Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Take some time to take in a stage show

By the Advocate Editorial Board
March 1, 2014 at 6 p.m.
Updated Feb. 28, 2014 at 9:01 p.m.

Victoria is a truly unique city, and we are constantly being reminded of wonderful things in our hometown. Last month, Theatre Victoria reminded us again of what makes Victoria so unique.

On Valentine's Day, Theatre Victoria opened "The Great American Trailer Park Musical." The show, which ran through Feb. 22, was a play that focused on an agoraphobic, Dr. Phil-loving woman and her tollbooth operator husband. When a stripper moves into the trailer park and begins a relationship with the husband, all sorts of drama, problems and high-jinks ensue.

The play was a big hit, Scott Mohon, executive director of Theatre Victoria, said. He saw the show a few time in other theaters before making the decision to bring the show to Victoria.

As with everything else in this world, there were some who liked it and some who didn't. And that is absolutely ok, in fact, it's actually very normal.

It is true, the show did contain a few "f-bombs," Mohon said, but the word was not used in a derogatory or vulgar sense.

"One thing we don't do is 'shock theater,'" he said. "We don't try to get a rise out of people."

It is always disappointing to know that not everyone enjoyed something that members of the community spend lots of time and effort bringing to life, but we know that we cannot please everyone all of the time.

Mohon emphasized the theater works to offer a range of shows that cater to a wide range of patrons, including shows in multiple genres such as comedy, mystery, farce, revues, musicals and more. "What we try to do is look to produce a very diverse show because our community is so diverse," he said.

To do that, Mohon uses a few different methods to gauge if a play will be the right fit for Victoria and the Crossroads. In addition to looking for what's popular, he often goes to watch potential plays in theaters of a similar size and in similar communities. When he does, he watches the reactions of the audience to the show.

One of the reasons the last show was chosen was that although the characters had their own problems and were not necessarily great people, they also had heart, which helped the audience identify with them, Mohon said.

In keeping with Theatre Victoria's effort to bring in more diverse shows, the rest of the 2014-15 season is filled with a range of shows including musicals for children, a sassy family drama, an adult-themed comedy, a murder mystery musical as well as a few returning favorites.

We applaud Theatre Victoria for its ongoing commitment to bringing quality productions to Victoria and for working to attract those who normally would not attend a stage production. Our community is filled with talent, and we look forward to seeing it come alive on the stage.

We encourage our community to continue its support of Theatre Victoria however possible. The theater is an important, unique part of Victoria's culture, and everyone should take the opportunity to demonstrate their support with every new show.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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