Community Theater
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One writer fondly recalls her community theater, and how a member’s Traverse was always center stage

By Chelsea Fagan

Since as long as I can remember, I’ve been involved with community theater, and I’ve made friends with dozens, even hundreds of people I never would have met otherwise. Looking back, I realize that one member’s Chevrolet Traverse always had the starring role.

We talk about living in a “community,” but what does that really mean? We can often go years without getting to know the people around us—our neighbors, their families, their stories. Yet when we participate in an activity that brings us to the heart of where we live, it’s amazing how apparent community actually is.

Community theater is usually a cadre of people who love theater, who are looking to start a new hobby, or who want to prove to themselves that they can do something that always scared them. All of the time and effort they dedicate is completely voluntary. The actors and crew are not paid; everything comes out of their own pockets and good will.

But this presents problems, of course, when it comes to logistics. How do we transport wardrobe trunks, sets, refreshments, and a few cast members to boot? Unless you have a good, spacious car (and many of us don’t), it’s a tricky endeavor to say the least.

Luckily for us, one of our faithful wardrobe designers, Karen, had a Traverse and the generosity of spirit to help us all out. Whether it was folding down the third row of seats to allow for a cumbersome set piece, taking five of us to rehearsal on time and still leaving a bit of room in the back for a few costumes, or just reminding us that we had a ride home if we needed one, she was the guardian angel of our productions. I recently asked her about why she decided to get a Traverse—she’d always been more of a compact car girl herself.

“I knew how important it was for the theater company to have someone who could always lend an extra hand,” she said, “someone who had the room in her vehicle to carry things, and I felt that I would be a good fit for that. I loved my sporty little compacts, but when you have four trunks and three actors to take across the city, there’s just no way I was going to be able to do it. And I like how the Traverse has made me a sort of den mother to the group.”

It’s true. To us she was always the one we could rely on to help us out and make the whole production run smoothly. Without someone like her, who knows how our community theater would’ve ended up. None of the acting or wardrobe or lighting would have mattered if, on that night when we were all running late and had to get across the city in torrential rain, Karen wasn’t there to pick us up. Community theater, after all, is about contributing to the greater good, and being part of something fun and rewarding that connects you with other people. In that way, I guess, it’s a little bit like owning a Traverse.

The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse features best-in-class maximum cargo space and space behind the third row. Available split-folding rear seats provide even more options for packing in all your cargo.

Chelsea Fagan is an editor at Thought Catalog. Her work has appeared in Le Monde, Grantland and The Atlantic, among other publications. Her forthcoming first book, a tongue-in-cheek guide to starting life as a grown-up, will be published by Running Press in 2013. On Twitter she’s @Chelsea_Fagan.

*Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and distribution.

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