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Adventures of the Theatre Folk Hunter.

In tiny Sullivan, Illinois, there aren’t very many things to do in the summer. Tourists attractions in our quiet, little town include Pamida, CVS, and the very grand McDonald’s. With all of these hotspots, you would think that it couldn’t be possible to get bored in Sullyhood. Yet every year, towards the beginning of the summer, I find myself looking for new forms of entertainment. Out of this boredom, spotting theatre people was born.

Theatre people: Actors/Dancers that come to the Little Theatre on the Square for the whole summer or for certain parts to perform in musicals.

In the beginning of the summer, you will undoubtedly find theatre people roaming the streets of Sullivan. Some might ask how it is so obvious that they work for the theatre. But if you pay attention, there are ALWAYS key signs that give their occupation away.

For example, they are constantly carrying a bag. This bag is usually a tote or a satchel and always looks like it is filled to the brim with whatever musical theatre nonsense they carry. You might think that a lot of people carry bags and that not only theatre folk would be holding a satchel. But, it is not only the bag. It is a combination of the bag PLUS a few other elements.

If you spot a person carrying a satchel, immediately look at their wardrobe to find out if they are actually a person from the theatre, or just some unsuspecting pedestrian. The wardrobe varies but is usually the exact same. The first thing you will notice is that they are wearing a tight shirt. Usually the shirt will have a logo from a musical on it. If a guy is wearing a tight, green, Wicked tee shirt, he is probably an actor. The pants are almost always the same. It is either a pair of sweatpants rolled or scrunched up to look like capris or a pair of athletic shorts. When it comes to shoes, it can get tricky. Most of the time, they will be wearing a pair of really worn out athletic shoee, but occcasionally dressy shoes. I haven’t figured out why they woul want to wear dress shoes around Sullivan, but a lot of things they do seems a little odd compared to the people around here. 

Some other tiny details that may help you spot theatre folk include the following:

  • Water bottles. They usually carry around a bottle of water or a simple metal water bottle.


  • Accessories. Although they just got done with an eight hour practice, they will probably be wearing a scarf or necklace of some sort. They don’t care that it is ninety degrees outside; scarves are a yearly accesory for theatre folk.


  • Baseball caps. This is an occasional accessory that I believe is just keep sweaty hair under control.

These people may seeem odd around Sullivan, but every single theatre person I have met has been caring and kind-hearted. They are talented and make this town look good. But when compared to Dollar General, Pamida makes Sullivan look good. Good luck in your “theatre people spotting” ventures.


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