By LISA CAPOBIANCO
When local residents Amanda Savio and Heidi Bass-Lamberto are not taking care of their children at home or at work, they act, direct, or produce shows at Southington Community Theater.
Heidi also serves as president for the non-profit organization while Amanda serves as the publicity chair for the group. Although both Amanda and Heidi have busy schedules, they cannot imagine their lives without the theater, which has produced shows for almost 60 years.
“It’s the part of my life that is for me, and I love it,” Amanda said. “The theater helps you grow in positive ways,” Heidi said. “You learn how to work with people.”
Heidi said Southington Community Theater has faced financial obstacles for many years. Amanda said this season is “a make or break” for them, since there is a lack of funds for the productions. The group has worked together carefully to plan a season of shows that will help produce funds for future shows, and its members encourage the community to get involved.
“Every person that decides to get involved with SCT makes our group stronger,” Amanda said. “We are thrilled if people can offer even an afternoon to help us build our sets, but certainly welcome those who want to get involved in a greater capacity.”
The organization welcomes all members of the community to join—even people who have no experience in theater productions. Between selling tickets and building sets, volunteers have a number of job titles to choose from. A single membership costs $12, and the organization also invites local businesses to help sponsor a show. Tickets per show cost between $12 and $15. Amanda said any support the theater receives from the community will help plan for future shows.
“People are often surprised at how much it costs to put up a production, but after paying for rights, custodial fees for the schools, costumes, scripts, props—it adds up,” Amanda said. “[SCT] has been a part of the Southington community for almost 60 years, and it would be heartbreaking to see it go away.”
The Southington Community Theater began in 1956 when the Drama Group of the Southington Woman’s Club staged “Goodbye My Fancy” and then “Jane” in 1957. According to SCT’s website, the idea of community theater sprouted when members of the Woman’s Club organized funds to continue productions. Since then, the theater became the first non-professional group to produce “My Fair Lady,” and according to a previous readers’ poll stated in the Hartford Advocate, readers of that publication voted the theater as the third best place to see community theater in Hartford County.
“The impact that SCT has had on my life cannot be overstated,” Amanda said. “There are so many creative and artistic people in town who have found SCT to be a wonderful creative outlet.”
The theater is also a part of Heidi’s family. Heidi has a passion for acting, and so do her children. She grew up near the theater and became an understudy for a role in its production of “Oliver.” Her husband Tony also loves the stage, and now serves as vice president of the theater and as director. He will direct the theater’s next production, “Steel Magnolias,” in December.
“I’ve watched [the theater] grow,” Heidi said. “I don’t want to see it come to an end.”
Anyone who wishes to get involved in Southington Community Theater can contact Amanda Savio at firstname.lastname@example.org