Cullman Magazine Fall 2018 - Page 17

The first community theatre pro- duction was Music Man, with a cast of 50 ranging in ages from 5 to 70. Another 25 people were involved in backstage work, which leads to several points Cook conveys when it comes to theatre or the arts in general. “There’s more to a production than acting or dancing or singing,” Cook said. “It opens the door to a lot of tal- ents. You need lighting, props, which take skill to build, costumes and many other aspects that make a production come alive.” Beyond opening the door to in- volvement, Cook is adamant that the arts is a valuable piece of a commu- nity’s character and appeal. “The arts is physical activity for the soul. It’s a place to express yourself and share emotions,” Cook said. “I believe the arts is the last link to building this community, to reaching the potential that so many people are wanting to see. Investors ask a lot about a community, Wayne Cook with his wife, Robin, and son, Carter. and one thing they want to know is about the arts. What do you offer?” With community theatre on his plate, Cook is hoping that companies in the area will step up to contribute to the longevity of the arts in the community. “That’s why you see it strong in oth- er areas, because of that support,” Cook said. “I want to help get it established and see it thrive, because it will benefit a lot of the people and all of the area.” Even with the challenge of establish- ing an enduring community theatre program, Cook wants to keep his focus on students, raising new generations of talent that will bring forward the ap- preciation and experience, and do their part in building a stronger place to live. “My priority is still the students and having a theatre program that benefits them and the community. I work with a lot of great people who make this happen, and I think we will all come out well for having this part of the arts in our lives,” Cook said. Cullman magazine | FALL 2018 17