Tuesday, May 12, 2009, My Turn • All for arts and arts for one

Publisher’s Note: This My Turn originally appeared in the Tuesday, May 12, 2009, edition of the Lassen County Times.

One of the most obvious observations I’ve been able to make during my few years in Lassen County is that the artistic talent per capita ratio is off the charts.

It seems like you can’t even swing a cat without hitting someone who can sing, play guitar, paint or do something else that requires an art-conscious mind.

Nothing is more apparent than listening to members of the creative think tank that is now the nonprofit organization known as the Susanville Repertoire Company. Comprised of many of the same people who have been bringing entertainment to Lassen County for years, this company of musicians, actors, singers and technological gurus has plans to start bringing at least four shows a year to the community.

Of course, I’m biased, (I’m in it!) but I wouldn’t be saying so if I didn’t think it were absolutely true. The shows are being coordinated through the combined talents of Jon France, Tom Gauthier, Jason Wheeler, Sandra Jonas and Mark Sanders, who make up the repertoire company’s board of directors. They are the magician’s pulling the rabbit out of the hat, the puppeteers pulling the strings, the brains behind the brawn. These folks are so good, they could make Keanu Reeves seem like a seasoned thespian (with some time of course — they’re not miracle workers).

Some people might remember the Repertoire Company’s debut show, an old-time Radio show held at the Hotel Mt. Lassen last year. It was the first of its kind in Susanville, and served as a solid template for the company’s next show. We received a good turnout, and some positive feedback on the performance. Those suggestions have been taken to heart, and the company is coming back better than ever.

We’re doing another radio theater on Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30, both at 7 p.m. The venue has been moved to the Elks Lodge, and we will be exploring more than just comedy this time around. In fact, the whole show is looking to be bigger in scale, from the production to the performances.

Not to be typecast into putting on one kind of show, the SRC is always looking forward, with more dramatic faire planned for this summer. Beyond that, well, I’ll just let the remaining two shows of the season be a surprise.

I know this sounds like little more than a shameless plug, (which it is) but its more than that. Even though this will be my second show with the company, I still feel like an outsider looking through a window of creativity.

By far, I have the least amount of experience in the entertainment department, but like so many of the residents of Lassen County, they have welcomed me in with open arms. As cliché as it sounds, working with the repertoire company has allowed me to grow as a person in ways I never thought imaginable. It’s made me more confident, and it has allowed me to become even more engrained in the community I now call home. Catch the show, and you’ll see what I mean.