March 5 Editorial

All the world’s a stage

And we are all the actors. Some of us brave souls are out there front and center, running meetings, heading classes and giving presentations, while others work more productively “in the trenches” – doing the dishes, crunching the numbers, taking attendance. It takes all of us – those who can perform both front and center, and behind the scenes – to pull off any successful endeavor.

This weekend, islanders have several occasions to drop their labors and enjoy the human condition, island-style at local productions brought to them by their island friends and neighbors.

The Actors Theater brings “Lend Me a Tenor” to the Grange, where misunderstandings result in hilarity, with a cast of mostly-veteran, local performers. Lopez Community Theater and Lopez radio station KLOI bring the songs and drama of the beloved musical “Fiddler on the Roof” to the Lopez Center for the Community and Arts this Thursday through Sunday at 7:30 p.m. (with a 1:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday as well). Like their Orcas counterparts in “Tenor”, the cast and crew of “Fiddler” is composed of everyday islanders, “amateurs” in the best sense of the word, those who love what they do and love to share it with others.

Other islanders are taking part in the tricky footwork of “One O’Clock Jump” the swing dance show with local dance teacher Anthony Manuel and his students, the All-Island Inspiration All-Stars, at the Orcas Center on Saturday night.

The events of this weekend also give us a taste for another beloved island tradition, the community musical, which comes to the Orcas Center from April 10 to 26 when “Beauty and the Beast” is performed over three weekends.

With over 40 islanders singing and dancing onstage in “Beauty and the Beast,” the Orcas Center is delivering on its first strategic goal, identified by community focus groups in 2006: to engage the community as performers and backstage. The Orcas Center is jumping at all hours these days as rehearsals for “Beauty and the Beast” swing into high gear under the direction of Deborah Sparks and Martin Lund.

While the actors, directors and musicians rehearse for the next six weeks, the world of “Beauty and the Beast” is also being constructed, under the direction of Shaun Albrechtson, the Center’s Technical Director.

Some of us could never deliver lines or act silly in front of a group of people, but we sure could help create a world of spectacle for audiences to enjoy the performances of talented actors, singers and comedians.

Albrechtson could use some players on his construction team as his vision for the “Beauty and the Beast” set is brought to life. No one need ever see you swinging a hammer, adjusting the wiring, or painting a backdrop for you to get satisfaction from creating the world where Belle and the Beast find true love, where island kids can be “Silly Girls” or “Chip the Teacup” and romp about the stage. This is truly an opportunity for community experience at its utmost – building the world from the inside out, to where, in the dark an audience can enter a world of fancy and resolution.

Being a community means saying “We’re all in this together” when it comes to fun, as well as to work. There is nothing more fun than making something with others that brings smiles, laughter, good cheer and pride to the larger community. That’s the wind beneath our wings.