I had the privilege of serving as Theater Admin for The Flowertown Players for several years. The view from the box office window granted me a unique perspective. I constantly interacted with almost everyone who came to theater for any reason. I got to meet the cast & crew, see the tech rehearsals, work with the board of directors, serve the patrons...
One of my favorite things was giving youth tours. I fondly remember one young visitor telling me he felt like an explorer in a pyramid. For these tours, I'd get to explain all that goes into creating a show to eager ears. I'd often end each session by asking what students aspired to be when they grew up and then explaining how whatever disciplines they called out could be utilized in theatre.
Engineers, artists, admins, carpenters, accountants, costumers, dancers, technicians, grant writers, volunteers, leaders, electricians, web designers, singers and visitors... All bringing their portion of a story, a world, a central idea, to life. Each actor memorizing their part of a book all to convey ideas to the audience. Theater has always been a place to explore ideas; To laugh and cry and feel everything in between. My favorites are those shows that leave you thinking. A great show can carry you from the Low Country to amazing new worlds and adventures with out ever leaving your seat.
Volunteers are the heart and soul of Flowertown Players so they have a lot of great shows. A lot of shows that leave you thinking. I was honored when Artistic Director, Ernie Eliason asked me to be a part of brightening and improving the back alley. This was a wonderful project to get to be a part of and a great learning experience. I love so much about The Flowertown Players that it was hard to select what to paint.
The bridge is an iconic symbol of Charleston and the Low Country. When we visit the theatre for a while we can be transported from morning to night. We can imagine exploring a pyramid or zooming into outer space. On a boat made of books we can traverse oceans to strange new worlds. We can fly to new and familiar places, free like the birds. We can travel by hot air balloons and land on the other side of the world.
From conception to the final curtain call and set strike, there is an ocean of unseen work accomplished by many hands. One of my other favorite things was seeing people of all ages have light-bulb moments. Actors, singers and dancers perfecting their craft. Me learning how to run a website and work electronics. Patrons having interesting conversations because of new understandings brought to them through theatre. Technicians learning to program lights. Set builders figuring out cool new ways to create theatre magic. Costumers finding brilliant solutions to quick changes...
The view from the box office window and as a volunteer has left me with a comprehensive insight and deep respect for theatre. Especially a non-profit like The Flowertown Players. As much as I've probably already gone on too much, I still feel like I can't truly put into words all that I've come to understand theatre to be and mean. That is what this mural means to me. My message in a bottle to visitors. I hope you will check out all the theater has to offer! PS: How many stage managers does it take to change a lightbul... Done.