Actor reciting his lines on a sofa while other actors rehearsing in the background

Actor reciting his lines on a sofa while other actors rehearsing in the background ()

Volunteering can be such a fulfilling activity. It provides much-needed services in areas as well as providing volunteers an opportunity to give back, meet new people and learn new skills. Volunteering is especially important in the military community because the community is always moving and changing, and volunteer organizations can provide some stability and greatly needed resources. Every other month, we will be highlighting a new organization or event for those who are looking to learn more about the services and resources available to them as well as for those who are looking to give back to the community.

This month we are featuring on-post community theaters. I interviewed Carly Costa from USAG Ansbach’s Terrace Playhouse, and she shared some insights into what it is like to volunteer with the theater.

Carly “kind of happened” into volunteering for the theatre when she called just over a year ago for tickets to the “Rocky Horror” shadow show, and instead of getting tickets, found herself stage managing the show. For this year’s “Rocky Horror” show she not only got to stage manage but also participated as “lead heckler.” For those unfamiliar with the show, the audience plays a central role by throwing things and shouting phrases at certain times throughout the movie. Aside from “Rocky Horror,” she also had the privilege of working on an all-soldier cast series of one-acts about and by WWII soldiers, “Ten-Hut! An All Soldier Show.” She also mentioned that they have recently started a Drama Club for kids in 6th-12th grades.

When asked about the rewarding aspects of volunteering with a community theater, Carly replied, “seeing the people on stage just shine because some of them are people that are like ‘oh I just want to help with props’ or ‘I haven’t done this before.” She told the story of a Chinook pilot who is also a professional drummer being stifled creatively by apartment living while next door to an infant. Carly compared seeing him do what he loves on stage by volunteering in the house band to “seeing a child on Christmas get the toy that they wanted.” She noted that volunteers can gain “the satisfaction of being part of a community...[doing] this really engages something different.”

However, working with a constantly shifting (and let’s be honest, PCS’ing) group of volunteers, can be hard. If acting, singing or dancing isn’t your thing, you can still help with future shows. Terrace Playhouse is always looking for volunteers and no experience is required. They always need help building props (which, she promises is not power-tool heavy). They actually just had a prop person dedicated to hot-gluing extra pieces of fabric to Riff-Raff’s costume for “Rocky Horror.” They also need people to be ushers and to help organize props and the costume room between shows.

Those interested in volunteering at Terrace Playhouse can go to their Facebook page,, call MWR at 09802831780, or go to a show, or as Carly described them, “ a really great reality escape.”

For those in the Stuttgart area, if you are interested in learning more about the on-base Stuttgart Community Theatre, go to to learn about their upcoming shows and volunteering opportunities.

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