A sock is a shoe and a shoe is a boot. But together, the two have consolidated their names in the arts and now in a new theater company based in Central County.
Gregg Baptista, the treasurer of the new group called the Sock & Buskin Theater Company, said the new community company is taking a “collaborative approach” to the arts.
Sock & Buskin Theater Company is “a 100% voluntary organization” that “builds a community for people who love theater,” Baptista said.
For the company’s president, Stefanie Austin, “theater is like a family to people” that creates an environment in which community members can collaborate and share the same passions that were important to her. when joining Sock & Buskin.
Austin formed the company, which operates primarily at State College and Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, with several others in 2022.
“You can be your true self, express yourself and spend time with a diverse group of people, and it becomes your community,” Austin said. “We want to encourage that and involve more people.”
Aside from bringing together local actors and crew members, Sock & Buskin strives to “involve the community” by bringing in “local talent and vendors,” Austin said.
In fact, Sock & Buskin’s debut show in May, “Sibbleger,” was written by local playwright David L. Williams, who lives in Bellefonte.
“I never realized there were these great playwrights next door,” Baptista said. “There’s a huge amount of talent in this area that we want to take advantage of.”
With a show under the company ‘s belt, Secretary Kari Williamson said “here [has been] good audience involvement, ”and is“ excited ”by the upcoming shows that are being planned.
Sock & Buskin is welcoming new members and “recruiting a lot of production staff” for their upcoming fall shows “Sin-ergy” and “Cutthroat Christmas,” Austin said.
Encouraging members of the state community and Bellefonte to join, Austin said the company will find a place for anyone in their job, even if one “[doesn’t] know where to start “.
To support this process, Sock & Buskin plans to offer a “shadowing role,” Austin said.
During this process, stakeholders would have the opportunity to learn different features of a theater, including lighting and audio, he said.
Along with the idea of establishing a learning environment, Austin said there are more things behind the Sock & Buskin name, as it is the nickname for the famous “comedy and tragedy masks,” often associated with theater.
Going back to the era of ancient Greek traditional theater, “comic actors wore a sock-like shoe,” while “tragic actors wore a boot called a buskin,” Austin said when describing the story behind those nicknames.
“We like history and history,” Austin said. “Besides, we didn’t want to draw [the name] to a specific city just because we didn’t know where our journey would take us ”.
Going back to the roots of theater is a theme that runs through Sock & Buskin, according to Baptista, guiding its participants toward their passions for theater.
“I did theater in high school and college, and I came back there recently, so it’s kind of nice that this came up, and I was able to get involved when I was excited,” Baptista said.
Williamson agreed with those sentiments, saying “everything [her] the experience of the theater had been since [she] he was younger ”and that this year has been“ refreshing ”to do so as a mature person.
Whether it’s going back to a cherished passion or having a new experience to delve into, Austin said Sock & Buskin has proven to create an environment that gives local support and offers new forms of theater.
“We really want it to be a positive thing for everyone involved,” Baptista said, “to make this place a place that is a positive experience for people who foster and foster their love of theater and acting.”
MORE NEIGHBORHOOD COVERAGE