Being involved with Hamilton Gibson has truly enhanced my understanding of "community". To have an organization that accomplishes and offers so much to a small town is just incredible. People don't just get involved in Hamilton Gibson, they become a part of the Hamilton Gibson community and family. For this, I am truly grateful.
I have worked with Hamilton-Gibson Productions for the past four years of my life and have been amazed at everything they are able to accomplish as a community theatre. Hamilton-Gibson provides quality entertainment that can be enjoyed by all walks of life. They involve the community on stage as well as off stage and offer settings for any age group. Their dedication to the art of music and theatre is shown through the many lives they touch and by the effort of the community to give back to them through various volunteer opportunities.
I have been involved with H-G for five years. The organization does an excellent job of providing quality entertainment to the local area throughout the entire year. Its programs reach all age levels of our community and range from youth choirs, drama camps and childrens' plays to cutting edge drama and comedy to "Acting Up" sessions for our more seasoned population (seniors). H-G provides the opportunity for both fledgling and seasoned playwrights to produce short plays that have a connection with the immediate local area. H-G also sponsors bus trips to large regional performing arts centers for a variety of plays. Volunteers are the backbone of this organization and therein, I believe, lies the Achilles heel of H-G. We have only two staffers who do not have the time to take care of everything that needs to be done administratively. Volunteers are available to perform many functions, but we struggle finding those who would be effective in the operations side of the organization.
I attended several productions, and participated in one, when I joined the Board. What a marvelous experience! The theatre brings together a large portion of the community as well as the surrounding area. Volunteers come together for everything from ushering, to acting, to "reconstructing" the new Warehouse Theatre. The Hamilton-Gibson Choirs, productions, and Drama Camp give our area youth a great many opportunities that are not as readily available in a larger, metropolitan area. Celebrating 20 years in existeance, the biggest challenge Hamilton-Gibson faces is funding to continue all of these wonderful programs.
HG is a multigenerational organization that promotes access to the performing arts. As they start the 20 year celebration the communitys it serves show increasing support. Being made up of volunteer performers it wonderful to see the hidden talents of so many people brought to light. It brings tears to your eyes when you see a senior routing for a child, and then seeing the child encouraging the senior in the same play.
Hamilton Gibson Productions plays a vital role in the culture of Tioga county. It not only privides entertainment to it's audiences through plays and musicals but gives opportunities for youth to be trained in voice and drama. It also provides many opportunities for individuals to volunteer in a variety of roles ranging from carpentry work to taking tickets. It provides a venue for people of all ages to be active in a community within their community.
Hamilton Gibson Productions are first rate stage productions. Some of the shows feature our local children as did The Pied Piper. Giving the children a chance to express their talents and self confidence. Others feature adult players. Under The Lintel was a recent production featuring Thomas Putman as the libriarian. His performance, as always,was so beliveable as an elderly libriarian. 7 Stories, another recent production is a hilarious presentation.
Live theater is magical. Live theater watching the local talents of friends and community members is even more amazing. In particular, the warehouse theater provides a cozy environment that promises exciting things for this region. Check it out!!
Hamilton Gibson is a great way for the youth to get involed in the arts. They learn memorization skills and how to perform which also helps them in building self confidence. It is also wonderful for adults too.
Since my retirement from Mansfield University in 1998, I've volunteered my services to Hamilton-Gibson as board member, writer, actor, director, painter, carpenter, and producer. For the past 10 years I've conducted educational theatre excursions for community members to Canada's Stratford and Shaw Festivals. Since 2006 my wife and I have conducted a twice-monthly readers theatre activity for seniors. Since 2007 I've conducted an origianl playwriting contest which includes four playwriting workshops and columniates in a short play festival in May. I spent the last two months working with other volunteers and professionals to convert an old warehouse into a 100-seat theatre.