Alice Cortner, Longtime Roxy and Shakespeare Supporter, Will Be Missed

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on March 1, 2013

Now I know how Carson on “Downton Abbey” feels when supervising service at Highclere Castle. My dogs were dead tired, but our “Martinis with Patsy” fun-raiser was a rip-roaring success. Fire & Ice Catering offered up high-end comestibles with martinis (thanks to Horace Heggie of Pal’s Package Store, who provided the makings), while some preferred Beachaven wine instead (thank you, Ed and Louisa Cooke). And, of course, there was punch for those who don’t imbibe. Martinis flowed, allowing serious conversations to turn to witty banter and joviality.

Alice Cortner left this vale of tears on February 12 without much ado. She went like we all hope to, in a flash, here with us one moment and with her maker the next.

I’ve no idea how many lives she touched over all the years as an educator at Clarksville High, as well as at The Clarksville Academy. She did much more than just touch mine; she brought scads of Academy students and their parents to a great number of special Monday evening performances. Knowing how important theatre is to a complete education, she filled our house by encouraging attendance. She packed the auditorium and, in doing so, made the theatre’s mortgage payment each month.

After retiring, Alice was still a regular theatregoer. That seat on the aisle, halfway down on the left, was where she sat, always with various other ladies who were regular theatregoers or those to whom she introduced this art form.

I shall miss her. Our visits were not always frequent, but they were always insightful. Her respect for our Shakespeare productions was phenomenal, and she showed her support in housing performers. Alice helped us bring quality actors, including the late Dr. Lew Tatham and his literary wife, Gerry, along with Joe Sonenshein, by offering them hospitable digs with an intelligent and affable hostess. I miss her but know she is putting good words in for us from the other side.

Romeo & Juliet is in rehearsal. This is our fourth go-round in producing this Shakespearean classic.

We’ve produced the plays attributed to Mr. Shakespeare since 1986, and we continue to be and are proud of our status as the only theatre in the state which annually produces Shakespeare. I know there are other festivals in Tennessee, but none holds our record of longevity and consistency. I know one such group touts producing The Bard, but in their annual canon appeared The Complete Works…Abridged, which in no way constitutes a Shakespearean play. So we are the only, and the City of Clarksville has been the generous provider of support for Shakespeare in our community.

Romeo & Juliet, with Matt Casey as Romeo and Hannah Church as Juliet, opens at 8pm next Friday, March 8, for five public performances only. All tickets are only $10.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

Previous post:

Next post: