This past weekend we opened The Lightbearer by Shane Riggs, and it’s been an exceptional experience. It’s a perfect example of why Gilda Shedstecker Presents! is more than just doing theatre for us. This cast has had a wonderful rapport, expanding our family with a friend we’ve been courting for our stage, performed an amazingly funny and warm script, had the extra special treat of a visit from the playwright, and we couldn’t have asked for more appreciative audiences. To quote Kitty Deames Burgett, “It has been a long time since I have been part of something that has touched – and moved – so many people on so many levels.”
When I was younger and it was all about the show, I did theatre with different groups for 20 years. And I made some friends and put up with some truly contemptible people, had some fun and suffered through some agonizing situations, and did some spectacular shows and some hopefully forgotten shows. And then I got some babies and took a break for 10 years.
In those years I experienced enough drama for a couple lifetimes, so when I found myself missing the art of theatre, I found myself blessed to be in a position to assemble a company of individuals who shared a common desire: they wanted to do theatre but they were similarly tired of the offstage temperament and backbiting, the egos and the lack of grace. We’ve had a few transients, picked up some additions, had a few toes trod, but we grow. I have area actors with vast experience regularly contact me about being in a GSP! show; we’re getting a reputation for doing something right.
So now GSP! is a chosen family that has reaped many blessings, and one of them is the support of our playwrights. We’ve been granted special permissions from Christopher Durang, given advice from Louise Roche, had our ideas applauded and swiped by Dale Gutzman, shared hugs with Del Shores, and had our props stolen by Shane Riggs. All of which is so much more special because we experience these things as a family. And hopefully that joy, that pleasure, that sense of community that exists beyond “Hi, neighbor!” is communicated to the audience as well.
It certainly was a grand occasion having a visit from Shane this weekend. He won’t still be around, but please join us for one of our remaining performances. Shows still this weekend Friday and Saturday July 24 and 25 at 8:00. Tickets at 330-451-0924 or online at secondapril.org.