The cast of Big Apple Production’s Jesus Christ Superstar, less the 12-piece band. (Parker Crook/Morning Star)

Letter: Producing local theatre terrifying but so rewarding

Thank you to every single beautiful soul involved in making my vision come true.

Thank you to every single beautiful soul involved in making my vision and my dream of Jesus Christ Superstar happen, and to every wonderful patron who bought a ticket and came to support us.

I’m inundated and overwhelmed with the most incredible messages today, and it’ll take me a while to get to all of them, but please know that I’m feeling all the love, and I’m extraordinarily grateful for every drop of it. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reach out with such exultant praise that I find myself speechless (the rarest occurrence).

This experience has been profound on so many levels, and its overall impact on those involved in it, those who saw it and the community as a whole is farther-reaching than I could’ve imagined. One of my many goals in producing and directing live theatre in our little town is to keep raising the bar higher and higher, and I daresay, we did. Not a day has gone by in the past almost-decade of devoting my life to this theatrical endeavour that I haven’t wondered what I’m doing or why I’m doing it. It certainly isn’t for money or for glory or for a laid-back, stress-free lifestyle.

“I think I’ll get rich and famous and never worry a day in my life doing theatre in a small town,” said no-one, ever. On the contrary; it’s sleepless nights and it’s spending money I don’t have (while wishing for corporate sponsors and wealthy benefactors who never materialize) and it’s taking chances that my prone-to-anxiety mind often can’t handle. It’s a big, fat, scary risk every single time. But today, “the morning after,” and as with most “morning-afters,” I remember. And there is no question in my mind; I am at peace, knowing I’m right where I need to be, doing just what I need to do.

WE NEED THEATRE. We all do, and we always have, but especially NOW.

From the very beginning of civilization, the theatre has helped us discover and understand ourselves and our relationship with our world. Unlike any other art, the total, intense focus of theatre is on the human being, his or her existence, and his or her relationship with life. It is a part of human nature to need to examine who we are in a relationship with where we are. It is also part of human nature to separate ourselves from people who are different from us. The theatre breaks that barrier of separation. Somehow, the theatre allows us to experience the world of another person and at the same time experience ourselves in our own world. We come to experience and understand, emotionally and intellectually, that our lives connect to another’s life, and our world connects to another’s world. This way, the theatre ties together our own humanity.

It takes a village, and I’m eternally grateful for mine.

Time to rest. But not for long. More great things in store, so stay tuned. And from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

Melina Schein, Big Apple Productions

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