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News > Theater production to take stage at Dover
Theater production to take stage at Dover

Posted 10/12/2010   Updated 10/12/2010 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Matthew Hubby
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

10/12/2010 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- Two Airmen have taken the plunge to bring something different to Dover Air Force Base, Del.

Senior Airman Christopher Long, 436th Maintenance Squadron crew chief, and Airman 1st Class Matt Bazurto, 436th Logistic Readiness Squadron Individual Protection Equipment journeyman, have come together as director and assistant director for the stage play "Arsenic and Old Lace."

These Airmen have been working with Frank Russo, 436th Force Support Squadron Community Center director, to get the production off the ground.

"I'd really like to see this be an all Airmen production," said Mr. Russo. "During the night of Air Mobility Command Icon, I realized we had a lot of talent on base. I wanted to find another venue for Airmen to express their talent, and a theater production seemed to be the best way to go about that."

There are more than 30 slots to fill for cast and crew though official auditions don't begin until mid-January. Crew positions can be filled at any time, and many more are needed to get this play off the ground. They held a production meeting Oct. 14 at 3:30 at the base theater.

"We are looking to run the show late February or early March," said Airman Long. "Two or three nights of shows, maybe two or three shows a night, we really want people who have a passion for this to come and join us."

Both Airman Long and Airman Bazurto have prior experience in the acting field. Airman Long has acted in about 30 musicals in the past 10 years, and is currently working towards a degree in theater education. Airman Bazurto led an improvisional troop - actors who make things up as they go along - of about 10 members, and is currently working on a bachelor of fine arts with as a theater major.

"If this play is successful, and it will be, we would really like to make it a yearly production," said Mr. Russo. "This is really a labor of love. My goal for this show is to get the Airmen active and involved in this project, get them out of the dorms and onto the stage."

"This is about the Airmen showing their talent. It's a group effort, everyone on the stage and behind the scenes," he said.

The production is historic for Dover AFB. It will be the first theater production put on by Dover Airmen, and the first theater production in the AMC.

"I am absolutely ecstatic about this production," said Airmen Bazurto. "To create something that hasn't been done before and bring more people into it, that is my greatest passion. I originally wanted to act in the production, but I took the assistant director role to open that experience for another. It will be fun to watch all our actors grow into their characters."

Airman Bazurto wasn't the only one given the opportunity to take his talent to the stage.

"When Mr. Russo originally pitched the idea to me he asked if I wanted to act or direct," said Airman Long. "I was really tempted to act, but realized that a director was needed, someone who knew about the theater. So I decided I would take that role instead. When this play is done, and the audience is applauding, we'll look back on all the work we did knowing that we got this play to be a great success."

The production's goal is to open the door to future productions and possibly new programs for theater.

"I live in the dorms, and I hear Airmen say there is nothing to do at Dover," said Airmen Bazurto. "This will be the perfect opportunity for them to get out and get more involved. This is going to be a huge success, and this production is a doorway to other productions, other programs for Airmen to get involved in."

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