Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
This week, “Matilda” will come to the Boykin Center. My daughters and I were cast in this wonderful adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book “Matilda.” This is my first play since high school and I’m realizing why community theater is so important.
First, the work ethic. How often do you see individuals doing a good job because they just want to do a good job? These adults and kids aren’t getting paid to spend hours and hours practicing songs and memorizing lines, they are simply doing it for the love of the theater. My girls are seeing that sometimes there are things worth working very hard for, and the only reward is a satisfied audience and the knowledge that you did your absolute best.
Secondly, the lesson that if you don’t get it right, you just have to keep trying. From running lines in the lobby while others run their scenes to being forced to improvise if you forget a line, my girls are being shown that success takes lots of hard work and even then, it might not be perfect. They get to see these adults struggle and fail with grace — they laugh at their mistakes, vow to do better and encourage one another. No one is quitting when the going gets tough.
Finally, community means family. We’re all different ages, all different colors, all in different phases in our life, but we can laugh and hang out and love one another. What does this family look like? Friday night, when our Matilda flawlessly delivered one of the many monologues in the show, the entire theater broke into cheers and applause. Support, love and pure joy when others succeed — that is our theater “family.” This is community: Supporting each other and celebrating each other’s victories.
I’ve found myself thinking more than once that if my girls turned out like some of the high school students and young adults in this show, I would be so proud. With the example they set behind the scenes and the care and encouragement that they offer each other, it’s amazing and wonderful and we’ve been so blessed to be a part of it this summer.
I hope that you’ll consider joining us for one of the shows this week. Our little community of actors would love the support of the Wilson community. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll simply be amazed at what a group of people — with a lot of hard work, awesome direction and choreography — can put together.
Editor’s Note: “Matilda: The Musical” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the Edna Boykin Cultural Center. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for seniors, students and youth. The Arts Council of Wilson and Barton College are presenting the play.