In 2008, my wife, Heidi Salter, and I looked for theater in our own community, Germantown, and found nothing. We realized that the local school district, while doing what it could to support the arts, did not have funding for performance space and could not provide the opportunities that children could get in other communities. We decided that it was time for Germantown to have its own theatre company, for children and adults.
Imagination Theatre is now in its fourth season, and it’s getting better each year. We produce a play in the spring and a musical in the summer. I’m the president and Heidi is artistic director. Our board has grown to seven (Anne Proite, Laura Riesterer, Sandy Miller, Amie Lousier and Bob Golden have joined us). We have established a website. We are drawing a larger audition pool of adults and children, larger audiences, and lots of praise for our productions. We set high expectations. We work hard and have a lot of fun, yet refuse to settle for anything less than a quality production that people will enjoy.
The biggest challenge is rehearsal and performance space. Two local churches have opened their doors to us on and off during our existence, and we cannot thank them enough. While we value these relationships and the commitment, the cast, staff, crew and audience would all have a better experience in a real theater with a stage, wings, proper lighting, raked seating, etc.
Last summer, Brown Deer High School let us use their facility for The Wizard of Oz. Having that stage, seating and improved technical aspect was wonderful. Unfortunately, we were unable to find any facilities with an auditorium within a 20-minute drive of Germantown open and available for either our spring or summer productions in 2011. Fortunately, The Lutheran Church of the Living Christ and CrossWay Church have opened their doors to us again.
We hope that a real theater space will present itself to us. Meanwhile, we’ll find creative ways to work around these the problems. We do solve them, in the end, and have a fantastic time doing our shows and presenting high quality to our growing audience. We hope to see you as a part of that audience sometime soon!
Imagination Theatre of Germantown presents The Diary of Anne Frank, by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, newly adapted by Wendy Kesselman. They play is based upon the real-life Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Tickets are $10; call 262-957-0399 or visit the company’s website. Group discounts are available. Show times are: 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, March 18-19 and 25-26, and 3:30 p.m. Sundays, March 20 and 27, at the Lutheran Church of the Living Christ, W156 N10660 Pilgrim Rd., Germantown.