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WCCT is a community gem

March 16, 2012
The Daily Freeman Journal

To the editor:

It's March Madness time once again - got your bracket filled out??This year, how about pumpin' it up for the Webster City Community Theatre?

The WCCT?is in the midst of its fund raising campaign, hoping to make much needed improvements, inside and out, to the theatre structure. These improvements will greatly enhance the show experience for the players and audience members alike.

I'm one of the relative newcomers to the WCCT?scene. I had been heavily involved in the drama productions at my high school - seemingly a lifetime ago. However, I had not participated on the stage in the years since, due to a myriad of reasons, most importantly, the lack of a functional community theater group bak in Viroqua, Wis. While they had done a great job a decade ago restoring their Temple Theater, a 1920s classic revival structure, they only recently moved forward with their community theater group.

Shortly after my arrival here in Webster City as the new general surgeon at Hamilton Hospital in 2008, a co-worker urged me to get involved with the WCCT?production of "South Pacific"?that following summer. What a great experience - and I was hooked. I have been fortunate since that time to be involved in several other productions, onstage and off.

As a relative newcomer, I wasn't around in the "olden"?days, when WCCT?plays were staged at various venues around the area. Yes these plays did go on, but, I would guess, always with dreams of a permanent home for all WCCT?productions.

Lo and behold, the purchase and conversion of our current theater building 20 years ago gave us this permanent home. It has been tweaked, remodeled and otherwise improved in the years since as possible within the limits of the current structure. But now, it's time to update.

Now, the dream is improvement - for our players as well as our audience.

From a player's standpoint, things are getting increasingly crowded backstage. This is especially magnified with our larger productions - like the 60-plus players running around backstage for last summer's "The Music Man."?The dressing rooms are crowded and hot, the make-up and hair styling counters are in short supply and this doesn't even include the many other backstage workers trying to function in this chaos. These close quarters, however, do lend themselves to the development of some great friendships.

The recycling of sets, props and costumed from each show for the possible use in future productions further magnifies the space problem - after all, they all need to be stored somewhere. Lord knows how many times some of the various building materials have been used and reused over the years, but they do have to be stored somewhere between these calls to action. Costume components - from dress and suits to shoes and hats - all have to be stored somewhere safe as well. You never know when you'll need that crazy hat or that pair of overalls for another production.

From the audience standpoint, improved seating should enhance the whole theater experience. The downstairs reception area has already been updated. And the expanded off-street parking to the west of the building should make getting to the theater a bit easier.

Our Webster City Community Theatre is a gem, attracting visitors and attention from across the state. I don't recall if WCCT?was mentioned during my visits to Webster City back in 2008, but now I always include WCCT?among the cultural attractions our community has to offer when contacting potential new physicians. And now, if anyone should inquire why I came to Webster City, I quickly offer that, of course, it was because of Webster City Community Theatre.

So good luck with those brackets, and while you're at it, don't forget to fill out your pledge form to support WCCT. The odds of having that perfect bracket may be astronomical, but there is no question every donation, both large and small, will go a long way toward making our WCCT?dream a reality.

Mark H. Andrew, M.D.

Webster City



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