A gracious thanks goes to Gavin Maurer for his contribution to this piece about Conifer’s StageDoor Theatre. Gavin is a proud member of StageDoor’s board of directors and has lived in our area for almost a quarter of a century. He has been a marketing executive for major corporations. Gavin loves performing and has acted in dozens of plays. He is also a singer/songwriter, and his bands, The Rocket 88s and The Incontinentals, have performed at numerous venues in the area. He is currently in the final stages of producing his first album: I have this dream. I’m suddenly being thrust on stage, but I don’t know my lines, and I can’t find a script anywhere. It doesn’t go very well. I don’t know if other actors have this dream, but it’s pretty terrifying.

Actors have all kinds of methods for learning and retaining their lines. For me, I tend to try to learn the long speeches first, then the scenes that involve dialogues with the other actors. Eventually, it all boils down to a lot of repetition. I especially marvel at actors who learn their lines quickly, and never seem to forget them… and especially the young actors in our education programs.

I sometimes attend rehearsals of the Premiere Company (Grades 2-5), the Junior Company (Grades 6-8), and Senior Company (Grades 9-12), and am always amazed at how well these young thespians learn lines, choreography, songs, and blocking. And they really bring it! Their energy, spontaneity and creativity are truly inspiring, and always delightful.

Speaking of our acting troupes, StageDoor has a little something for everyone in this spring’s lineup.

Coming April 5 –13 is “Rock of Ages,” performed by our Junior Company. Set on L.A.’s famous Sunset Strip in 1987, “Rock of Ages” tells the story of Drew, a city boy from South Detroit, and Sherrie, a small-town girl, who have both traveled to L.A. to chase their dreams of making it big and falling in love.

StageDoor’s Senior Company presents the much-loved “Legally Blonde” April 26 – May 4. This award-winning musical is upbeat, action-packed, and exploding with memorable songs and dances.

As a person with two left feet, I marvel at how well the actors learn and perform these awesome numbers, and the choreographers who so adeptly teach and train the students. Coming May 17, 18 and 19, the Premiere Company will perform “The Big Bad Musical,” a magical mash-up of fairy tale characters thrown together in a courtroom comedy… and you, the audience, decides the ending!

The Adult Company just wrapped up a wonderful run of Steve Martin’s “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” and Director Tanner Kelly is just about to hold auditions for “Sweeney Todd.” Coming June 7 – 30, the music of Steven Sondheim provides a haunting, edgy fabric for this infamous tale, where Sweeney Todd, an unjustly exiled barber, returns to 19thcentury London, seeking vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife.

Look on our website and social media pages to learn more about the plays and upcoming events.

StageDoor is so pleased to add Michal McDowell, Sara Miller, and Laura Trefethen to our board. These talented folks join Dean Arniotes (President), Mark Clate (Vice President), Janice O’Grady (Secretary), John Dobey (Treasurer), Beth Campbell, Tracy Doty, and Gavin Maurer.

People ask us what a community theatre board does. That’s a great question. Most nonprofit boards—and ours is no exception—are “working boards,” meaning that the board members do lots of behind-the-scenes work to keep the theatre running smoothly. In that light, we have recently reorganized under a committee structure to help focus our efforts on social media regarding the many facets of our organization.

At the top of the list is bringing quality entertainment to our community, and professional direction and education to all our actors, young and old. For two decades, StageDoor has provided year-round professional performing arts education to students of all ages in the mountain community and surrounding areas. Classes support the aspiring performer, as well as students simply wanting to experience the stage and all it has to offer.

We are constantly reminded that the “community” in community theatre is about you! It’s about connecting, reaching out, and providing an atmosphere that welcomes all members of our community to participate in, and enjoy, our programs and productions.

You, our audience, enrich us with your support, enliven us with your energy, and inspire us to be the best we can be. THANK YOU!

To learn more about what’s going on, and to order tickets: StageDoorTheatre.org.