Start A Community Theater in the Country

Starting a community theater can provide the missing spice of life in a rural area. Here's how a group of people in Boundary County, Idaho did it in the late 1970s.

| March/April 1980

  • 062 country community theater
    Members of the Boundary County Community Theater rehearse a scene from Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."

  • 062 country community theater

The lights dim . . . the buzz of the audience becomes a suspense-filled, rustling murmur . . . multicolored lights form magical patterns on rich folds of velvet ... slowly the curtain rises on the excitement of seeing the events of another time, another place . . . and the play begins!

This always captivating, forever mysterious ritual repeats itself all over the globe: in New York, London, Sao Paulo, Paris, Moscow . . . and in Boundary County, Idaho.

It seems no matter where you live, the thrill of watching or participating in a drama is the same. Our rural theater group's opening nights are as hectic, the stage fright as real, the curtain calls as heady, and the successes as satisfying as in any big-time production. In fact, our whole theatrical experience may be even more intense . . . since such a "cultural" outlet is sometimes the missing spice that can add a whole lot of zest to country living.

Lost in the Forest

Fantastic endeavors often grow out of boredom and frustration, and that's exactly what happened in our lives.

When we first moved from urban Vancouver, British Columbia to the forests of Idaho, we were in seventh heaven . . . and actually building our own house in the beautiful north woods made us even more euphoric! But the high didn't last. One day, with our home complete, we sat and asked each other the old familiar question: "Now what?"

Longtime residents of the area had churches to attend and clubs in which to participate. Those organizations weren't off limits to us, of course, but such events as potluck suppers and grange meetings just didn't satisfy the vague craving that we felt.

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