imagination – we instill hope again and again and again” [Tom Hanks as Walt Disney: Saving Mr. Banks.]

Links forged, locally inspired, through the arts, in our cities

For Otis: 1926-(1968)-2021: A Broadway Baby

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(Published every Wednesday in the newsstand edition and every weekend on the website of the Pauls Valley (OK) Democrat, founded in 1904.)


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