IVRT Making an Impact

Theater or Theatre? September 1, 2016

I’m sure you’ve noticed the difference before. And “er” or “re”, I guess that is the question or at least a question. I looked up both words in Webster’s dictionary, and the same definitions are given for each word. When I checked into other sources, I found that this topic is more heated than I had realized it to be. 

So this week I’m sharing some of my thoughts about the significance of these two spellings of a very special word.

You probably deduced that one is the Americanized version of the other. That “er” version is typically used by movie theaters and the “re” version is usually used by stage theatre companies, but not always. Some consider the “re” form to be elitist and some companies dodge the word entirely (think Mark Taper Forum, Lewis Family Playhouse, Fontana Mummers, Ophelia’s Jump). I confess that I have sometimes used both spellings interchangeably.

Is there, perhaps, another significance to these interpretations? Maybe. Or maybe not. I think that the more important fact is that the art of theater, or theatre, is an art that makes an impact when it breathes, moves, dances, sings, screams, whispers, cries, laughs, and lives. It is a human art, after all, not a word, or spelling of a word, or a building or location for that matter. More on that, next week.

And for more on this topic, read:

http://www.arttimesjournal.com/theater/July_13_Robert_W_Bethune.html

http://www.theatreinchicago.com/news.php?articleID=7

For your health!

Theater does a body & soul good!  ~  August 17, 2016

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The common adage is that children need the arts, specifically performing arts, to help them mature and develop their self-esteem. But the benefits of theater don’t simply dissipate as you pass through stages in your life. The same essential behaviors and attitude that create better students also foster a balanced and healthy adult. Here are ways the relevance of theater can impact your daily-life:

1.      Theater creates empathic listeners. Theater-goers statically can access more emotions that otherwise would not be commonly felt. This would benefit our personal and business lives which leads to our next positive!

2.     With better functioning relationships, studies show decreases in stress levels. With clear expectations and an elevated tolerance, the mind can compartmentalize stressors more easily. Lower stress promotes better quality of sleep and better organ function according to the American Psychology Association.

3.     Theatre helps us understand people from cultures other than our own. We can learn a lot about people from cultures all around the world by studying their performance traditions. In doing so, we can learn to be less ethnocentric, and more accepting of others.

4.     There is something to be said for the healing properties of comedy. The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education published research in 2016 stating that laughter can soothe muscle tension, stimulates oxygen intake in the lungs and heart increasing endorphins, and even boosts the immune system to toxins in the body.

5.      Lastly, audiences viewing live theater actively listen more than viewers of cinema. When an individual actively listens, they develop a bond with the material which connects to sense memory. When these areas of the brain are activated more often, brain elasticity remains. These effects are said to increase neural function and long-term memory.

The call of live performance does not fade for those who are bitten by this artful insect. Cultural enrichment matters. It produces measurable and lasting benefits for everyone involved. So do that! Get involved with a performing arts organization in your community. You can support local arts knowing you can benefit in more ways thought possible.  

Welcome IVRT Audience!

How Does IVRT Do Theater?

Well, hi there! Welcome to our weekly blog. Thanks for staying connected to IVRT! We value our relationship with our audience and our goal with this platform is to enlighten and enliven you weekly with

*Some great behind-the-scenes stories,

*Tips to help your inner performer (I believe we all have one!) and

*Just plain good ole’ information to help you get the most out of your live theater experience!

Please feel free to comment or just check in and say hello!

This week’s topic: How Does IVRT Do Theater?

When IVRT began its wonderful partnership with the Candlelight Pavilion seven years ago, we knew we were going to have to get really creative! You see, unlike traditional theater companies that pick a play and build a set for that play, IVRT now shares the stage with the Candlelight Pavilion (Ben Bollinger Productions). So first we need to have a meeting and find out what plays the Candlelight will be doing so we can “modify” their existing sets for our Tuesday and Wednesday performances.

Frank Minano (IVRT co-founder, producing artistic director and my wonderful husband of 28+ years) has a knack for knowing what plays will “work” on another play’s set. He honed this ability when he was a kid at the old Gallery Theater in Ontario. Frank was 16 years old when Gallery owner Mark Shipley put him in charge of the children’s theater, the “peanut gallery.” The peanut gallery performed on Saturday afternoons, on the set of the play that was being performed that evening. So you might say that Frank’s years working at the peanut gallery taught him how NOT to be a-salted…

Hmmm… I guess we have our own peanut gallery! IVRT’s marketing department polls our audience to find out what plays and musicals they want to see, then Frank and the artistic team put these jigsaw puzzle pieces together and present a preliminary budget to the IVRT board of trustees for approval.

[Of course, we also have to obtain permission from the publishers to produce the plays, but that is an article for next time.]

Once permissions are in place, the artistic team makes its final decisions, directors are hired, auditions are announced, and the season goes on sale!

Oh, and by the way, IVRT WILL announce its 2017 season at the reception between the performance of Victor/Victoria on Wednesday, September 28. I hope you are as excited as I am to hear the news!

Ciao for now!

-Donna Marie Minano

Next week: How theater can change your life for the better!…