When Theatre Gives You the Comfort You Need

Jennifer Butler

OnStage Massachusetts Columnist

Community Theater has always been a supportive community for as long as I have been involved. And that is something that, although it has always been there, was taken to a whole new level after recent events in my life. 

My great uncle, who I was very close to, passed away, on Super Bowl Sunday.  (I wrote about him in a previous post about movie musicals). And to say that I was devastated doesn’t even begin to cover how I felt/am feeling. It took one email and one Facebook posting for my community theater friends to reach out in support. Both old friends and people I just recently started working with for the first time, responded. What amazed me most were the people that I had just started working with as they reached out in support and offered condolences like we had been friends for years. They didn’t have to do this, they don’t know me very well but what they did know, because of the kind of people we are, I would have done the same for one of them had the tables been flipped. 

How I made it through that tech week, I will probably never know. Dealing with a life changing event while putting on a show is not easy task but in the end, whether or not you are ready, opening night will come. And in this case, there aren’t enough words of gratitude to thank those who went above and beyond their jobs to help me get prepared for the show’s opening. Both old and new community theater friends  stepped up during that difficult time and there aren’t very many places or people, for that matter, have been as supportive as they have. They help me to stay on track while still allowing me to grieve as I needed to.

Lending an ear to listen means more than most people think. While others take their hobbies and certain things in life for granted, I don’t, because I know how lucky I am to know these people and that is something I am grateful for and wouldn’t trade the world for.