Some might say community theatre is a dying American institution. I’m here today to tell you it is alive and well.
My Sunday afternoon was spent at the North Rosedale Park Community House enjoying an ice cream social and DIFF Master Clay C in a lively performance of Smokey Joe’s Café. It was a musical revue with nearly 50 songs including: Jailhouse Rock, Don Juan, Stand by Me and Love Potion #9. The video above showcases Clay in all his glory as he adeptly demonstrates that he can both sing and clap on beat.
Not only does community theatre bring together community members in an active social setting, many theaters offer acting & writing workshops, play writing contests and most have scholarships available for the college-bound members. In fact, the Community Theater Association of Michigan has had a college scholarship program in place since 1973.
You can find out more about it on a nationwide level from the American Association of Community Theatre. While it might be harder to find community theatre groups these days, it’s definitely worth it.
If you are in the Detroit area, there are just a few more performances of Smokey Joe’s Café left this week, so get your requests into Clay if you’d like to go. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until this fall’s performance of Dean Man Walking.