It’s always fascinating to find out how people got their start in theatre. Some have been acting since childhood; some took a dare in their mid 30s and found a new love. My start was in community theatre, and I still believe there’s nothing quite like it. Something magical happens when twenty unique individuals from different walks of life come together to tell a story. From the first day, I made sure to draw my cast’s attention to just that part of the crazy story of You Can’t Take It With You. The hilarity and acceptance of the Sycamore family is a mirror of my favorite familial element of community theatre. As you enter the theatre and watch the chaos unfold, my deepest hope is that you quickly feel like part of our family.
If you were a fly on the wall at any given rehearsal, I promise you’d laugh so hard you’d be gasping for air. Though I’ve been involved in several productions at the Yorkshire Playhouse, this is my first chance directing the dear people of York. A cast of nineteen individuals had the potential to be overwhelming, but I couldn’t have asked for a better, more passionate group of people. Everyone has worked diligently on memorizing their lines, which has allowed us to add more and more hilarious elements to the story. Some actors are veterans of the Playhouse, while some are stepping onstage for the very first time. No matter their theatrical resume, everyone has been more than willing to try new and ridiculous things. We’ve even had to halt rehearsal more than once to give ourselves a chance to laugh!
There’s nothing more thrilling than being involved in a production. Everyone is gifted with their own special ability: talented actors, organized stage managers, artistic set designers, and creative light designers. One of the many beautiful things about community theatre is the fact that every talent can be put to good use. I have a cast of incredibly talented actors – within the cast itself are my set designer, technical designer, and logo artist. Talent is layered upon talent each night. You Can’t Take It With You is chock full of passionate individuals. Over the course of the evening, you’ll be introduced to a snake collector, a Russian ballet teacher, and a fireworks manufacturer – just to name a few! More than once during the rehearsal process, an actor has approached me with an idea, to which I frequently responded, “You can do that?! Let’s fit it in the show!”
On Sunday, we’ll begin what’s known in the theatrical realm as tech week. The actors are expected to have their lines completely memorized as we begin to incorporate lights, sound effects, and costumes. Tech week is my favorite part of any production. The nights are long and exhausting, and I know I’ll be at the theatre till midnight most of the week. Tech week is the beautiful kind of stress; it’s the last brushstrokes that create a painting. Soon after, we’ll all feel the jitters of opening night, and the magical, terrifying few seconds as the lights come up for our first audience.
This cast has created a beautiful family – both onstage and off. Soon, this family will happily open the doors to their home and invite you in. The dinner menu might be strange, but trust me – the Sycamores will welcome you as one of their own. I can’t wait for you to join us!
-Morgan Goracke (director)