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SOUCHERAY: Get involved in community theater

Hudson has the Phipps. White Bear Lake has the Lakeshore Players. And Woodbury has the Woodbury Community Theatre. Our community theater has been in existence since 1975 and has performed such plays as Tom Sawyer, Godspell, Annie, and Hansel and Gretel. In September, the famed Patrick Healy came to the theater to share his expertise for the Gilbert and Sullivan show. Live theater is unrivaled in its ability to transport us to another place and time and mesmerize us by its very power to draw us into its world.

As we sit in a small, darkened space, often with people we know, some we do not, we enter into an experience that has the potential to transform our lives. The ancient Greeks used the theater to express unspoken feelings and convey a deeper understanding of common human emotions. Whether a person is waiting in line at Times Square to find out if they have been selected to receive the last of the student-rush tickets, driving to a performance and dinner at The Chanhassen, or have seats to see The Christmas Carol at the Guthrie for the fifth time, live theater does not disappoint.

I remember the first time I saw a play production. My first grade class in Mitchell, South Dakota walked to the high school to see a play performed by the high school students. I remember sitting in the front row, taking it all in, and being amazed by the colors, the actors, and the wonder of it all. I was completely captivated.

So often for adults who manage busy, active lives, adding the task of auditioning and acting in a play may seem to contribute undue stress to already overly-committed lives. Rather than offering the individual or family a rich and exciting experience, it may appear that it would simply be "just one more thing to do."

It does not seem that the Woodbury Community Theatre would ever desire to place more stress on individuals and families. Instead, it seems their mission is to bring a sense of fullness and depth to our community. Its desire appears to be to offer the residents of Woodbury a unique experience of acting in plays, as well as the presentation of quality, live performances for community residents.

The Woodbury Community Theatre performs at East Ridge High School. This venue offers for wonderful, high-quality, and enriching performances for its audiences. Conveniently located on Bailey Road in South Woodbury, East Ridge provides a fantastic, first-class theater outing.

Just last week the theatre held auditions for its upcoming holiday production. Imagine taking time from your busy week to audition for an upcoming play. Even thinking about doing so may cause you to hyperventilate, yet it also might cause you to stop and remember the fun you had when you acted in your high school or college plays.

Adding something such as acting in a play, either by yourself or with a family member, will undoubtedly contribute an element of stress to your family's life. There is no question about that. You will have to figure out when to have supper, when to finish homework, how to fit in sport practices, and when to exercise. It will require a family to reassess its use of time throughout the duration of the practices and performances.

The benefit of involvement in an activity such as this can also add depth, a sense of purpose and joy, and a greater sense of balance and happiness to life. I remember hearing many years ago the saying, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." When we consciously and intentionally bring something of great interest and desire into our lives, because we believe it will bring us richness, intensity, and passion, the benefits often outweigh the costs.

This year, the Woodbury Community Theatre will present a Traditional Holiday Celebration, Mame, and the musical version of Cheaper by the Dozen. Consider becoming involved in the Woodbury Community Theatre, just because it's fun and just because it will add a new dimension to your life. Give it some thought and see what happens. Oh, and break a leg!