Making Friends the Easy Way


I made friends the easy way these last few days.

I’m sore.  Not as stiff as last night, mind you, but sore all the same.  It’s okay.  I’ve been sore like this before and it’s always worth it.







My husband and I spent several days volunteering our time at Theatre Lawrence helping them ready their set for Peter Pan which opens this week.  Tim built things and painted a bit.  I did nothing but paint for.four.days.(That’s nothing compared to other volunteers there.)

Let me tell you–this is a HUGE set with many moving stage pieces.  It’s Peter Pan for heaven’s sake.  What can you expect?

We are newcomers to Lawrence which makes the task of making friends a bit challenging.  People in Kansas are very friendly and warm.  We have moved twice in the last eight years–first to Colorao and then to Kansas.  So, just about the time we made good friends in  Colorado, we moved.  What with the stresses of moving and setting up a household yet again, making friends is the last thing on our list.  It can be difficult, especially at our age.  We ain’t spring chickens (as our daughter so aptly phrased it), you know?


Welcoming Atmosphere

All that fades away when you get involved in community theatre.  You can make friends through community theatre the easy way. You are welcomed with open arms and gleeful enthusiasm from the staff and other volunteers.  It feels like you have given them a gift.

They can’t wait to find out what you’re experience doing even if it’s nothing more than folding programs or sewing on a button.  You are needed and quickly appreciated. That’s the best.

There’s a place for everyone, too.  Do you know how to wield a hammer, sew a hem or are you the crafty type?  Set and properties construction could be your thing.  Maybe you are good at fundraising? Are you more left brained (which I am NOT) and could help in the box office or sell concessions at intermission? There are many cogs in the wheel of community theatre.

Plus, it’s just plain fun!

Generally, community theaters are manned by staff of volunteers.  This could be a problem if the group worked together for many years and doesn’t like change.  That’s all right.  You walk right in and show them that you care, are helpful and useful and you’ll fit right in. I promise.


A Place to Meet People

About thirty-five years ago I met my husband while performing in a production of Music Man.  I was Marion Paroo and he conducted the orchestra. I wouldn’t have met him otherwise.  We became friends quite quickly, which is usually the case in community theatre. We suited each other because our interests were similar–mostly the arts, which gave us something to talk about.  To this day, it remains something we enjoy doing together. \

Friendships through a community theater are very bonding.  Once you and a fellow cast member struggle on dance steps, moving set pieces and laugh at your mistakes in front of an audience, you have a close friend.  They become family.  Some of my most lasting friendships originated in community theatre. Let me tell you about the parties, too!  Theater people are very social animals–clever, funny and out to have a good time. Who doesn’t want that?

How do I get started?

Let’s pretend you are new to a community and know no one.  How do you get started? First, check out the web and see if there are any community theaters near you. Every theater does it differently.  Some have a membership dues but most don’t.

Generally, there will be a sign up page for volunteering.  Check the dates of the next set of auditions even if you don’t want to perform, but work backstage.

Trust me, they’ll accept you.  Anyone can be involved, no matter the age.  There is a place for everyone. You could also search the American Association of Community Theaters ( website for a list of theaters near you.

Recently, I met a theatre professional who told me  he creates theater with the community.  That’s a wonderful way to phrase it.

Community theaters  care about the message of the piece.  They care about the people attending the show and they care about those helping to bring it to fruition.

Creating theater with the community.  That’s what it is all about.


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About dhcbaldwin

Hello!I'm the gal you were looking for. I'm a very experienced drama teacher, play and musical director, and award winning author. Here you'll find many posts on theatre education, directing, plus advice and tips for teachers. Also, I am a happily married wife, loving mother to two swell daughters and a great step son. Most recently, I became a published author of Bumbling Bea, an award winning humorous middle grade novel about an impetuous 8th grade girl determined to play the lead role in the annual middle school play. Except a girl from Japan comes along and ruins everything! Or does she? Hope you enjoy us. Thanks!

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