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Acting Acting

There is something special about live performances.

Last weekend I took my family to see the Medford Area Senior High School production of “Catch Me If You Can.”

As always, the student performers did an outstanding job in putting on the production. While all of the performers did great work, moments such as Marissa Pope’s powerful second act solo, Jace Rausch’s ability to make his character come alive and the easy confidence of protagonist Seth Mayrer were memorable takeaways from the performance. They were supported by a chorus of other characters who lent depth to the play and kept it fun and exciting.

The amount of work involved in putting on a show of any size is surprising to those who have never taken part in a theater production. In addition to the hours of rehearsals and time spent by actors learning lines, there are dozens of other tasks from lining up props and costumes to the sound and lighting. All of these details come together to make a performance something special.

It takes a small army of people to put on a show and all those involved with last weekend’s production deserve a hearty round of applause.

While the morally questionable choices made by the lead character in the play are not something that should necessarily be emulated, his advice on becoming brave by first acting brave has some important truth to it.

A lot of times people allow their fears to prevent them from doing things.

This is especially true when it comes to taking part in community theater.

There is something inherently terrifying to most of us to stand up in front of our friends and neighbors and take part in a play or dance to a musical number. No matter how much we may serenade our shower heads or dance when we think no one is looking, we become bashful when given the opportunity to take center stage.

The chains of self doubt limit us from experiencing new things. We are often too afraid of failing to break out of our comfort zone.

More than a decade ago, Medford Area Community Theatre (MACT) was formed with the idea of being a creative outlet for theater-minded people in the community. The community has embraced the performances with the shows bringing crowds and being highlights of the social year. What has not materialized has been people wanting to come forward and act in the plays. For MACT’s performances to continue for years to come, it is important to have new blood, both on the stage and behind the scenes. It would be nice for the talented MACT regulars to be able to take on the unfamiliar role of audience members every now and then.

On Dec. 3, MACT will be holding auditions at the MASH show choir room for their winter production of “First Date,” a hilarious musical by Austin Winsberg.

The play follows the blind date between newbie Aaron and serial-dater Casey as they meet for drinks and dinner at a New York City restaurant. The couple find that they are not alone on the date as the other diners take on the roles of supportive friends, manipulative exes and protective parents.

The scheduled performances are at the end of February and I, for one, can’t wait to see what unfolds. I hope that the undiscovered actors and actresses in the community take the opportunity to make “First Date” their first date with the stage and spotlight.

Brian Wilson is News Editor at The Star News.