The Magic of Theatre
The Magic of Theatre by Leslie Flom, CFRT Marketing Director
I am currently Cape Fear Regional Theatre’s Marketing Director – I have served in this role for 9 seasons. But, I have also been an audience member, a child actor, a student, a techie, an Assistant Stage Manager, a stage mom, and a wife at this theatre. In this place, I have been a part of history experiencing the musical 1776 where I heard the roll call at the signing of the Declaration of Independence and saw those signers form Trunbull’s famous portrait. I have felt the tingle of romance in Singin’ in the Rain, I have been frightened by the suspense-filled Deathrap, and I have been inspired with the powerful songs and stories of The Parchman Hour’s Freedom Riders. For 27 years, this theatre has been an important part of my life.
When my Dad retired from the Army, our family decided to settle in Fayetteville and the
Command Sergeant Major found himself becoming a member of this theatre family. For 20 years, he acted and being part of CFRT quickly became a family affair. He would say, “The family that plays together, stays together.” So, at the age of 10, I began taking theatre classes after school with CFRT’s Founding Artistic Director, Bo Thorp. Later my husband and I would meet at Fort Bragg Playhouse and I would start my own family from what we call our “theatre family.”
Through the years, my husband and children have all taken their turns on the CFRT stage. All three of our children have participated in CFRT Studio classes and Summer Camps. Jillian and Ben are happiest in the theatre audience, but classes gave them the confidence they needed. Laurel is currently pursuing an education and career in theatre. She has been a CFRT Summer Camp counselor and a Studio instructor using her skills to give back to the next generation of performers. Theatre is something we can all appreciate and enjoy together. Dad was right – the family that plays together…
For me, there is nothing like the magic of theatre. Theatre is visceral – you can feel it. Not just on stage but backstage too. Watching child actors run past the Leonard McLeod Scholarship statue to rub the newsboy’s cap for good luck before their entrance on stage, a CFRT tradition, and seeing them love and encourage one another as they prepare for their cue fills me with joy. As the Marketing Director, finding effective ways to bring the story told on stage to the audience challenges and excites me. In the early days, Board Member and actor Parker Wilson would stand on the sidewalk and shout, “Hey, you need to see this show!” Today, the methods are different, but I’m still shouting, “Hey, you need to see this show! You may cry, you may laugh, you may be shocked, you might even learn something – but one thing is for sure, you will be changed for having sat in one of CFRT’s seats.”
This theatre has changed my life. It is where I work, play, socialize, bond with my family, watch my children evolve, and am inspired and challenged to make a difference in our community. Because opportunities for young people are here, another 10 year old child – like me – can step into the doors of Cape Fear Regional Theatre and have her life changed forever.
Your gift to CFRT’s 25 Days of Giving can help provide opportunities for thousands of youth to be part of Cape Fear Regional Theatre’s education and outreach programs. For just $10, you can fund one complimentary student ticket to introduce a child to theatre for the first time and change their lives forever. Please consider donating today to help us raise $25,000 and reach more children in 2016!