Volunteers are the ‘stars’

Christine June
415th Base Support Battalion

***image1***(Editor’s Note: This is the first of a three-part series on KMC volunteers highlighting National Volunteer Week, April 18 to 24.)

Lights, action…STOP! Where are the volunteers? No volunteers? No show.
Luckily, the show goes on in the KMC thanks to volunteers who act, paint, build and help with lights, makeup and backstage work for the 415th Base Support Battalion’s KMC Onstage and the 435th Services Squadron’s Razz-Ma-Tazz Family Theater.
Keeping the shows going are volunteers like David Schwab, senior Army instructor, Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, Baumholder American High School, and Kevin Eager, an art instructor at Ramstein Youth Center.
Both are volunteering with Razz-Ma-Tazz’s current production of “Pinocchio,” playing at the Ramstein Community Center. Mr. Schwab portrays “Geppetto,” and Mr. Eager applied his artistic talents to bring “Stromboli’s” circus and “Geppetto’s” workshop to life.
“If I have something to put forth, that’s a good thing, and with my art, I can see a satisfaction in it,” said Mr. Eager, who has a Fine Arts Degree from the Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond. “I can see an immediate response from the audience and the fact that I am helping with the production makes it all worth it.”
“I volunteer for theater because it’s what I do,” said Mr. Schwab, who has volunteered for theater groups in this area for eight years, including Razz-Ma-Tazz and KMC Onstage. “I enjoy doing theater, and there’s a lot of people who get involved in these programs because they’re discovering theater and how much fun it is so they are showing up to build sets, act and things they like to do.”
All theater volunteers are “stars” to the KMC Onstage entertainment director and the Razz-Ma-Tazz Family Theater’s producer and director.
“Volunteers are not just important to me and to KMC Onstage; they are critical and vital as in ‘could not have a program without them,’” said Laurie Ellington, entertainment director, KMC Onstage, 415th BSB. “Anyone who has ever been involved in a theater production knows that it takes many, many people with a huge variety of talents to make it happen.
“If I had to do everything, the show would literally not go on,” said Mrs. Ellington, who has worked professionally in theatres in Boston and New York. “So volunteers are not just important to KMC Onstage, they are KMC Onstage.”
The Razz-Ma-Tazz’s Producer and Director, Paula Fairbrother, agrees and encourages KMC members to become theater volunteers.
“Especially with Razz-Ma-Tazz, we don’t care if you’ve never done any acting or backstage work before,” said Ms. Fairbrother, who has been with Razz-Ma-Tazz since it originated in 1998, first as a volunteer and then as the producer in 1999. “Volunteering for theater has a way of developing talents that people never thought they had, and it’s just a really great place to come and explore who you are and try new things and be really successful at it.”
Theater volunteers in the KMC are making sure the show goes on. Razz-Ma-Tazz’s “Pinocchio” finishes its run this weekend at the Ramstein Community Center. Shows begin at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday.
To volunteer for KMC Onstage, call 483-1790 or 0631-411-1790. For Razz-Ma-Tazz Family Theater, call the Ramstein Community Center at 480-6600 or 06371-47-6600.