Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How We Help ... Girl Scouts

Posted by Bruce Miller
I walked into Barksdale Theatre at Hanover Tavern yesterday (Tuesday) morning to help Terrie and David Powers map out the all-but-completed set design for Shirley Valentine. This was our one chance to envision on-site exactly where the complex set would sit on the stage. This is the final design step before building begins.

"Help" is probably the wrong word for what I do. I sit there while Terrie and David are working, saying “Don’t forget about this” or “Have you considered trying it this way” or “Where are you ever going to find a (fill in an impossible-to-find prop here)” or “Are you sure the people in these seats over here will have decent sight lines?”

I walked in ready to begin the process, only to find a group of what appeared to be fourth and fifth grade girls playing theatre games on the bare stage, laughing their heads off. David had cleared out the set for Greater Tuna on Monday, so all that remained were a row of toupee and hairdo-sporting wig stands lined up against the upstage wall, looking down at the girls. From all appearances, the wig stands were smiling.

I panicked. “Oh great,” I thought. “The Tavern has rented out the space for some sort of summer camp, and they forgot to tell us.” Thankfully, such was not the case. When I looked more closely, there on the third row sat Brad Tuggle, Assistant to the Managing Director of Barksdale and Theatre IV, directing the girls through their paces. He seemed to be having as much fun as the young ladies in his charge.
Turns out that what I walked in on was the tail end of one of Brad’s scout sessions. Brad manages Barksdale and Theatre IV’s Boy Scout, Girl Scout, Cub Scout and Brownie enrichment programs. This particular group came from the Pamunkey Ridge Girl Scout Camp in Hanover, and they were there to work with Barksdale on earning their try-it in theatre.

Throughout the year, Barksdale and Theatre IV work for free with scout troops of all shapes and sizes (and both genders) as they earn their various badges and patches in theatre and the dramatic arts. This is one of our many community service initiatives, and any scout troop that is interested in working with us can contact Brad at, or 804 783-1688 ext 12. If you would be interested in helping with our scout program, please let Brad know that too. We love to work with volunteers.

Turns out this is the third year in a row that we’ve welcomed our young friends from Pamunkey Ridge onto our stage. As you’re considering why Barksdale is important to you and/or the community-at-large, please remember to add “working with scout troops” to your list. It’s fun for us and the scouts, and an excellent way to meet the needs of the community in non-traditional ways.

--Bruce Miller

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The help our Cub Scouts received from Theater IV and Barksdale was great. We spent a half-day building props for one of the shows with Theater IV supervision. We were given a group discount on tickets to the show, and a free backstage tour where we were able to see the props we had built. Then an actor came to one of our evening meetings and helped us write a play. Our Tigers, Wolves and Bears all made progress toward their next badge, and our Webloes earned their Showman Activity Pin. We learned a lot and had a great time. The extras didn't cost us a penny.

Becky Rattan