Read more about Wayside Theatre, its campaign for survival here on this blog, on the Wayside Theatre website, or on Facebook. Help if you can and help us spread the word.
Here's a story about Wayside Theatre from former Intern, now actress, Katherine Yacko
I remember my first day as a little intern, sitting in the plush, burgundy seats of Wayside’s house, listening to Warner’s first pep talk of the year. I recall you saying something to the effect of “Welcome to your new home. We will be your family for the next year. And families must work together.” As I stared up at the freshly installed wooden barn rafters for Shenandoah: The Musical, and smelled the faint scent of sawdust, I felt at peace, but also noticed a moment of electric energy – I simply could not wait to start working & creating in my new home.
And that’s just it. HOME. FAMILY. HARDWORK. All of these words irrevocably remind me of Wayside Theatre.
Even though it is still early in my theatrical career, I have NEVER experienced that feeling of a tight-knit family with any other venue or company. Only at Wayside have I truly felt that I was an irreplaceable piece of something truly important, mostly thanks to the smaller casts, but also because I was treated like a valued member of a family. Not many companies provide that. I haven’t met another one yet.
I miss seeing Thomasin running around working 7 days a week on the Education Programs, ad sales, thank you letters, and STILL managing to give a stellar performance onstage that evening. I miss Warner’s warm hugs & personalized curtain speeches asking everyone in the audience if they “like to save money?” and listening for that legendary woman who once shouted “NO!” I miss seeing Steve meticulously creating gorgeous musical arrangements for the home-grown actor/musician bands – when the original productions call for a 20 piece orchestra. I don’t want these to just be fond memories – I want this to be a regular part of the future. I can’t imagine Wayside not being around anymore, I don’t want to allow that to happen.
The Shenandoah Valley has to realize that they have a slice of paradise right in their backyard! What other town with a population of 1,500 (or less) can brag about the presence of a PROFESSIONAL theatre that has been producing quality work for over 50 years AND provides the major part of their tourism revenue each year. I strongly believe that Middletown would die without Wayside.
The productions don’t just entertain the audiences. They inspire the people. They empower the people. They provide an escape. They teach people how to dream. Isn’t this why we all attend live theatre? It’s this invisible energy which ebbs & flows as the audience inhales at the precise moment of the actors on stage. You can’t experience this energy through a projection screen. That’s where film & television fall short. The energy. It’s intangible. It’s indefinable. It’s magical.
But Wayside Theatre provides so much more than that. They have the energy, sure, but not every company can produce the caliber of productions with a 12-person staff. There are some theatres that don’t even come close to Wayside’s quality, and they have over 30 people working in their office! The difference is, at Wayside, everybody pulls their own weight AND MORESO. That’s what makes Wayside unique. Every employee wears many hats. From the technicians, to the administrators, to the box office staff, to the actors onstage, everybody does their part and helps out other departments when they need it. Without hesitation or complaining. Wayside gets the job done in a professional, diligent, and beautifully artistic manner. Why? Because it’s a family. And families must work together.
I miss you all. I hope & pray for you every day. More than anything, I wish I was there right now to help you weather this storm.
With sincerest love,
A.K.A. The Yackster