Theater — more than just being in the spotlight

Published 12:23 am Saturday, October 24, 2015

My junior and senior year in high school, I signed up to take drama classes.

It was not that I aspired to be an actress, but it was more about the teacher and being part of an interactive class.

I made a wise choice, the classes were a blast, and even though I never held a leading role in a play, I learned much about the stage and how hard it is to learn lines.  I owe my experience to Barbara Sizemore.

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In the spring semester of my junior year, I auditioned for the school’s musical “Oklahoma” and earned a bit part as a dancer.

Believe it or not, I still have one of the costumes I wore in the production.  It still hangs in an upstairs closet.

It is hard for me to let go of something that holds such an important memory, and performing on the Warren Central High School stage was a sweet moment in my life I want to always remember.

If you have ever been part of any type of production, you will know what I am describing, but performing on stage is only a small piece of being in a show.

The relationships developed with the other performers and stage crew sticks with you.

This is evident here in Vicksburg at both the Vicksburg Theatre Guild and the Westside Theatre Foundation because I have witnessed it when I show up to do interviews for upcoming performances.

At the WTF, you walk into the lobby of the theater, and it looks like a cozy living room.

There seems to always be the regulars that work in most of the shows, and then there are usually one or two new faces.  Typically, it appears that the group is just gathered up for an evening of fun.

Of course, I get to do my job before they have to do theirs, and I may be missing out on the hairy moments like when the director starts barking out a lighting detail during rehearsals.  All and all, there is clear evidence that hanging out at the Strand can be more than just wanting to be an actor.

The VTG also exudes an aura of unity and inclusion. In fact, many of their regular performers are three generations deep, truly making the theater a family affair.

Vicksburg is fortunate to have these outlets available to those who enjoy the spot light and to those who want to hone their skills with make-up or stage design.

However, just as important is the fact that Vicksburg has two theaters offering live performances to those of us that need a theater fix.

Whether you are in the mood for a light musical or in need of a drama, between both theaters one is sure to find a theater high.

Tonight and next weekend the WTF will perform their version of Dracula, and in February the VTG will present Mary Poppins.  Both productions will surely be memberable to all.


About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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