Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pier One Theatre

Back in March my son got involved in a local production of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." Having never been involved in a play before on any level, it has been interesting getting an inside view of show biz in Homer. Pier One Theatre is a hub for plays in Homer in the summer.

"Much Ado" opened the third week of April at Alice's Champagne Palace (I know! What a name! I guess it is a historical spot in Homer), a large, barn-like bar. Three nights there were packed with locals who enjoyed dinner while they watched the performance by a cast of 21. After a month hiatus, the show re-opens this weekend for a three-weekend run at Pier One Theatre on the Spit.
The Pier One Theatre building, located next to the fishing hole 3 miles out on the Spit, looks like a giant red shack. The front is nicely painted, while the sides are peeling. There is no running water in the building which is why it is only open for 3 months in the summer (play practices happened at the Homer High School theatre). There is a port-a-pottie for the actors and a public restroom in a building across the gravel parking lot. They do have concessions, and my son was thrilled to get the leftover popcorn after last night's performance. This theatre seats 61, and I had to chuckle because the back row is a set of overstuffed, comfy seats and when we went to preview night on Wednesday, the back row filled up first. The other seats are padded seats with wooden backs--as comfortable as any you will find.

While at Alice's the actor's 'backstage' was actually upstairs in the loft (with a set of very creaky stairs that had to be traversed to reach the 'stage!'), here there is actually a stage, albeit a small one. In the April production a table with tablecloth and a chair or two were about the extent of props, but for the theatre production there are backdrop changes after nearly every scene. Costumes are garnered from the Homer High School costume room (that would be worth a blog entry of its own!), and while the costumes are obviously pulled together from whatever is available to fit the shapes of the characters, they are reasonably well done. And I am always impressed with the talent found in a little burg like Homer. While the full cast is not incredible, the cast is solid and the director, Bobbie Lee Briggs, does a good job pulling this together.

Pier One also has a Youth Theatre summer program each year in June with a production in July as well as a spattering of other productions throughout the summer. While my son enjoys acting and is good at it, this performance has maxed him out. Practices for 3 hours every night eat up his free time, and last night he didn't get home till almost 11:30 after an 8:15 p.m. performance. Performers have to be very committed, and I am amazed at how many people are dedicated to the local theatre. I am hoping Denver recovers from this production and does some more acting...otherwise maybe I'll just take up acting myself!

In case you're interested....reservations for all performances are 235-7333.

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