Golden Chain Theatre: Our Common Journey

May 19, 2021 | 2021 Articles, Theatre

by James Mierkey,
Musical Director/Board Member

How many articles have you seen in the past few months that begin with, “This past year has been a challenge for all of us…”? Thoughts like this tend to shift my focus from “what is” to “what was,” and I think there is a danger in spending too much time there. We really can’t be blamed, though, it’s hard to not get stuck pondering lost opportunities, and especially lost loved ones. I lost my dad in August of 2020, and it hurts still today. But dad would want me to be resilient and keep moving forward. So, from a platform of remembrance of lost opportunities, lost loved ones, and my dad, I will try to keep my focus on “what can.”

In order to effectively set the stage for the opportunities we see before us at GCT, I will just start with where we were when all of this started. It’s actually a miracle that we were able to open the beautiful musical, Mary Poppins, on March 13th of last year. The production required the work and effort from a massive team of volunteers. The reception from the audience that weekend was glorious even amidst the looming threat. From an economic standpoint, we had invested a huge amount of resources in the show and found ourselves without an opportunity to recover those funds with ticket sales. But are you ready for some good news? Mary Poppins is coming back to GCT in September of this year and adding weeks so you can see it as much as you’d like. If you are still a ticket holder for Mary Poppins, you will get first crack at reserving your seat for this new schedule of performances.

We created a “What Can” opportunity through our Chain Link campaign, asking folks to become a Link in the Chain by donating monthly to preserve theater in our community. Slowly but surely, we began to see cars around town with “I’m a link in the chain” stickers in their back window (I wonder if they knew why I was honking and smiling at them like a moron). People are answering the call and giving us a boost in paying our ongoing needs.

Another “What Can” opportunity we created was our Friday Night Live series on Facebook where you could see everything from video recordings of past shows to fresh content like our Quarantine Cabaret and Believe in Christmas. Those videos are still available to be viewed on our Facebook page. This kept us in contact with all of you by doing what we do best, entertaining you.

Our friends at Bryant’s True Value and H&L Lumber in Oakhurst found a “What Can” opportunity when a freak windstorm that blew down trees and ripped roofs off of homes, decimated the fence in back of our theatre. They answered our call with a generous donation, providing materials to construct a new fence. Another example of community members supporting each other. We are SO incredibly grateful for all our friends in this beautiful place we live, who care and show that caring through generosity and support. It truly makes us all stronger.

We showed “What Can” be done by producing a full online melodrama called Oakhurst’s Dirty Laundry in the summer of 2020. This production was our 53rd consecutive melodrama produced at GCT, making our theatre one of the longest running melodramas in the nation. We are very excited to announce that our 54th consecutive melodrama is in rehearsals right now and we are doing something very special with this one. As I write this, a stage is being built in our parking lot which will allow us to host our first ever Drive-In Melodrama. Imagine cool summer evenings, booing at the villain, cheering for the hero, and munching free popcorn all for an old-fashioned car-load drive-in price! This program will be running through the entire summer and tickets are available to purchase now on our website. So, pack up the family and come enjoy an entertaining night at GCT.

This has been year not just of loss, but of hope for the future. It has been a common journey that we have taken TOGETHER as a community.

Tickets for the Drive-In Melodrama are available Now at:
May 28 through August 1 @ $35 a Car Load
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Nights
Gates open at 6:30 p.m.
Preshow starts at 7:30 p.m.
No late admissions!

If you love local theatre, be sure to check out Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors–many of whom you will have seen on local stages. You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, and also on Podbean.

Check out more local entertainment articles in our Arts & Entertainment section.


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