Pentacle Theatre is part of my story.
Will you continue to tell Pentacle’s story with a year-end gift?

Like many of you, I have struggled with not fitting in, not knowing what my story should be, or who I should become. Most of you will remember that your life contains certain chapters where you find yourself and start making your stamp on the world. High school was one of those chapters for me.

However, my struggle at McNary High School in Keizer was difficult for a number of reasons: mental illness combined with poor self-esteem and discomfort with my culture and race prevented me from feeling confident in my own skin, and presenting myself to the world.

Theater was my saving grace.

There was no magic moment when high school theater took over my fear, my isolation, or my depression – theater just wove itself around the imperfect parts of my life without solving anything. The difference was that theater gave those imperfect parts a purpose. Whether in the audience or on stage, I was able to channel myself into the story and find significance in my own experience.

Sadly, it all didn’t end up the way I had dreamed.

Ten years after high school, things were not unicorns and rainbows. I was afraid that this was going to be my only story:

  • an incomplete college degree
  • one divorce
  • two children
  • no job

After the dust settled on the plot twists and missed opportunities of my life, I found myself surrounded again by those familiar feelings of inadequacy. I fell victim to the belief that my story ought to end.

Wonderfully, Pentacle was just about to become part of my story.

By some miracle, Pentacle Theatre was there for me. One day, I found myself in the Pentacle lobby for an audition. I was over-caffeinated, nervous as I’ve ever been, convincing myself that, yes, I still could act – that my life experience thus far was still worth at least a bit part in the background. Instead of a bit part, I was offered the role of Lady Macbeth.

Pentacle was becoming part of my story.
Will you continue to tell Pentacle’s story with a year-end gift?

I didn’t think I could do it. Feeling like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, I kept showing up to rehearsal. Because others at Pentacle believed in me, slowly, week after week, I found my confidence and strength.

Then, I began to believe in myself. I believed it when I said Lady Macbeth’s powerful words, …Screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we’ll not fail.”

To this day, Pentacle’s Macbeth is my favorite theatrical experience. That show allowed me to find myself in a way that nothing but theater could. More roles followed, both at Pentacle and other theaters. Because Pentacle and Lady Macbeth came at just the right time in my life, Pentacle will always be a piece of my home, a part of my family, and the reason I am here, fighting to tell my story with confidence.

Now, I want to ask you to continue this story. There are others out there that need Pentacle Theatre the way that I needed it. Maybe you’re one of them.

  • There are actors who need to find their voice.
  • There are stories that need to be told.
  • There are audiences that need be transformed by what they witness on stage.

For every unsure high school student, self-doubting artist, loyal audience member who comes to laugh, cry and grow with each story we tell, we need places like Pentacle Theatre where stories can thrive.

It doesn’t come cheap. Quality community theater costs money. There are stages to be built, costumes to be made, lights to shine, the list goes on and on. The stories that need to be told and experienced all come at a premium. You are the one we turn to support this work, especially at this time of year. You are the “community” in community theater.

My story – like yours and like Pentacle’s – is far from over. Thank you, in advance, for being a part of the Pentacle story by supporting it with a year end gift.

 

Sincerely,

Claire Elise Snyder

 

P.S. Your donation is so important! You can make a secure online donation here. And…one more thing, be sure to come see me and an amazing cast in Pentacle’s Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at the Elsinore, January 3-5.