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Community Theater – Touching Lives

This past February St. Thomas’ was proud to host Third Wall Productions’ presentation of Disney’s Musical “Newsies.”  It is with much excitement that we share with you that almost every night was a sold out show, and several nights they had a wait list of people looking for standing room only availability.

Third Wall Productions is an incredible community theater that includes casts and crews filled with a multitude of talents and unbridled passion for sharing their love of the arts. We would like to share with you a wonderful story about how theater touches the community, written by Dr. Mike Zellhofer, Executive Director of Third Wall.

First let me say thank you to all of you for the part you played in allowing TWP to come to St. Thomas’.

After the show we were relaxing in the hall and it occurred to me that the St. Thomas’ Community is what “Newsies” is all about. These children were exploited, overlooked, and abused. They stood up for themselves and forced others to institute change.

Both the church and the community center are a direct result of that change. Sunday School, Confirmation, and weekly service educate, guide and feed people spiritually. The counseling group, the home school, the music academy, the student support network, girls and boys scout-ing, and most definitely the theatre all give children a safe place to discover themselves, be who they are, and grow. More importantly, your doors are open to all children, not just those of a higher class system.

Just this week I sat with a young man from the cast for almost an hour. Even though we told parents that rehearsal would end around 10:00, his mom arrived at 10:55. He told me he tried calling her but she would not pick up the phone. He also told me to go home and not worry about him because, “this happens all the time”. So, we sat and chatted until his ride came. Who knows what this kid would be doing with his life if he did not have St. Thomas or the theatre as a safe haven?

I can never say it enough, from me, the board of directors, the entire cast and crew, thank you! I leave you with two of my favorite quotes from the show:

“We’re doing something that has never been done before. How can that not be dangerous?” – Davey

“The things we do today will be tomorrow’s news!” – Crutchie