Project Stage Light Looks to Future

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The show may be over, but Project Stage Light is moving full speed ahead.

With their first production under their belt, the cast of "A Christmas Carol" and others are looking forward to the next project and many are offering suggestions as to what it should be.

But the next production is not the only idea on organizers' minds.

"Within the next year I would love Project Stage Light to explore such things as music workshops, art gallery displays, culinary classes, and of course, another performance," explained Meagan Edmonds, who is in charge of the cultural arts program for children and adults with special needs, sponsored by the Association for persons with Intellectual Disabilities (AID), in conjunction with VIP.

Looking back at the theatrical debut of this extraordinary group, Edmonds said she was more nervous about the day of the performance rather than the play itself.

"I think the performance was a huge success," she said. "The actors and crew surpassed any expectations. We were exhausted by the end of it, but it was such a magical day for everyone."

And that magic was felt by the audience, staff and actors alike.

"When they sang 'Silent Night' [after the performance] I couldn't keep from crying," said Linda Mahy, sister-in-law to one of the phantoms in the play.

As for Kathy Marsyla, a staff member who had the opportunity to help behind the scenes and be on stage, she thought it was wonderful to see the pride the actors felt during and after the performance.

"It was also great to see new facets of the actors, including talents that weren't recognized before and connections made with the world outside of their comfort zones," Marsyla said.

Everyone who attended the play received a comment card in their programs, which offered room for suggestions and a chance to give honest feedback about the play.

A couple of suggestions included using a microphone at the end of the show when everyone involved on and off the stage were introduced, as well as using a larger venue in the future.

"But the response was unanimous," Edmonds said. "Everyone loved the show. How could you not love the work the actors put into the performance?"

As for the next performance, the actors already have several ideas in mind including "The Wizard of Oz," "Phantom of the Opera," "Grease" and "The Sound of Music."

"We are in the process of closing out all of the details of this performance, taking a critical look at our budget, and processing what we can do better next time around," Edmonds said. "At that point we will begin the next project."

But one thing is for sure, Edmonds sees the need to try to find a larger venue to hold the next performance in. While she is very grateful to have had the Shuck Recital Hall to perform in, with its "phenomenal acoustics," an upgrade in space is needed.

"We will need a hall that is capable of holding twice as many audience members and possibly for a longer span of time," Edmonds said.

Even though details are not set, many of the consumers, even those who did not participate in the first production, are excited for the next play. And so is the staff.

"All I can say is, look out Cape Girardeau, another project is on its way, and this time we need the community's help," Edmonds said.

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