Our community can be grateful for ‘Moon Over Buffalo’ cast, crew, volunteers

BRATTLEBORO — Community theater is a unique experience.

For about six weeks, a dozen or more adults who have full-time jobs and families make putting on a show one of their primary goals.

They skip dinners, they brave all sorts of terrible weather conditions, they sacrifice their precious time and even some of their own financial resources just so that they can create theatrical entertainment for the enjoyment of others, many of whom are complete strangers.

Why would they do this? Are they crazy?

It's hard to explain what makes the community-theater actors and directors and technicians do what they do, but our community can be grateful that they continue to do it.

One such recent community theater endeavor was the Vermont Theatre Company's production of Ken Ludwig's farce Moon Over Buffalo, which played for two weekends last month at the Dummerston Grange to most-appreciative audiences.

Under the inspiring direction of Michelle Page and her talented designers and actors, sets were built, costumes were altered, tickets were sold, and characters were brought to life.

Special thanks go to a phenomenal cast - Jim Bombicino, Carlton Smith, Sue Rowell, Nell Curley, Ian Mahoney, Amanda Rink, James Gelter, and Bruce Holloway - for their boundless energy and enthusiasm.

Kudos to stage manager Brenda Seitz and her assistant, Kate Maisner, for making the lights light, the sounds sound, and the smoke smoke, as well as making sure that the doors slammed and the props were all in place.

Fortunately, fight choreographer Jodi Clark made sure that Cyrano didn't stab anyone by mistake, and technical director Mike Shedd guaranteed that what was supposed to be seen could be, and what was not to be seen remained hidden.

Set designer James Gelter created the perfect set for a wild farce (several slamming doors a requirement) that was collectively constructed with the help of Mark Brown, Ran3dy and Nora Bright, Ben Stockman, and Mike Jerald, and Yvonne Page designed a beautiful and eye-catching poster.

Costumer Rebecka Marchese made sure that everyone was appropriately dressed, regardless of whether they were relaxing in the on-stage green room, performing in Cyrano or Private Lives, or both, as the case turned out to be.

And finally, the Evening Star Grange #154 once again opened their doors to VTC and graciously allowed us to take over the building to transform it, this time, into the Erlanger Theatre of 1953 in Buffalo, N.Y.

For those who shared in the hilarity and craziness of Moon Over Buffalo, the reward was surely a most enjoyable evening of entertainment.

For those who missed this production, perhaps they will want to see community theater in action at our next production, Woman in Black, a classic ghost story-thriller directed by Jessica Gelter and performed at the Hooker-Dunham Theatre in Brattleboro from Jan. 18 to 27.

More information is available at 802-258-1344 or www.vermonttheatrecompany.com.

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