Firehouse Community Theatre: Bridge Street Not Broadway!
The glitz and glamour of show business runs coast to coast. Both children and adults have someone that they look up to on the big screen, small screen, court, field, or stage. California has the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. New York has the stars of Broadway where some of the biggest and most seasoned talent goes on stage each day. Across the country there are thousands of small meccas of talent in each city where local stars can shine. New York and California get all the attention, but they don’t have all of the talent.
When a play makes it to Broadway everyone takes notice. The biggest and best stars, producers, and directors come together to put on larger than life shows that take us away from the normalcy of our lives, even if only for a night. Here in Southwest Florida we may not have the Hollywood lights or the bustle of Broadway, but we do have some amazing talent right next door. Theatre and the arts are such a huge factor in our community. Locally there are many different theatre companies geared towards giving back and helping everyday people do extraordinary things.
The Firehouse Community Theatre in LaBelle is one of these incredibly unique places. Not only that, but Shellie Johnson, Principal Planner and Partner for Ensite, is proud to have served on the board of directors for the Theatre. This is a place where we can escape and let our imaginations take control. For the past 21 years the Firehouse Community Theatre has been run 100% by volunteer staff. They are an integral part of the community, and are sponsored by local businesses and private donations alike. The actors, stage crew, directors, and ushers are all part of the community. Their talent and dedication can be seen each week.
Their slogan is “It’s Not Broadway……It’s Bridge Street!”
During the summer months the Firehouse Community Theatre of LaBelle has a Children’s Program for kids ages 7 to 14. This is a great opportunity for children who love to sing, act, or dance. The Children’s Summer Theatre Program is a safe place for kids to use and develop their imaginations. After weeks of preparation the children put on a show for their family, friends, and the community. Watching the story come to life on stage after weeks of hard work and preparation creates an environment for the children to grow and learn from each other and the staff. This summer the children will be performing The Shoemaker and the Elves on June 27th, 28th, and 29th.
The Firehouse Community Theatre has gained attention from more than just our community. In November of 2013 Rita Abrams made a visit to our theatre. Rita Abrams is a two time Emmy winning songwriter and also was part of the group who wrote the musical, New Wrinkles. After the Florida debut of her musical New Wrinkles on the LaBelle stage she was our guest of honor. Her visit gave us a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from and get to know someone who has had such a huge impact on our theatre.
Not only does the theatre provide a place for patrons and actors to come together, there are also a slew of behind the scene masterminds at work. The design engineers that create the stage and props for the cast and crew are extremely talented. They can take a normal set and transform it into a beautiful garden that looks like it was designed by the best landscape architects. They make cities appear on stage that make urban planning look easy. The creativity they show on the stage is breathtaking.
Culture, theatre, and art are everywhere in every community nationwide. The Firehouse Community Theatre is just one example of the hidden talent we have at our fingertips. They are dedicated to giving back to the LaBelle community. Their stage is used by children, students, and adults alike to put on performances that both move and entertain.