Thespians embrace community theater


West Shore students and thespians are becoming more involved in theater as a part of the Brevard community. Students who attend West Shore or currently play a part as a West Shore thespian have recently been performing at community theaters such as Melbourne’s Henegar Center, which to many thespians is seen as a change in an environment outside of doing school theater.

“We definitely had more time when I did community theater [this summer],” sophomore Sabrina Torres said. “Because of the shows, we did every Saturday and then tech week, so we had a lot more time to get prepared.”

She also said community theater has helped her improve her overall performances as an actor.

“You get a lot more direction, I feel like, in community theater,” Torres said. “With the director we had [at the Henegar Center] this year, he told us exactly what to do. There was a choreographer and an assistant choreographer and director. There were more people to help and spread out to go into different ways we can practice.”

Thespians from all grade levels, like Torres, use community theater to their advantage to improve their overall performances, as well as to set a different pace for themselves that will help them improve during the summers and even sometimes during the school year, through workshops and other events.

“There is a completely different way of approach [in a community theater],” West Shore theater director Maureen Fallon said. “When you deal with adults, you should be able to deal with them on an adult level, and they should have enough experience that they’re able to take direction easily. With the kids, you’re teaching them to take direction.”

Many of the community theaters in Brevard have something for everyone of any age, whether it involves being onstage, backstage, or behind the scenes, or even just supporting the actors and show as a part of the audience.

Even though no West Shore students are participating in upcoming shows outside of West Shore, teacher Kirk Murphy is planning to perform in upcoming shows at the Surfside Playhouse in Cocoa Beach in the next year. He also explains ticket prices and more recent shows coming up for the next month.

“For students, tickets tend to be $20,” Murphy said. “The next show [at Surfside Playhouse] coming up is a musical and it’s ‘Spamalot,’ which is based off Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

Surfside Playhouse will premiere “Spamalot” on Friday and the play will run through Nov. 19.

By Alana Mayott