Yesterday we opened Are We There Yet? at Wayside Theatre. It was an exciting day for a variety of reasons.
First, this was the opening of Wayside's 45th season as a producing theater. That's really remarkable. Theater can be a capricious venture, and the fact that Wayside has been able to endure for so long is very inspiring. I feel fortunate to be a part of it.
The big announcement for Wayside, though, was that after years worth of fundraising and planning Wayside will be breaking ground on its expansion project! This means the theater will get much needed improvements to its infrastructure (creature comforts like improved heating/cooling and, oh, flushing toilets), a new shop and costume area and a second space. The new black-box theater will be home to Wayside's ever-growing education program and could also allow for some more experimental fare.
All this before we even took the stage. The show itself felt really good. There are always a few opening-day jitters that have to be overcome, but we seemed to make a really nice connection with the audience.
I'll admit, some of us cast a skeptical eye to this show when we first read it. It's kind of cornball on paper. But we all made the very good choice to trust the material. At the end of the day, it is really a very solid and entertaining show. It isn't afraid to be vaudville at some times and a little melancholy at others. No matter what style it is working in, it always seems to strike a chord.
So today, a day-off. A bit of recovery from the opening night festivities, then Wednesday we begin the regular schedule. It will be a pleasure to do.