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Independent Voice

A Thriving Community Theater

Apr 25, 2024 04:32PM ● By Abel Cornejo, artistic director
Members of the Dixon Community Theater are L-R Kelly Pideon James, Abel Cornejo, Cheryl Sommers, Robert Williams, Janice Ferrero, Bridget O'Flaherty, Russell Woods, Sachi Denison-Woods, Angel Gatchel, John MacKenzie, and Brian P.B. Sizemore. Courtesy photo


DIXON, CA (MPG) - In the heart of Dixon, the revival of community theater has sparked not only the return of seasoned performers but also the blossoming of new talents. ‘Murder Mystery at the Dixon Manor,’ presented by the Dixon Community Theater, serves as a poignant testament to the enduring impact of local theater on our town's cultural fabric.

Janice Ferrio, a supporter of Dixon's theatrical history, reflects on her journey from the inception of the first Dixon Community Theater in the 1970’s to its triumphant return today.

"A true example of history repeating itself!" she exclaims with a twinkle in her eye. For Janice, this revival isn't just about rekindling old memories; it's about fostering new connections and nurturing Dixon's artistic soul.

Robert Williams, whose roots in Dixon theater stretch back to the first DCT, embodies the spirit of perseverance and community building.

“I was surprised by the number of people in support of our little company. I feared that only a few would show up to our initial community meeting, but attendees outnumbered the capacity of the room. New people continued to show up at each meeting we've held,” he said.

His involvement in reviving the Dixon Community Theater underscores a shared vision of enriching Dixon's cultural landscape. Through challenges and triumphs alike, Robert remains steadfast in his belief that Dixon's theater scene can thrive with the support of its residents.

Angel Gatchel, a newcomer to the stage, represents the fresh energy infusing Dixon's theatrical revival.

"I felt this was a great way to get out in my community and try new things," she said, sharing her contagious enthusiasm. As she embodies her character, Audrey Greystone, Angel finds unexpected parallels between herself and the role, demonstrating the transformative power of theater to illuminate aspects of our own identities.

But the impact of community theater extends far beyond the stage. Angel's daughter, inspired by her mother's newfound passion, eagerly explores her own artistic interests. "I hope to get my child involved more as well," Angel beams, highlighting the ripple effect of artistic expression within families and the wider community.

For Janice, Robert, and Angel alike, the experience of ‘Murder Mystery at the Dixon Manor’ has been nothing short of transformative.

"Theater enriches lives, builds self-confidence, and puts smiles on faces," Janice reflects, her words echoing the sentiment shared by all who have found solace and joy in the embrace of the stage.

As the curtains rise on Dixon's theatrical renaissance, one thing is clear: the spirit of community, creativity, and camaraderie burns brighter than ever before.

In the words of Angel, "Don’t think about trying new things. Just get out there and do it." And in doing so, we write the next chapter of Dixon's vibrant artistic legacy.

The next auditions for the presentation, ‘Dreamland’ will be Tuesday, April 30 and Wednesday, May 1 both from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Hall, 1305 North First Street.

Dreamland is a modernized version of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with the added fun of a Vaudevillian-style variety show.  Music, dance, and comedy acts will be woven into the classic plot of star-crossed lovers and mischievous fairies. Casting will be for all ages including children. Show dates will be June 14-16 and 21-23. For more information, email [email protected].

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