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Background photo by Greg Hinson

At the time, state government was financially strapped and they didn’t know how to care for the properties that they possessed throughout the Commonwealth. They were looking for public-private partnerships to do that. They were looking for someone to take these buildings, restore them, and take care of the property. Cape Rep Theatre fit their profile:
a nonprofit, community-based group looking for a home. We submitted the bill in September and it passed a few months later. Governor Weld signed it in January 1991. We opened the Outdoor Theatre in summer of 1992 and played there in the evenings, then performed at the Old Sea Pines Inn during the winter. We moved to our Indoor Theatre in 1997.

• • •

It’s the collaborative nature of theatre that draws me in. It’s everyone working together toward a common goal. In the sense of time, the goal is opening night. But in a sense of what you accomplish, it’s the art form itself—it’s whether you’re successful telling the story that you set out to tell with all of the people that are involved . . . I attended a lot of theatre and worked at a summer stock as a kid, but I was never involved in theatre as an occupation until I moved to the Cape.

At the Outdoor Theatre, we can fit 350 people. In the Indoor Theatre, we have 129 seats. The feeling you get during a full house is extra special—you’re seeing a critical mass of people all engaged at the same time in the same enterprise. The reaction to whatever is onstage is bigger. The moment has its own life. To me, for all of the people that are there, that means that their experience is one of total connection as a group. The laughter is bigger. Your emotions are engaged and your mind is ticking along because you’re all thinking about the same joke, the same statement, the same story. It wouldn’t be the same if you were the only person in the place.

• • •

There’s something extreme about the tide going out a little further in Brewster than any other place—something about the stretched out nature of this town makes it feel a bit more undeveloped than other towns I’ve been in. I don’t even know if that’s a true statement, it just feels that way. We have a lot of open space here—Nickerson State Park, the Punkhorn Parklands, that we all worked so hard to acquire—that it’s created a sense of open space and history that has its own unique character. I love coming back here. It took a long time, but it feels like home.

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Jeff is the Managing Editor for Cape Cod Life Publications.

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