Things in a community that are somewhat of a secret, but still represent something unique and enjoyable are often called "hidden gems." Two weekends ago I was first row for one of our area's hidden gems. It was a performance of "Twelve Angry Men" at the Boal Barn Playhouse in Boalsburg.
I had never heard of the playhouse or the State College Community Theatre A colleague of mine wrote up a glowing review of the show, the cast, and the group in her blog. It didn't take much to sway me into going. I didn't know what to expect, but I was excited. It's one of my favorite plays.
The Boal Barn Playhouse is not just a clever name. It's literally situated in an old, renovated barn. You buy tickets in the silo and walk into a barn with no more than 100 seats circling a floor—the stage. I showed up a half hour before show time and got a great seat—and keep in mind that there really isn't a bad seat in the house.
The bad news, "Twelve Angry Men" is done. The good news, it was the first of six shows this summer. The next show, "Mrs. McThing," starts on June 8 at 8:00 p.m. I suggest you check it out. If it's anything like "Twelve Angry Men," it'll be startlingly enjoyable and downright impressive. The actors—who are doing this stuff for fun—are as professional and passionate as they get. It was an intense experience sitting a few feet away from the powerful performances of the 12 local actors.
I am looking forward to future shows. It's a great way to support local theatre, but it's also a cheap, enjoyable way to spend an evening. It's one of those hidden gems you can tell your out-of-town friends about. And it's right here in Happy Valley.