I recently had the good fortune to talk with Joshua Searle-White, the MCT Board Vice President. Josh has written and performed shows for the theater, including two one man plays. How does a person have such energy and creativity? For Josh, it is to make the experience that only live theater can provide.
How did you get into theater?
I started in 4th grade with a star turn as the King of the Flying Monkeys in The Wizard of Oz. Later I played in pit orchestras, and then in college I took up puppetry and performed with a small puppet theater for a while. My daughters Rachel and Emily had great experiences with MCT when they were growing up, and performing at MCT myself came as a natural next step.
Why did you get into playwrighting?
It allows me to use my creative energy through theater. I also love the ability to work with others in developing a show and enabling it to become real.
How many plays have you written?
Three. My first was The Weekend Workshop, then Truth Out last year. Both were one person shows performed by me. My latest, It’s Not All About Sex (Or Is It?) was just directed and performed by Allegheny students at MCT.
Do you have any favorite shows or performers?
One of my favorite theater experiences was a performance of Servant of Two Masters done at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It was filled with clever wordplay and physical comedy, which are two of my favorite things. I was fortunate to play Billy Flynn in Chicago a few years back at MCT, and despite its breathtaking cynicism, I really enjoyed that show. As far as performers, I would have to say James Corden. He is amazing in everything he does, and you cannot take your eyes off of him when he is on stage or on screen.
What do think is special about MCT?
It is a true community theater. It allows local people to participate in all the creative aspects of staging shows. I’m particularly grateful to MCT for supporting me when I proposed my first show and for supporting other local playwrights. The Oddfellows space is also so intimate that it allows showgoers to really connect with actors and become readily transported in their minds. This is the real essence of theater.