For my first experience at the Caribbean Community Theatre (‘CCT’) I was lucky enough to get tickets for the last performance of RENT, which was sold out. While I do love that particular musical, I enjoy all kinds of theatre in general. In my experience it seems that community theatres face a huge challenge in drumming up community support, obtaining sponsors for financial backing and finding talent and volunteers to take part in the productions both on and off stage. As with many community theatres, CCT is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization. Their mission is making theatrical productions available to residents of St. Croix and visitors. Founded in 1985, CCT produces at least five plays each year in their theater in Orange Grove and past shows have included plays such as: A Raisin in the Sun, The Odd Couple, Smokey Joe’s Café, Little Shop of Horrors, South Pacific and The Full Monty.
Tucked up in the Estate Orange Grove neighborhood, cars lined the street on both sides as we found our way to the theatre building. As we approached the doors into the theatre, you could tell just from the crowd gathered outside that the show was very well attended. The staff at the ticket window was friendly and they easily found my tickets that I had ordered online (gotta love technology) and gave them to me along with programs for the show. On the way into the theatre there were raffle tickets for sale, in this particular case they were raffling off a beautiful silver ring with inset stones. Set back in the lounge area down the hall there was also a cash bar where you could purchase red or white wine, some cocktails, water, soda and a few snacks. There were also a few vendor tables selling jewelry, homemade pates, and the like. After indulging in a glass of wine, we headed to our seats to watch the show.
CCT did an amazing job casting and directing the production. The costumes and set were great, and the lights and sound were right on cue. I couldn’t believe the talent we have right here on St. Croix! But, what I found to be the most outstanding was the support shown by the community. Everyone was raving about the show, I even talked to one woman who was watching RENT for the second time! After the show, the actors and crew came out to the lounge area and mingled with the audience that had stayed after the performance. It was obvious as a newcomer that many of my fellow audience members were regular attendees of CCT, as they hugged the cast and crew members and offered them heartfelt compliments and congratulations on their wonderful performances. You could truly feel the sense of “community” in this community theatre.
Thank you, CCT, for bringing the theatre arts to St. Croix! I look forward to attending many future performances at Caribbean Community Theatre. If you have the opportunity, catch a show or two and show your support for the fine work that CCT is doing! You can also show your support by donating to CCT, or volunteering for future productions. Details are available on their website.
-Jennie Ogden, Editor