Firehouse Theater supports the Local Art Community

(Submitted photo) Standing: Olympia Abrego, Mike Shough and Nancy Streuber. Seated: Drea Hahn, Ariel Brunetto and Miguel Cruz.

Many people write artistic endeavors off as frivolous or unnecessary. They put creativity at the bottom of the list because they tell themselves that they don’t have enough time to do things that don’t really matter. But there might be another perspective to consider. Most times the basic needs like food, shelter, and water can be met without art, and sometimes art is frivolous – thank goodness! If we as humans don’t have a reward for all the hard work we do, if we don’t take the time to explore this side of ourselves, then what are we working for? The reward is as necessary as the hard work because it gives us a reason to follow through with those really tough days.

Furthermore, in a society where the majority of people aren’t worried about meeting their basic needs, the arts can serve many valuable purposes, one of them being bringing a community together. For example, the Firehouse Community Theater, a staple of the town, opened a new show last weekend, “Love, Lies, and the Doctor’s Dilemma.” The show not only brought the community together with a packed house but also involved actors of all ages, including high school. The actors had the crowd laughing from beginning to end while proving just how much a little lie could get out of hand very quickly.

Shows at the Firehouse have always involved actors from the area since they began 26 seasons ago. Mike Shough, who directed and acted in the play, announced that two of the actors in this particular show, Drea Hahn and Miguel Cruz, were brand new to the Firehouse. They meshed right in with the cast, and seemed very comfortable on stage. Drea, who flawlessly played the pretentiously wealthy sister-in-law, commented on the importance of being involved in the theater. “This is why I moved to this town from the Miami-Dade area.” She cited that being a part of such a wonderful cast of people and being able to perform to a smaller audience made her feel more connected to the community. Mike Shough only proved her point when he took care at the end of the show to wish the audience well during the rough weather that was coming Friday night. The Firehouse is a place that always demonstrates the invaluable social aspect of participating in the arts with others. The show will be running this weekend, and there will be two more shows coming up soon in February you won’t want to miss, “Cupid: The Final Years” on February 1and 2 only and “Farce of Habit” on February 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, and 17.

If you’re convinced that participating in or supporting the local art scene will encourage your sense of community, another great event, Chow Down Food Trucks, will occur tonight January 24 next to the Barron Park House Gallery from 5-9 p.m. Come and meet up with some friends for dinner, and be sure to stop in to the gallery to see the artists displayed for the month of January. You are also invited to an abstract art workshop at the gallery on January 26 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. This class is geared toward going through the creative process with friends to create a unique work of art and discover your intuitive painting style. Call Heather at 239-240-2656 or visit www.heatheryish.com to sign up. Also if you would like to share your art with the community, receiving for the gallery will be Tuesday, January 29 from 3-6 p.m. You can also bring items to sell in the gift shop. The fee for AOI members is $20. Non-members pay $25. Inquire within for more details. The gallery is located on the river at Barron Park at 471 N. Lee Street. For more information contact Marty at 239-290-6837 or email macowen@embarqmail.com.

Any other local artistic news you’d like to highlight or celebrate? Let me know at heatheryish@gmail.com.

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