-by Jared Adamson
I like to do community theatre.
No, we’re not the best shows around. Our quality isn’t the highest, usually. Our talent is often present, but raw and under-developed. Our set pieces have been known to break because we’re on a budget. But I
like love doing community theatre.
We are a community within a community that is actively pro-community.
We are a creative force for good.
We tell stories and share encounters.
We feel and experience together.
We are friends, family, neighbors; congregations & co-workers, students, teachers, learners & explorers. We are the community theatre community. And we are strong.
But often, when I speak to friends of a new project I am undertaking, I am met with the standard reply: “I would never have time for that.” And often they go into the list of activities and projects that take up their time.
And that leads to the question: “how do you have time for that?” which provokes my standard response: “I don’t know.” And I really don’t know how it all fits in my life.
I couldn’t count the hours that I put into a show. Auditions (and preparing for the audition), call-backs, casting (which can take hours, days or weeks of waiting). Read-throughs and rehearsals, and please don’t forget personal responsibility of memorization etc. (and for me personally, the agonizing and embarrassing amount of time it takes me to learn a dance!). It adds up!
This is time outside of my job (which I am fortunate to have flexibility not afforded to everyone, and yet I have unusual standing commitments that others might take for granted).
This is time away from my wife, kids & grandkids.
This is time I could be doing household chores.
This is time I could be basking in the glories of the season. Or hanging out with friends. Or calling my mother because she’s too old to have to learn text messaging. But I can’t because “I have rehearsal”. It takes a lot of time to be involved, invested in community theatre.
And when I look at my life on paper, you’re right. I don’t have time for this. There are other things I ought to be doing. There are other projects I ought to be tackling. There are other people which ought to have my time. ‘Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.’
But I do it because I love it. I won’t say I “find” time for it. I won’t say I “make” time for it. I have learned to allocate time for it because I love it.
We always have time for the things we love, be it people or hobbies.
I don’t fault anyone for avoiding community theatre because of the time commitment. I’m certainly a big proponent of “count the cost” before getting involved. I’d rather you be aware before taking the plunge. I hope you realize and skip out before committing and then dropping the ball. Its simply because you love other things more than community theatre. You have other priorities. You have other expectations for how you spend your time.
But I think Jonathan Larson was on to something with his lyrics in Rent:
Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in a life?
How about love?
Jared Adamson 3/29/2018
Jared Adamson is the Minister of Worship and Creative Arts at Centerville Christian Church in Centerville, IN. Studying voice, composition, organ and improv, he has a Bachelor of Music in Church Music with a double major in Bible and piano from Cincinnati Christian University where he later served as an adjunct professor in the music and worship department.