1st Times from our Community

Our 15th Anniversary Season is all about First Times:

Bring a child to their First theatre experience!  After posting our Staff Videos about their first times at theatre, the community jumped into it!

Here is a sampling of responses we received from Facebook, Twitter, list serves:

The Magic Show w/ Doug Henning on Bway in NYC when I was 6. Loved the spectacle plus felt v. grownup going to the theater with my father.

My First Time: We had left NYC and moved to Cleveland and I was 7 years old and wanted to be a witch. As I went around the house shrieking eye of newt and toe of frog grownups kept commenting with sympathy. What a shame I'd never been to free Shakespeare in the Park and now I was hundreds of miles away. Then, a theatre company right there in Cleveland mounted a production of the Scottish play. In my best clothes, I walked into the theatre with my father and was amazed. The three witches weren't performed by actors. Instead, strange wavering lights moved up and down in the space while the weird voices seemed to come from nowhere. That was real witchery. That was magic. (Of course today, I'd suspect cost-cutting. Three actors could have used the work!)

Cindy Marie Jenkins asked me if I could remember the first time I saw a show. I laughed and realized I can't. I think I started doing theatre as soon as I could talk . But, what I do remember from childhood is a moment in theatre history that inspired me the most, brought me to tears actually. It was Michael Jeter's Tony acceptance speech for the musical "Grand Hotel," where he so honestly thanked his fellow cast and said if you were the audience, you were his heart. He reached out to every alcoholic/addict in the audience of the world watching and said if there was anyone out there who thought that they couldn't stop, that dreams don't come true and that they couldn't change - and bravely said yes - he was living proof that you can stop, life changes a day at a time and dreams do come true. I was just a kid and I will never forget it. Theatre does and will, always have the power to change hearts and minds. Gowrie Heather Hayden Zenith Ensemble www.zenithensemble.com

Hi Jay. The production of Sam Shepard’s True West that Jack Black so fondly remembers was probably the one produced at the LA Stage Company starring Randy and Dennis Quaid and directed by Gary Sinise. I still have the program and will send him a copy if he’d like to have it. My “first time” was a road show in Denver titled A Program for Two Players. It was a two-hander, scenes from Shakespeare, starring Helen Hayes and Maurice Evans. I must have been about 14 years old and I remember walking out of the theatre thinking, “Yeah, that’s what I want to do.” I still have that program as well, autographed by both players. Best, Stan Roth

‎1981 I was living in Los Angeles and one day had gone across the street to have a bite to eat. There were a couple of guys there and we started talking. I found out they were building a Theatre for Vietnam Vets in the mausoleum next door. The building had originally been built for World War II Vets. I was invited to come and participate. I ended up helping to finish building the theatre. I built stairs, wired lightning boards, set the lights, sorted out costumes and props and a thousand other things that need to be done in a theatre to put on a show. We did "Bed Time Story." An Irish play that made me laugh each night as I ran the lights and sound. Two years later my girlfriend convinced me to audition with her for Debbie Devine's Children Theatre. More on Facebook

You're a Good Man Charlie Brown starring Gary Burghoff. I was maybe 5 or 6. I liked it. I used to have the program signed by Gary.

"daveycat" from bigcheaptheatre list serve

My very "first time" was onstage as part of a childrens chorus singing Do-Re-Mi from The Sound of Music at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles....

My next time was when I was cast in the boys' band for a big production of The Music Man .

I never actually attended Theatre as an Audience Member until after those aforementioned Events, once I started seeing many of the LACLO shows in Downtown LA.

Great Musicals ! Great Performances ! My love of Musical Theatre endures.....

Now it's your turn. Share your first time below!


Celebrate First Friendships ~ Primera Amistad at Rome at the End of the Line (Roma al Final de la Via) (sept15-oct7)

Bring a child to their First Shakespeare ~ Primer Shakespeare for Nearly Lear (oct 19-21)

How to handle First Loss ~ Primera Perdida ? Walking the Tightrope (jan26-mar31)

Enjoy a First Jest ~ Primera Broma with Mexico's Huraclown (apr20-28)