Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Red Dirt Road of Summer Theatre

Happy Valentine's Day from Grinder Productions!

One of my girlfriend's favourite songs is Brooks and Dunn's Red Dirt Road. A wonderful story about coming of age in the bible-belt and beyond. It's a very uplifting tune, about the power of one's roots, but also about how you can use the strength and comfort of those roots to take you anywhere and acheive your dreams. The entire Red Dirt Road album is autobiographical in nature, (here's a great bit of bio on B&D and this album) and while it's steeped in the language and experiences of the American South it's easy to draw parallels between the experiences of two singers growing up and our little theatre company coming of age.

In the case of the Ennotville Library it does sit on a more-or-less Red Dirt Road (it is where the blacktop ends), and it has been there that many of Grinder's most telling moments as a company have transpired. Slowly but surely a core of people are gathering, people for whom this company does feel like "coming home," be it onstage, backstage or in the audience. We have given many people some wonderful memories that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.

For a well-worn battle-axe like me that's something that I didn't really expect when I started the company - the bonds that would be forged across rehearsals and performances. And it's not just the case with actors and crew. Someone told me a while back that I now have "Grinder Group-ees" who eagerly await our next show or season coming up. It is quite a humbling experience to see these bonds being made (and, sadly, occasionally broken), but taken together they point to a "setting down of roots" for the company.

I do my best to cultivate these roots, and to plant new roots where I can. And that's where you can help me out. Grinder went from a tiny, insignificant speck on the Centre Wellington Theatre scene to the area's largest theatre company only when I began to actively and regularly welcome new people to the Grinder experience. We will only grow further if we are constantly on the lookout for new faces, so if you've had a great time either at one of our shows or by working on one of our shows then pass the word along! This blog is a great way to introduce people to the company, but there's also our website, newsletter, Facebook page, and of course our shows! The Hollow is coming up in another month. It's an excellent introduction to live theatre in general, and even though it's not strictly a Grinder event, to our company in particular. I've put the poster here before, but here it is again. It's got all the info you'll need:

And oh yeah, there's still a few other shows coming down the pipe!

But more on those later on. It's Valentine's Day. Go be with your someone special. Or if you're on your own this Valentine's Day, don't despair - your time will come.

Until then, may it be a pleasant drive down your own Red Dirt Road.

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