Get creative to bring culture to Carson Valley

All of the time I hear my fellow peers complain about the lack of "culture" in Carson Valley. As a Bay area native, I tend to disagree, using the argument that there can be culture anywhere, if you look hard enough. But lately I have been feeling a lack of cooperation among aspects of the cultural community of Carson Valley.

There are so many up-and-coming theater groups in the Valley that it would seem like there would be non-stop events. I know things like cultural development take time, especially in a burgeoning area like Carson Valley. However, I think a lot more cooperation would make the process of establishing the artistry of the area move much quicker.

As a member of the Douglas High School drama department, I am constantly on the lookout for new plays, both to participate in or to see, and I am very excited about the up and coming theater groups in the area. However, one of the biggest issues restricting the growth of theater participation is the absence of a performance facility. We have the CVIC Hall and the school auditoriums, but to put on a good show we need better lighting, sound and set equipment, not to mention costumes, makeup and props, as well as adequate seating for the audience. A simple black box theater would be an appropriate solution for all of this. However, previous attempts for building a theater have been shot down.

If the different groups in the Valley came together, there would be a lot more productivity taking place. Perhaps community support or fundraising for a performance facility that anyone could use would be more effective if there was more participation.

I think another one of the problems is that a lot of the groups are age specific. The park and recreation department does shows with younger children, which attracts a younger audience, and their parents; the DHS drama department and junior high schools generally bring in students and a young adult crowd; and other community theater programs have been focusing on the senior citizen community members.

With cooperation, Douglas County could perform a variety of plays and shows with a much larger casting population to choose from, as well as twice the technological input. For example, in Carson City, there are countless theater groups and school clubs that remain individual but still united and supportive of one another. Go into Carson on almost any weekend and you will have no problem finding a play to go to, thanks to the cooperation within the theater-involved members throughout the city, no matter which clique they belong to. Lately in Carson Valley there have been conflicts and lack of cooperation between some of the organizations, which only puts a halt to any possible development.

In an area like this, competition is petty and unnecessary. Hate to break it to you, but no one here is a major movie star, so a holier-than-thou attitude is pointless.

If organizations want to get their names out there to the community, all need to work together before each can successfully branch out on its own.

n Ashley Noel Hennefer is a senior at Douglas High School.


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