STEVE BOUSER: Want Theater? -- You're Looking at Theater
This expands on a couple of postings from the "Editor's Note" blog on thepilot.com.
Do me a favor. Do a favor to the new entity called Sandbox Players. Most important of all, do yourself a favor.
Go see "Moon Over Buffalo."
Pardon my exasperation. But people around here say they want live theater. But then when they get live theater, too often they can't quite bestir themselves to go see it when the chips are down. So much easier to sit at home and nod in front of the tube, I suppose.
Or in this case, maybe I'm being too hard on the audience, or non-audience. Sometimes, of course, it's a matter of good theater having the bad fortune to schedule itself when too dang much other stuff is going on and folks can only spread themselves so thin. That may be part of the reason for the relatively skimpy turnout for last weekend's first three performances of the hilarious farce called "Moon Over Buffalo," being staged by the Sandhills' newest acting company, which goes by the clever name Sandbox Players.
In any case, never mind last weekend. The point is that there's another one coming up. And starting Friday night, you have three more chances (including the Sunday matinee) to go and have a good time seeing a show that really deserves seeing.
I'm biased here. In a small, indirect way, I like to think that the Sandbox Players and this production flowed ultimately from an informal meeting held months ago in our living room. Sandhills Little Theater had just collapsed, and the question being explored was whether a new group could rise from the ashes and take its place. Two of the people invited were our friends Don and Lisa Bridge, two very talented relative newcomers to the area who have a wealth of theater experience between them.
They took the ball and ran with it in best "Hey guys, let's put on a show" fashion, and "Moon" is the entertaining result. They not only raised the money and reserved the theater and picked the show and assembled the cast, but also ended up deciding to take the two zany leading roles themselves. Versatile folks, Don and Lisa.
"Moon," a raucous piece of theater about theater people, is loud and hectic and sometimes bawdy, with lots of confused rushing about and slamming of doors. When we saw it Saturday night, audience members were cracking up -- all 50-odd of them. The Sunrise theater holds five or six times that many people, and all those empty seats represented that many people missing out on a good thing.
So go see it already. Enjoy a fun evening or afternoon. And, in the process, cast a vote with the presence of your backside in a seat that says, "Yes, I'm serious about wanting to support amateur theater in Moore County.".
It's Angry Out There: For a barometer of the public mood, especially toward the media, just sit and monitor my e-mails for a day or two. It's getting scary.
"Why do you guys allow left-wing liberals to write columns in your paper?" said a bitter and angry message I received today from a West End man who didn't want to be identified for publication. "... You guys in the media disgust me with your one-sided opinions, trying to spin every word that your opposition speaks. Why not have columnists from both sides, not just your left?
"You people wonder why no one wants to pick up the paper or turn on the news anymore. ... The only news source I have is FOX. The rest can just fall off the planet for all I care, and if you do, please take some of your liberal idols with you! ... We are on the verge of World War III, and the media is not going to be happy until our country is on the verge of Civil War II."
Wow. I must admit that the words "civil war" have crossed my thoughts in dark moments lately.
Here's how I responded to the reader, perhaps too defensively:
"Thanks for your message, though it troubles and puzzles me.
"'Why not have columnists from both sides?' you ask. I have to ask in return: Have you not read local conservative columnist Allan Jefferys, who appears every Sunday? How about Walter Schoen, a hard-right columnist who appears frequently on our pages? Or Andy Thomas, another regular feature? All the conservative letter writers to whom we give prominent display? For most of the past year, we have given equal play to dueling political columns by John Owen and Brian Deaton, county Republican and Democratic chairmen respectively.
"I just do not see how this can be called one-sided. Please enlighten me."
To my surprise and gratification, the reader responded apologetically, concluding: " I do appreciate your timely response, and I thank you for clearing up my confusion. I will continue to read the Pilot, and I will look for the conservative columnists you mentioned."
We all just need to step back from the edge.
Steve Bouser is editor of The Pilot. Contact him at email@example.com
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