Other Voices: Please keep curtains from closing on Foothill | TheUnion.com

Other Voices: Please keep curtains from closing on Foothill

My first real introduction to the Foothill Theatre Company was at the age of 18, just before my mother died. Throughout this very sad period of my life the Foothill Theatre Company kept me emotionally afloat by casting me in a leading role in a play titled, of all things, “I Remember Mama.”

It was during this time that my relationship with Foothill would solidify as an influential force in my life that has carried me around the world and back to what I have called home since they became my family.

Today, I believe it is critical that we all reflect upon the roots this theater company has established throughout our community and ask ourselves the question: Is all this worth losing?

Not only did they expose me to and give me the opportunity to perform in such great productions as “Bus Stop” and “Equus,” they were my personal gateway into the arts, theater and imagination. If Foothill had not given me this opportunity I don’t know who I would be today.

The Foothill Theatre Company is what kept me here in what I believe to be one of the most remarkable communities in the country. They are also partially responsible for the wealth of talented artists that live and work in our community today.

To be tucked into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in such a rural setting and yet be exposed to theater that is generally reserved for metropolitan areas is priceless. To replace it at the quality level it currently provides us is highly unlikely.

We are talking about the potential loss of 30 years of community history, established culture, civic pride, fantastic sets, membership-based support, great scripts, costuming and acting, in combination with relationships, jobs and a connection to something larger than ourselves.

While I speak for myself, I believe I am well qualified to understand the benefits that this theater company brings to us all.

The possibly diminished economical trickle-down effect is about more than an audience spending money for dinner in downtown Nevada City on a performance night. It’s about the loss of revenue when we no longer have dozens and dozens of cast and crew members going out to lunch during set construction. It’s about actors and technical crews no longer having drinks and dinner after dozens of late-night rehearsals. It’s the loss of visitors who are originally exposed to our charming town through Foothill Theatre that return to shop and explore more of our historic community. It’s about an overall sense of vitality.

The positive results that our theater company brings to us all are impossible to measure.

It doesn’t matter whether or not you have attended a Foothill play, are a supporter, or even visit our historic downtown. We would all feel the repercussions if they no longer existed in Nevada City.

I wish them every success in getting their financial house in order. The notice of their serious difficulties was very short and the amount of money very large in an already challenging time.

There is a great urgency to the help they need. If you would like to help please call 265-9320 and ask for any staff member at their office at 404 Spring Street or just drop by. You can also make a donation or pledge at their Web site by visiting http://www.foothilltheatre.org or mail in your contribution to PO Box 1812, Nevada City, CA 95959.

Personally, I am committed to doing what I can to help and be supportive during this transitional period. I am also totally committed to retaining the Foothill Theatre Company in the community in which it began, Nevada City.

Reinette Senum is a member of the Nevada City council.

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