A group of people in Bennington are working together to create The Bennington Community Theatre. One of the reasons for doing so was the impressive work by the students in Chris Decker’s Acting Class. Watching scene presentations at the end of each series of classes, it became clear that there is a great deal of talent in our area.
Bob and I have enjoyed many community theatre productions at the Dorset Players, The Ghent Playhouse and the Vermont Theatre Company. Like Dorset, Bennington is fortunate in having an equity theatre company in town. Oldcastle Theatre Company has been offering stunning professional performances for forty-four years. In its relatively new location on Main Street has continued delighting audiences. Some people have wondered if having a community theatre is any threat to Oldcastle. Experiences in other communities show that not to be the case. The more theatre, the more theatre. What it does mean is year round theatre in Bennington. Oldcastle primarily performs in the summer. Meanwhile, it has shared its space with other performers such as Ida Faiella’s L’Ensemble, Bread and Puppets and other arts organizations. The Bennington Community Theatre’s first full length performance will be Arsenic and Old Lace directed by Christine Decker, Oldcastle’s Educational Director, at Oldcastle at the end of October.
Our son and daughter-in-law have worked in community theatre in New Jersey, a state with many community and professional theatres. We were lucky to have an interview with Chris Decker about community theatre and her teaching as well as a conversation with Paul and Maren about their experiences in community theatre and teaching acting.
There are four segments to each interview, starting with Christine Decker. The second four segments are with Paul and Maren Sugarman. If by any chance, the programs do not appear on your copy of the blog, just click on the url.