Tonight we got to go to the Bridge Theater after all. It turns out that the theater on the bridge really was closed (because the bridge itself was declared unsafe), but the theater moved to another location nearby.
The new location is bizarre. It is a porch added to an old warehouse, and covered with a tin roof. It is so small that there are only seats for 30 in the audience. Libby and I sat only 18 inches from the state. That made it wonderful for amateur theater. In amateur theater, the audience develops great rapport and empathy with the actors and actresses. That was intensified by the intimate setting.
We walked down to the theater with some new boat friends that we met here yesterday. The play was entitled "Champlain Onward." It was historical fiction about Whitehall. It started with Samuel de Champlain himself, and leading up to the present. The most interesting part was about the revolution and the many exploits of our local hero Benedict Arnold. Most Americans know only enough history to remember Arnold as a traitor, but before his betrayal he was an enormously successful general.
As the play started, I was shocked to see smoke rising. "Surely," I thought, "nobody would smoke in here." It was steam from the breath of the actors. That shows how chilly and exposed this theater was. Near the end of the play it began to rain really hard, so the cast of the show had to raise their voices even louder than normal to compete with the din of the rain on the tin roof right above our heads.
The show was delightful and we are really glad that we went. I also learned how badly I butchered the history of Ticonderoga in a blog post last week. I just went back and repaired it; something I don't normally do.
All together, Whitehall is one of the most culturally rich places we've found on the East Coast. It has Skene Mansion (which was part of the subject of today's play) and the Skenesboro museum which is a real jewel, and it has the Bridge Theater. I suppose Charleston SC has a lot more but Whitehall is a tiny town of 2,600 people.