ABOUT THE WHOLE BACKSTAGE
Dot Moore, Founding Mother of the Whole Backstage
Born in 1933 in Port Au Prince, Haiti, Dot was of a military family. Her father was a Marine officer, Brigadier General Robert Edward Fojt.
As a Colonial, Fojt served as Commander of the U.S. Marine base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba before Castro came to power. Ironically, his position was the same as the role played by Jack Nicholson in the movie, A Few Good Men and a production staged by the Whole Backstage.
Dot, among her many honors, was named one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th Century in the city of Guntersville. She was the recipient of the Alabama Governor’s Award for Volunteers in the Arts and Humanities in 1988. Dot was the Lake Guntersville Chamber of Commerce 2004 President’s Cup for Lifetime Community Service award winner. Also in 2004 she received The Alabama State Council on the Arts’ Bill Bates Award. The Bates Award is given to someone who has “worked tirelessly in the arts without the thought of reward”. In 2009 Dot received the “The Jonnie Dee Riley Little Lifetime Achievement Award”. This honor represents recognition for one who has devoted a lifetime of service and made vast contributions to the arts in Alabama. It is the
highest honor given to a volunteer by the Alabama Council on the Arts. In 2012 Dot received the “Woman of Distinction” award presented by Girls Scouts of North Central Alabama. Dot has served as President of the Whole Backstage Board of Directors on several occasions and was President of the Mountain Valley Arts Council. But with all the honors bestowed upon Dot, the accomplishment and title she coveted most is what long time WBS member Andy Hunter coined, “The Founding Mother of the Whole Backstage”.
Because of her tireless energy and boundless enthusiasm, the efforts and leadership of Dot Moore, backed by a love for theatre, the Whole Backstage is a proudly acknowledged part of our community.
Director and Board Member of the Whole Backstage
The mission of the Whole Backstage, Inc. is to provide our community and the surrounding areas with a cultural outlet in the live theatre and the performing arts as performers, laborers, crew and audience members. An emphasis is placed on a creative environment in which people may be entertained, engaged and educated.
~ Pen and Ink by Dr. Tim Nichols
The Whole Backstage Purpose
as written by Dot Moore in 1973
The purpose of The Whole Backstage is really contained in a play-on-words of our title. We are a stage. People look at us. We are also a stage in the sense that the whole world is a stage, with each of us watching and learning from others.
We are a back stage because (1) we aren’t really legitimate theatre - we do lots of other things; (2) our building looks like a back stage all over; (3) most of our real learning takes place backstage, or, at least, not in view of a paying audience.
We are a whole because we hope we not only appeal to the whole person, but also because we hope to grow more whole people, and we hope to grow more whole as a group.
Some people also use the word “whole” to mean “hole because our building is like one, and that seems to be how we are comfortable in it.
We are, all put together, a “Whole Backstage” because we are a unit of individuals working together enjoying most times together, learning at all times together: yet we are not pushy about what we are learning. We share it with those who will participate in it, but we do not display even 1/10th of what we are in our plays. We allow participation through hard work, but we do not shove it on people.
Thus, our organization is loose – it accepts and wants everyone’s contribution, whether it is large or small, inept or excellent, because we know the bumbling amateur this year, the child, will be the important, highly contributing member at some time in the future. We allow a place for failure where falling will not hurt too much. And we reward attempts to succeed almost more highly than success.
Over the past 50 years, The Whole Backstage Community Theatre has produced a wide range of quality shows. The WBS is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization. It is the oldest continuously serving community theatre in Alabama and exists solely through the generous support of its patrons.
The Whole Backstage Theatre was originally established as a teen club over 50 years ago as a safe outlet for teenagers when three local youths were killed in a car crash. Our first productions grew out of an effort to provide character-building activities for area youths. The Whole Backstage was incorporated as a tax-exempt corporation in 1985 as our program grew to include adults as well as young people.
The WBS fundamentally encourages participation in theatre and related arts. Special efforts are directed at developing the talents of Marshall County’s youngsters. Many of them have gone on to theatre-related jobs.
The WBS has been supported, in part, by grants from the Marshall County Foundation of Fine Arts and from the Alabama State Arts Council. But the majority of funding has come from the support of the community. The caliber of the participants at the WBS, whether serving on the Board of Directors or simply being an audience member, has contributed greatly to the success of the organization.
The Whole Backstage has always been a completely volunteer organization, supported by a true working Board of Directors with little turnover. Each year we produce main stage productions, youth productions, theatre workshops, and sponsor several community events, using over 15,000 volunteer man-hours. These activities involve over 400 direct participants and audiences totaling over 8,000 people. Our participants and audiences come from Marshall County and across North Alabama.