Keep the opera house the Opera House

Letter to the Editor

“All the world’s a stage…”.

Most folks recognize that line of Shakespeare’s, but as an old English and drama teacher, I’d like to ask people to take a look at that quote from this perspective: If all the world is a stage, then performing scripts on a theater’s stage gives us opportunities to practice real-life situations…in safe, educational, and entertaining ways. I have had the pleasure of working with actors, singers, technicians, and stage managers in several high school and community theater groups during the last 25 years, and I am always amazed at the surge of effort and the level of joy achieved by so many people at curtain time. Cast members become family, communities are made proud, and everyone on both sides of the curtain is getting practice for how to handle life…and they are being whisked away for a momentary relief from their own problems.

Wouldn’t it be great if everything that was enriching and joyful and entertaining was free? Wouldn’t it be great, even, if the country’s coffers had enough money to comfortably support all aspects of life: health, defense, education, security, infrastructure, art? It appears that we citizens need to support the things that we wish to hang on to.

Around the U.S. are public centers (some non-profit, some not) for teaching and performing arts. Small as Kooskia is, it has an amazing one of those places. With a sound-enhancing wooden ceiling and lovely interior, the Old Opera House is a beautiful, nostalgic remnant of a less confusing time. But its future is up to those of us who are interested in keeping it going as a center for performing and fine arts.

Currently, the Old Opera House Arts Committee is attempting to purchase the building to keep as a performance venue rather than have it sold to others who would remodel for another use. The group is working to gather the $200,000 by a June 1 deadline to purchase the building and get this irreplaceable theater back in operation. If you want to support the arts…consider buying a share of stock in the Old Opera House Corporation or make a donation. Our contributions will make a resounding difference now and into the future. Contact Gloria Taylor, 208-983-0314 or Cindy Lane at 208-816-8489.

Cheryl Tousley

Lewiston

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