FRAMINGHAM - On a recent chilly December evening, five people gathered in the cheery Community Room of the Boston Church of Christ on Concord Street. Their mission: to develop a new theater company in Framingham.
The five share a common interest in theater and they have worked together over the years in many different venues with various theater companies. By day, Jaimee Banks is a patient coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital. By night, the Somerville resident serves as president of the newly formed organization.
“All five of us had worked in theater … and then we found each other and now we work together,” Banks said.
Each of the founders brings their own expertise to the collective. Matthew Jacobs of Hopkinton is a freelance musician. Jill Mack of Framingham is a dancer, a choreographer and an accountant who specializes in nonprofit organizations.
Grafton resident Peter Allia, who works in the automotive field, has worked on set design and construction on numerous productions throughout the state. He also handles the technical requirements of sound and lighting. Rachel Baril of Framingham works as an administrative assistant, and is also an artist, actor and designer.
Different backgrounds and different skills, but this common thread - their love of theater and their desire to create something new - has brought them all together. And so A Common Thread Theatre Company was born.
Their goals are high. The theater company aims to utilize the diverse talent in Framingham and beyond, and to make theater affordable for all audiences. They plan to bring great theater experience and training to the youth of their communities by establishing a summer theater camp.
On this particular evening there is music, there is singing, there is planning and there is plenty of laughter. What is the hardest part of starting a new theater company?
“Taking the leap!” said Baril. The group had toyed with the idea of starting their own theater company for some time, and then came a moment when they realized they had all they really needed. “We are here. We have the people who know what to do,” Baril said.
That said, the Common Thread Theatre Company is putting out a call out for community involvement. There are many ways to get involved with the company and volunteers are needed at all levels. In addition to performers, volunteers are needed behind the scenes to help with marketing, selling tickets, set building, among other tasks. As a nonprofit group, donations are always welcome.
Common Thread’s first production, slated for January, will be a fundraiser. “The Last Five Years” is a musical written by Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist, Jason Robert Brown.
Jacobs, the show’s musical director, noted that Jason Robert Brown is one of the more profound musical composers of the last 25 years. His music is demanding and requires a wide vocal range.
“The Last Five Years” tells the story of a couple’s relationship and marriage over a five-year time span. The structure of the musical is not traditional. Jamie, the man, recounts their story chronologically beginning with their affair. Cathy’s retelling begins with the end of their marriage and proceeds backward through time. They meet midway through the play.
“The Last Five Years”
WHEN: Jan. 18-19 and 26-27, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Dennison Memorial Auditorium, Boston Church of Christ, 214 Concord St., Framingham
INFO: 508-834-4682; www.ACommonThreadtheater.org/box-office