Theater Connections

As we look to a brighter future, theater is life


BY YOGI THOMPSON | Moonshine Ink

As we slog through these evil times, enemies both real and imagined have threatened our health and poisoned our relationships with other people. Zoom meetings and social media lack the subtlety and nuance needed for deep connection, and many long for physical contact. Hugs and robust handshakes are mostly memories, and six feet can seem like a thousand miles. Community and society at large need healing, and that will require a new sense of connection.

As a performer involved in Truckee Community Theater, I am saddened, as it has been over a year since I have been on stage. My fellow actors, the set builders, costume designers, and others express a similar loss. We don’t do this for money; we do it because we love to entertain and for the challenge of creativity.


Whether one is a performer, support staff, or audience member, theater success is ultimately defined by connection and communication. The playwright concocts a vision. The performer tries to feel what was intended by the author and convey that feeling to the audience. If I can be the conduit that allows the audience to feel what the playwright intended, I have done my job. Communication and connection come alive and can flourish among a widely diverse population.

As we try to see a glimmer of hope for a return to normalcy, I recommend that anyone and every one of you investigate the performing arts as a means to express yourself and improve the quality of your life. Our area is brimming with opportunity. Young, old, or in-between, lots of experience or none, there is a place for you.

Immense potential for growth and development are available for our youth. Young actors learn redoubtable concepts and apply them. Teamwork, responsibility, commitment, a sense of accomplishment, respect, and much more develop as young performers find their place in the theater family. They wake to the reality of being a contributing member of a community that includes not just the players, but society as a whole.

We are in a region that is copiously blessed with exceptional talent. Many performers of all ages may be accurately labeled “triple threats,” meaning they can act, sing, and dance. While these abilities are being kept on simmer by pandemic-related restrictions, online and carefully-managed live classes in acting, music, and dance are available now to keep creativity blooming.

Well-trained, talented, and highly experienced veterans such as Carrie Haines, who took the torch from Courtney Simson as artistic director, and John Paul Rivard, the musical theater instructor with TCT and other groups, are planning great things for 2021. Sara Turner-Carbajal and Great Futures Productions present a quality of young people’s theater one would think unattainable in a community the size of ours. Comfortable, well-appointed venues host performances. TCT itself is well-equipped to offer a complete entertainment experience. The high schools in both Truckee and Incline Village have delightful theater viewing accommodations. What I have listed only scratches the surface.

Too numerous to name are the directors, producers, coaches, and actors that have greatly enhanced not only my own performances, but the quality of my life in general. I number them among my true friends.

Watch this space. As we stretch and begin to snap the threads of the cocoon we are wrapped in, you will hear more about our burgeoning plans. Soon enough, comedy, drama, music, and tales of derring-do will once again grace our local stages. We will welcome all. Let’s leave our perceived differences and divisions at the door and embrace the whole experience as equals. Let’s exercise our capacity to feel our emotions. That, above all else, makes us human.

Want to participate? Check out our website:

~ Yogi moved to the Tahoe area from Tennessee after vacationing here in 2008. Much of that time, including currently, he has lived in Incline Village. For 11 years, Yogi has been employed by IVGID, and in recent years has been involved with Truckee Community Theater. He is acting in a rendition of The Secret Garden in his photo.


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