Please Support the Arts

 North Fork Community Theatre

North Fork Community Theatre

Liz Chirico

You know the phrase. “If you build it, he will come.” And if it worked in Field of Dreams, it will work IRL. Except too often people love to complain about the lack of options, programming, opportunities in the arts, and they don’t support the ones currently in existence. That needs to end.

I’m an adult dancer in every possible way. I started dance at 31 with a very beginner tap class. As I’ve progressed in my skill level, I’ve bemoaned the lack of challenging adult options. So I’ve bounced around to different studios because I recognized that instead of complaining and not taking dance, I had the power to do something. That power is to give my money and time only to a dance studio that supports adult dancers with challenging and performance opportunities.

So now, I’m 37 still happily tapping and recently enrolled in a new offering at my dance studio, Musical Theater/Jazz. While the arrival of Baby Girl (9 weeks to go- dear LORD) will likely curtail my performing, for now, I’m still out there dancing and supporting the arts. I attend my friend’s theatrical endeavors, I promote their shows, and I plug my dance studio whenever I have the chance. I don’t complain that there are no opportunities for adult dancers anymore because they are there. And I support as best I can the new ones that crop up each year.

You’re probably thinking, “I’m only one person. Who cares if I don’t, see the show/take a class/share that FB event?” That’s precisely the attitude most take and that’s why so many beautiful programs fold after a year. If they last a year.

It takes tremendous amounts of time, energy and capital to start anything, especially something in the arts. Many people beginning that dance company, directing the local musical, or soliciting artists for a local exhibit all have other full-time day jobs. Not to mention wanting to maintain relationships with family and friends. These massive undertakings are being done largely by volunteers on their second or third shift of the day. Bugs happen, issues arise they may not have known to account for or how to fix. As an audience member, as an arts supporter rather than attend and lambast things in a negative review or skip the show entirely, why not offer constructive criticism instead? If you see a problem and you have the skills to help, offer those skills. If you can’t afford the full price of the ticket, barter and offer to usher, or sell concessions. I’ve seen many a show from the back row of the theater while ushering and it’s every bit as good.

Don’t presume watching the recording (if there’s one available) after the fact is the same as viewing the live show. Yes, you’re supporting your friend(s) in the show, the theater group but it’s not the same. The whole thing about live theater, live music, live dance is the “live” part- that element of je ne sais quoi, that anything can and will happen. You’re missing the electricity in the air as the lights go down and the curtain goes up, as the orchestra strikes up the first few notes of the overture or the producer makes their pre-curtain speech. Plus watching the DVD after the fact likely means, you didn’t pay to play, and in the world of community arts, every penny counts. Without your support that fabulous show you just saw may not happen next year.

So instead of complaining do something. Share something. Encourage someone. Donate your time or treasure (or both!) Remember what Everett Edward Hale said, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

The Top 10 Disney Live-Action Musicals

The Top 10 Disney Live-Action Musicals

There is no doubt that when it comes to the animated musical, Disney dominates the genre. The impact and influence those films have had on performers is incalculable. But when it comes to live-action musicals, Disney has had some major hits as well. While not every single one has had the financial success and impact that their animated films have, they certainly deserve some credit.

So here are my picks for the top 10 live-action Disney musicals.

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Why I Chose a B.A. in Theatre

Why I Chose a B.A. in Theatre

A BA program allows you to explore the many other aspects of theatre. I went to college convinced that all I ever wanted to do was act. I quickly learned that acting would not always be an option. My first semester after not getting into any shows- I assistant stage managed a beautiful children’s show which taught me what goes on behind the scenes of a production.

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With Les Moonves Gone, the Tonys Can Have an Exit Strategy from CBS

With Les Moonves Gone, the Tonys Can Have an Exit Strategy from CBS

Years ago, then CEO of CBS Les Moonves told NY Post’s Michael Riedel that as long as he’s at CBS, so will the Tony Awards. This quote came at a time when the ratings were in the basement compared to other award shows. However, a statement like that from the guy who ran the network was certainly a sigh of relief.

But now Moonves is gone due to the many accusations of sexual misconduct. Which means that the Tony Awards’ biggest network champion is gone. And the ratings are still in the proverbial toilet.

So what does this mean for the future of the Tonys on CBS?

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The Issue Over Dimming Lights for Marin Mazzie is Why We Need to Stop Dimming Lights

The Issue Over Dimming Lights for Marin Mazzie is Why We Need to Stop Dimming Lights

Following the tragic passing of Marin Mazzie; it’s been announced that the “committee” at the Broadway League has decided to have only six theatres dim their lights in her honor.

Besides the fact that they announced the news in an incredibly cold press release, starting it off with the phrase “The Committee of Theatre Owners has decided to dim the lights” is the type of Broadway pretentiousness that makes my stomach turn.

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What to Do If Your Phone Rings in the Theatre

What to Do If Your Phone Rings in the Theatre

It’s something that’s unlikely to divide opinion amongst the theatre community: do not use your smartphone during a performance. Seems simple enough, but how you stop your mobile friend from lighting up is open to interpretation: flick it onto silent, leave on vibrate, place into airplane mode, or turn it off, remove the battery and leave it in a locked box a minimum of 5 miles away from the theatre?  

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No College Theatre Program is Worth a Shitty Professor

No College Theatre Program is Worth a Shitty Professor

This is the time of year where many college students are either returning to their various theatre programs are beginning them. As someone who works in college education myself, I am well aware of what colleges should be doing to make their programs worthwhile for their students. 

However, employing shitty faculty members is far from one of them.

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How Does the Broadway Transfer of "Be More Chill" Impact This Year's Tonys Race?

How Does the Broadway Transfer of "Be More Chill" Impact This Year's Tonys Race?

Just like many of its devoted fans, I had my hopes that if this summer's Off-Broadway run of Be More Chill was successful, we could be seeing a Broadway transfer sooner than later. 

Yesterday, our hopes were answered. Be More Chill opens on Broadway in March 2019. 

The Off-Broadway run which was met with positive reviews should be able to carry that momentum into their Broadway run. I don't expect them to change much between the productions. Which means that Be More Chill would definitely have to be considered a strong contender for this year's Tony Awards (Take a breath BMC fans), especially when you consider how the rest of the season looks on paper. 

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