I am a volunteer and my adventures this month were in the wonderland that is Theatre Cedar Rapids (TCR).
I already went down the rabbit hole on this one. I hope that you enjoy the re-cap.
My Role: Usher Extraordinaire for TCR’s final production of Alice in Wonderland
When: Last Saturday, May 19, 6:15 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Where: Theatre Cedar Rapids, 102 3rd Street SE, Cedar Rapids
Benefiting: The talented actors on stage and the community of supporters smart enough to come watch them shine.
Why I Chose TCR
Click the image to view video highlights from Theatre Cedar Rapids’ original adaptation of “Alice In Wonderland.”
Need I explain that I have a flair for the dramatic? I have seen a few productions since TCR reopened post-flood, and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself every time that I have set foot in the building. The experience really does start right when you walk through the door. The place is beautiful. The first show that I saw there was Rent and as I waited with friends in the Linge Lounge for the show to start I thought how wonderfully supportive Cedar Rapidians were to come out in droves to support community theater. As soon as the show began I realized that patrons of TCR come to be entertained and that the volunteers acting on stage would not disappoint. How could you not want to be a part of this fantastic community asset?
Right this way! (My debut as an usher)
Ushers were asked to arrive at 6:15 p.m. for orientation before a 7:30 p.m. show. House Manager Jody Lippmann gave us the rundown — check people’s tickets, show them to their seat, smile, repeat. We also asked patrons to finish up their food and beverages before entering the auditorium unless they had one of the cool adult size TCR “sippy cups”.
Once the show starts, ushers are allowed to sit and watch. If the performance is sold out, ushers can still enjoy the show from the aisle. My partner Sara and I were assigned to the balcony. I walked the space to get the gist of the seat layout — lower rows have lower letters, the lowest numbers are in the center, even numbers to the right, odd to the left. Sound confusing? I must admit that it was for me too. Luckily the audience was knowledgeable and patient. I got it within the first few (okay, ten) trips and I am all set for next time.
Ushering in the last performance of Alice in Wonderland. Thanks for showing me the ropes, crew!
How I got involved (& how you can too)
Community members contributed more than 35,000 volunteer hours making TCR great last year. They filled valuable roles as board members, ushers, working on set construction, backstage crew, lighting, props, sound, stage management or as actors on stage.
Their website (www.theatrecr.org) makes it so easy to get involved. When I got the idea to work with TCR in May, it literally took me 5 minutes to find a show and sign up to help using their “sign up genius” form.
I really enjoyed the show. It was a unique interpretation of a story that I love. I pulled my copy of Lewis Carroll’s classic off the shelf when I got home and plan to re-acquaint myself with my own imagination.
Who am I, Caterpillar? Like all the talented people at Theatre Cedar Rapids, I am a do-gooder.
Who knows? Maybe one day soon, you’ll see me up on that beautifully restored stage.
How now, brown cow?