Theatre East is a 501(c)3 nonprofit theatre company whose mission is to provide the community with a platform to deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world we share through works of theatre that utilize simple storytelling.
We believe that art defines a civilization.
From Judson Jones
Drawing from my small-town Texas upbringing, I truly believe theatre exists to serve its community, much like the feed store, the local house of worship, or the old barbershop. It serves as a place where ideas are exchanged and challenged. As a child I remember going to the feed store with my father or grandfather. We’d get there, load up the feed, the saltlicks and whatever else we might need. Then my father would pour himself a cup a coffee, sit down with whoever else was there at the time and then the bigger purpose of our trip would begin. Conversations about the weather, market prices, farming practices, politics, the goings on around town. Oddly enough, most things you could get fromthe almanac, morning farmers’ report or the news. But this was how we and most folks did it. And still do. It’s this sense of community we seek.
Theatre, which taken directly from Greek means, “a seeing place.” And communion comes from Latin meaning, “with oneness.” A place of seeing what common things we share. Or as John Peter Berger put it, “The strange power of art is sometimes it can show that what people have in common is more urgent than what differentiates them. It seems to me it’s something that theatre can do, but it’s rare; it’s very rare.”
I truly believe theatre is more than just something we view as a bystander. I believe it’s something we experience as a community. Millennia before theater houses were built or marquees were lit, people found themselves congregating together to share stories of journeys, of discovery, stories of great victory or grave defeat. People were impassioned, emboldened or even frightened by these accounts. And it was a collective experience. Because it was a part of them.
In economic times as these, with new fears seeming to surface every day, art is not always considered paramount. However, we feel our community needs the work of bold, aware artists confronting challenges with a penetrating, unblinking eye to help us understand our ever-changing surroundings. This…is our charge.