Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circum-stances would have lain dormant.
Horace, Roman lyric poet
You don't want people who have never had to deal with adversity - you want people who have been able to deal successfully with adversity. That's what adds to society. Those are going to be the hardest-working, best people.
Decades of adversity has a way of focusing your attention. Please, don’t misunderstand – we’re not talking about life and death adversity here. We’ve all known someone who’s faced that kind of adversity and challenge – some who overcame, some who succumbed. There is truth in the old adage, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” The adversity in respect to the MPAC project (and performing arts in general) has been the decades-long struggle to produce quality theatrical performances (musicals, dramas, comedies, revues, etc.) under – how shall we say – less than optimum conditions in venues that were never designed for that purpose. We are very grateful to the organizations that have accommodated our efforts over the years (we could not have done it without them), but if we are to be honest, our (and their) best efforts fall short of what could be accomplished in an actual theater.
Facilities designed for the performing arts (opera houses in the case of Meigs County) disappeared long ago from the area. If these were still in existence, even they would be sorely inadequate for today’s challenging theatrical purposes without major and very costly renovations and upgrades.
Talk to anyone involved in the local performing arts scene and you’ll discover the endless stories of struggle and adversity involved in the mere staging of a show. One could write a book, but here’s one example of a humorous occurrence (most are not so funny) that exemplifies the struggle. Several years ago, the local community theater staged a performance at the Middleport Village Hall/Jail (a repurposed, obsolete elementary school) in what had been the gym with a stage at one end. It’s a nice village hall, and, as stated, we were pleased and grateful for the use of the space, but this is pretty funny nonetheless. While setting up the chairs for the audience, we provided not only a convenient center aisle but a perpendicular aisle across the gym floor to allow the food carts from the kitchen (just off the gym) to be rolled at meal time across to the prisoners in the jail section of the facility. Fortunately, this was strategically timed to occur during matinee intermission lest it be deemed a disjointed scene in the play. Broadway this ain’t.
Once again, putting on plays is not the primary function of that facility. And that’s the point. We understand completely. This is true of every “temporary” venue that has been utilized through the years. Without exception, each has its own drawbacks and idiosyncrasies eliciting tales of adversity and challenge. A great deal of time, energy, costs, concerns, and creative juices are expended in securing and transforming inadequate facilities into still less than desirable facsimiles of a theater before the first curtain (if there is one) can be opened and the first line is uttered.
We, in the performing arts community, have risen to the challenges (largely) with aplomb and resolve, but decades of this (and the long years of those who went before us) takes both a physical and mental toll on those involved. You can only bang your head against the metaphorical wall for so long before either giving up or developing a new and smarter tactic. As lovers of, and believers in the performing arts, their value and benefit to society and the economy, we have opted for the latter.
That’s why we are allocating a great deal of our personal and creative resources, and focusing our attention toward the development of the MPAC Mission and Vision. So much good can come to so many through such a facility that the decision to move forward was really a no-brainer. So, if you have even a fraction of the passion that the MPAC team has for the future of the performing arts in Meigs County and the surrounding region, won’t you join in our effort to make MPAC a reality. This is going to be a long and arduous campaign fraught with many hurdles along the way, so your support and enthusiasm will prove invaluable as we move forward.