In 2024, the Fitchburg Cultural Alliance will celebrate theater. Theater artists, local theater history, and the ways that theater is meaningful and can be fun for anyone - be it on the stage, behind it, or sitting in the audience.
Two of the ten founding members of the Fitchburg Cultural Alliance were theater groups (Amateur Workshop, Inc. aka Stratton Players and the High Tor Theater). In that way, theater is part of our story, but also very much the story of Fitchburg and North Central MA as a creative city. There are two active community theaters in Fitchburg in 2024, as well as programs at the university and high schools. Throughout the region there are more companies and groups who produce musicals, original works, farces, thought provoking dramas, and youth plays but also build communities and friendships.
Admittedly, theater is a personal choice for me. I consider myself a theater person and have been since I was old enough to recognize the farmer’s porch of my childhood home as a stage. Through theater, I overcame my shyness (yes, I was a shy kid) and found my voice. I learned how to work with a group of people towards a common goal, the value of practice and feedback, as well as an understanding that things often don’t go as planned but with a little improvisation can turn out much better than originally intended.
I also like the costumes, occasionally belting out a song, and the satisfaction of applause as the lights shift. But what keeps me returning to theater in my adulthood are those other things – the problem solving, the sense of teamwork, and the bond that comes with the shared experience of working through a script, tech glitches, and backstage in jokes. The fact that the word theater is often paired with the word community makes it an art that continues to inspire me not just as a creative individual but as a human.
Theater gives space to other art forms and creative skills to develop, grow, and find an audience. Visual artists create sets on which a play takes place or design the poster to sell the show. Musicians set the mood and keep the tempo. A chef helps make a show successful by creating food for intermission or a reception or a cast party. It is in its own way a cultural alliance.
I hope you will join us in 2024 to appreciate all theater has to offer our creative community. Throughout the year we will host more of our regular programs at Main Street Studios like Broadway Karaoke and Shakespeare Sundays, but also some newer programs like a Broadway trivia night and another play reading group to explore scripts featuring women/women identifying storylines. Then in the fall we will host our 2024 fundraiser, a Broadway Ball.
Come for one night or for all. Help us make the world a stage in Fitchburg in 2024.