A community gains a character and a personality of its own, because of the culture of its people.
The importance of culture lies in the fact that it is a link between people and their value systems. Culture is that one single bond that ties the people of a region or community together.
Last Saturday, that cultural bond was demonstrated in a staged reading at The Edison Theatre. Members of the community in attendance included those from local government, the media, business, educators, and a student who was there “to get extra credit.”
The attendees enthusiastically participated in assisting Los Angeles playwright Phil Olson with his latest work by providing him with post-performance feedback to aid him in the fine-tuning of this very delightful and thought-provoking play.
It is my understanding that the day after the performance, the playwright continued to rave about the interpretation given his work from our local talent pool, who were limited to a two-day rehearsal period, as well as the thoughtful feedback from those in attendance regarding the play itself.
Having been fortunate to have had the opportunity to professionally appear in three Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, and judging from the appreciative nature of the audience, I can attest to the very real possibility that Mr. Olson just may have a gigantic hit on his hands and could very well receive accolades for his completed work.
Some are already comparing his work to Neil Simon’s.
The best way to describe the entire evening and the cultural bond of this community that materialized right here in our own backyard that night, is that it was magical.
The town of Mammoth Lakes should be proud of its continuing support of cultural endeavors and its burgeoning heritage thanks to the efforts of organizations such as the Mammoth Lakes Foundation.
Public art, whether in the form of gardens, statues, festivals, galleries, recitals, events, or staged readings, is an asset rather than an extravagance to a community.
Expansion of public art serves to expand and preserve the growth and prosperity of a community and everyone gains from the experience.