The 13 People You Meet At Community Theatre

Whether you’re musical theatre, Shakespearean, or just some down home community versions of Tennessee Williams, you’ve been there. You know all of these people (and are likely more than one of them yourself).

1. The star who is a blood relative of someone important. No one is going to call her on it, because what good would it do, but it’s important to acknowledge that we all know why she consistently gets Eponine/Velma/Maureen. We all know.

2. The exhausted director. It’s not just the usual exhaustion that comes from directing a large stage production — often involving children — it’s the extra special exhaustion that comes from having to do it while holding a normal 9-5 job. (In my experience, they are always teachers. Why are they always teachers?)

3. The grizzled techie. All this techie does is scowl at people, tell everyone to clean up after themselves, smoke cigarettes, and do an excellent job. He’s not going to like it, and he’s not going to be kind about it, but when the house lights go down and everyone is freaking out, you are glad to have someone who is so stoically focused on getting shit done.

4. The random woman from the community who volunteers to hand-tailor every single costume in the show. Who knows where this woman comes from? Who knows what her true motivations are? Is she a modern-day Christ figure? Channeling her soccer mom energy into the selfless creation of dozens upon dozens of costumes for no compensation and no real thank you? No one will ever know.

5. The guy who is there to pick up girls. He’s heard that this is the good place to go if you’re looking to get a date, and he’s participating in his first show ever specifically so he can talk to all of the cute girls in the chorus line while someone else is running a scene. He always looks slightly bewildered about the actual production, but 100 percent sure about talking to ladies.

6. The guy who can ONLY pick up girls there. Distinct from the guy who has wandered in to pick up girls, this is the guy who has mastered the art of hitting on women during shows and has a thrilling amount of success within the theatre community that he could achieve nowhere else. He always has a show girlfriend, and has bounced around from production to production as easily as he goes from bed to bed. He is the Casanova of the community stage, and you’ve probably either dated or had a crush on him, if you’re being honest.

7. The one who is too good for all of this. Umm, excuse you, they booked a juice commercial when they were 7. This is just a pit stop for them on the way to Broadway, and you’re kind of not giving them the respect they need. They’re going to take up half of the dressing room with their takeout food and their extensive bobby pin collection, and you’re going to have to deal with it.

8. The guy who stays in character. Like, you don’t want to get on him for his Daniel Day-Lewis lifestyle, but come on. You’re going out to Applebee’s after dress rehearsal and he’s still in full stage makeup and using his accent. Why does the waitress deserve that?

9. The child actor whose mom is way too involved. There she is, off to the side of the stage, making sure the director treats her baby with the utmost preference and respect and glaring at the other actors who got better parts. Occasionally she brings Rice Krispie Treats though, which is cool.

10. The openly sleeping man in the front row of the matinee show. It’s almost endearing, in a way. He’s just sitting there, mouth wide open and head tilted back, snoring loudly throughout the entire first act, only to be jostled awake by his family somewhere around intermission. Thanks, family members, for your concern for our egos.

11. The duo who is constantly performing musical theatre numbers backstage. Oh my god, they are the worst. If you get into a show with these two, buckle yourself in for three solid months of “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist” from Avenue Q, or “We Both Reached For The Gun” from Chicago, at full volume, with complete disregard for the people who are trying to concentrate. If you’re lucky, you’ll also get to hear them perform multiple voices in an ensemble song, making sure everyone’s listening when they hit the difficult notes. What a treat!

12. The people who say “the theatre.” The thee-ah-tah. The thee-ah-tah.

13. The small group of old people who basically fund the whole thing. When they come in, it’s basically like the Queen is visiting, because you know that with a closing of a checkbook, it’s all over. It doesn’t matter where the money is coming from, the point is they seem to have millions of dollars at their disposal, and as long as you treat them well, want to use this money to keep everyone doing productions of The Trip To Bountiful. Don’t question it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

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