Setting the Stage
A class ACT in Anacortes
Tim Brown has only been the theater manager at the Anacortes Community Theatre (ACT) since last September, but he’s been involved in the nearly 50-year-old performance space since 1994. In the years since, he’s taken turns onstage and served “every single position” a production team has to offer. In the days before ACT’s next opening night for Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Brown filled us in on what to expect from ACT.
Cascadia Weekly: What are a theater manager’s many duties?
Tim Brown: Basically, I’m a glorified janitor, with a million artistic holes to fill. I am the voice of my Board of Directors, the face of the theater to the public, the volunteer coordinator for our more than 300 yearly volunteers. I am in charge of all of the properties of ACT, including set pieces, costumes, props and the facility itself. I am the production coordinator for our six mainstage shows and fringe productions, including our Class ACT program.
CW: How involved is the community in this community theater?
TB: Our community is who we are. We have more than 1,000 season ticket holders every year, which means more than 50 percent of our shows are sold out before individual tickets go on sale. The only way we are able to accomplish these feats is through the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers to put on such wonderful productions.
CW: The theater is coming up on 50 years, right?
TB: 2014 will mark our 50th season as a nonprofit community theater. Our audience is only 114 seats, so every single seat is a great one and the intimacy it provides sets us apart.
CW: Does ACT have a motto?
TB: Without a doubt, it would be “Great theater only happens with a great community!”
CW: What should audiences look forward to when The Importance of Being Earnest opens this weekend?
TB: Hilarity and beauty. This cast is phenomenal and so talented. They bring new life to a wonderful classic. Our set is incredible as well. So detailed and ornate, yet simple.
CW: What else is coming up this year?
TB: Our next season is about to be announced, and it comprises Gramercy Ghost, the first play ACT performed back in 1964, Les Miserables, You Can’t Take It With You, Lend Me A Tenor, Anything Goes, and a holiday show called Bob’s Your Elf.
CW: If you’re coming from Bellingham or Mount Vernon, is it worth a drive to Anacortes to see a show at ACT?
TB: Absolutely. Why pay an arm and a leg for a professional show when you can see something just as great in an intimate setting? Our actors and directors are phenomenal. The thing that sets community theaters apart is experience and energy. We have both of those with room to spare. We don’t just perform theater, we try to create an experience for every audience member.