Please support our local artists

Published 11:59 pm Friday, May 8, 2009

Last year, I had the opportunity to participate in a production with Andalusia Community Theatre (ACT I). It was a tremendous experience that offered me the chance to perform on stage, which is something that I have always wanted to do.

The actors in these performances are truly amazing; they love what they do and they put in countless hours for no reward other than the smiles and applause they get at the end of a play or musical. They come from all walks of life — some work in city government, some work in the schools and some work in stores or other businesses, but they are all united by their love of the stage.

This weekend, ACT I is performing Lying in State, a political comedy, Saturday night at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. I know absolutely nothing about this show, but that’s not going to stop me from going to see it; I know the actors will do a tremendous job and I will have a good time regardless.

Last week, when I was writing a small article to give the play some publicity, one of ACT I’s board members told me something very true. She asked me to make sure people know this is a group that exists only because of the support of people in the community.

I realize it seems, in this day and age, that everybody in the world has some cause or some organization that needs support. And I know that the economy is not as strong as it could be, but just the same, I am asking everybody who can afford it to spend $10 this weekend and go see a fabulous show.

As an actor in the recent ACT I Two by Two production, I was a little disappointed to see rather sparse crowds at several of the show’s performances. I do not know if the crowds were light because the audience was unfamiliar with the musical, or because they were upset with the subject matter that gave a twist to a familiar Biblical story, or because we were lousy singers, or if there was another reason.

What I do know is that ACT I one of many local artistic endeavors Covington County can be proud of — the Andalusia Ballet, Oppry Theatre and Lower Alabama Arts Center are others, just to name a few. There are counties many times the size of Covington County that do not have anywhere near the artistic opportunities as we enjoy here.

But it is only with our financial support that these groups and local artists will continue to entertain and inspire our citizens.

Please, we must continue to support all of our local artistic organizations in any way that we can. Start by going to see Lying in State sometime this weekend.

I know I’ll be there Sunday.