Winter is a time to hibernate, nest, get cozy, stay indoors, where it is toasty and warm. 

For those not taking part in snow sports this time of year, the Keizer and Salem area offers entertainment of a more cerebral kind: live theater.

The Salem Theatre Network (STN) is an alliance of 13 organizations that promotes life theatre in the mid-Willamette Valley region. Members of STN include Pentacle Theatre, Enlightened Theatrics and our own Keizer Homegrown Theatre. Each of the theatre companies offer shows with casts that include our friends and neighbors.

These are 13 antidotes to “there’s nothing to do around here.” Locally, Keizer Homegrown Theatre will kick off its 2020 season on Friday Feb. 14, with Love, Loss and What I Wore, by Nora and Delia Ephron, at its theatre in the Keizer Cultural Center. Winter is the weak time for new movies, but a strong time for live theater in the area.

Many first-time theater audiences ask themselves why they didn’t go sooner. The offerings include everything from drama to comedy to suspense, and sometimes musicals. Most times tickets to local theater production are less than tickets to whatever is showing at a cineplex. Aside from the thrill of live theater is the joy of spending less money for an evening’s entertainment.

Appearing in the coming weeks are such diverse shows as First Date, a musical, staged by Enlighted Theatrics at Salem’s Grand Theater; Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express at Pentacle Theatre; Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. at Willamette University’s M. Lee Pelton Theatre and Midsummer, a play with adult themes at Verona Studio in Salem’s Reed Opera House.

Art should make one think, laugh or cry. There are things to do in the Keizer and Salem area in the doldrums of winter and one of those things is live theater, passionately staged by local people who only want to create and entertain.

— LAZ