A few Thursdays ago, I started the day off as usual by eating oatmeal and practicing yoga with Travis Kendrick at 8am, which is the only way I’ve found to start a day off right!
Then it was on to staging twenty pages of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. This could have turned into a director’s nightmare, because it requires the entire company to shear sheep, dance, frolic and carouse — staging which needs everyone to give over any preconceived ideas of how it should be done. But all went smoothly, since this current cry of players are willing to jump through any hoops to bring about that always strived for, but never achieved, absolute perfection.
Then, it was off to APSU to do nothing but act. Being a tool of so competent a theatrician as Lisa Conklin-Bishop is bliss: no plumbing woes, dead light bulbs, torn costumes, or unwell actors to think about, just to act.
Afterward, it was back to begin a program for Ann Waddle’s Title I Learning Center. My eyes welled up more than once when loving parents with precious children came out on a cold winter’s night to aid their children and themselves in discovering what theatre is all about. More than anything else, we strive to engage an audience, bring new faces in, and hopefully have them come back. There’s the rub and the challenge, to have them be bitten by the theatre bug, which only repetition of the bite assuages and affirms healing.
I left that place of bliss with humility and gratitude to drive by night to West Creek High School to witness an amazing, yet simply produced and executed production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Director Rob Silvers has never disappointed this theatregoer. I was impressed with a production last season of Twelve Angry People, which was double-, if not triple-cast and performed in the school’s foyer as a theatre-in-the-round presentation. For The Crucible, our own Amy Wyer recreated the role she had played here some years ago. The lead was taken by her brother, Austin.
I sat with Amy and Austin’s parents. The pleasure and pride they exuded while witnessing the accomplishments of their offspring was palpable and endearing. Such experiences put me in mind to miss my own parents who may have, without my knowing it, felt the same when seeing me tread the boards as a young performer so many, many years ago.
The Red Badge of Courage has three final performances: tonight at 8pm and Saturday at 2pm and 8pm. At tomorrow’s matinee, we will present the annual Monte Awards, named in honor of Mrs. George L. “Monte” Narber, longtime supporter and friend of the Roxy.
We collected $175 for Project F.U.E.L. on the closing night of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, $127 for Manna Café during The Winter’s Tale, $78 for Loaves and Fishes with Gross Indecency, and this Saturday night we will collect funds for the Fort Campbell USO.
See you at the theatre!