BEA(U)TIFUL IN THE EXTREME Completes Three-Week, Three-Play Run

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on April 4, 2011

“Everything that is hard to attain is easily assailed by the mob.” – Ptolemy

Hamlet, Doubt and Bea(u)tiful in the Extreme — three diverse and unique plays in as many weeks.  A classic, a modern drama and a pageant.  How proud I am to be a part of a theatre that presents Shakespeare, a play which leaves you with a moral question, and a historical spectacle, all in a period of 21 days.

I can only think of the axiom, “Pride cometh before a fall,” when remembering, a few past Hamlets ago, driving up North Second and thinking, just at the moment I reached Hand’s Cafe, that I was the only director within a 500-mile radius giving a performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet that morning.  Then, I remember arriving at the theatre at 7:30am to set the stage, knowing that we in Montgomery County had received no snow.  The counties just around us had, but not us.  However, the ones around us were on the docket to come on a field trip to see our Hamlet.  So that day, there would be no Hamlet.  Then I was no longer the only director to have a performance of Hamlet that morning.

I was remembering that episode while recounting the feelings of shame and embarrassment I felt when announcing to the actors the show that day was canceled, only to again have gathered a formidable coterie of thespians and another missed opportunity by a good teacher who had booked a performance earlier in the school year, but had been transferred and had forgotten to cancel.  Pride does come before a fall.

Like any good parent, one’s children’s accolades are most cherished as they might give honor to the parent by reflection.  A few Sunday afternoons ago, five of my Saturday School of the Arts students were awarded the Young Artist Ovation Award by Austin Peay State University’s Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts: Webb Booth, Elizabeth Coleman, Autumn Crafton, Haedyn King and Hugh Poland.

I must again thank Madison Street United Methodist Church, who housed our Hamlet rehearsals: Reverend LeNoir Culbertson, Phil Whittinghill, Janice Kelly, Al Kroberger, Darrin Parchman, Mark Dickerson and Geraldine Hildreth.  Deep in the dilemma of “to be or not to be,” I waved goodbye to a group of preschoolers saying, “We are pretending, playing make-believe” (not an untruth since that’s what theatre is all about — make-believe).  Such generous hospitality costs in heat, lights, water, soap and the like, costs to them not factored in but freely given like they always have done.  Peg Daniel headed up their drama ministry, and it has continued and grown until now theatre is not an oddity but an integral part of their church life.

This weekend, a company, an ensemble, a cry of players present Mark Cabus’ vision of Leon Martell’s play Bea(u)tiful in the Extreme, the epic adventures of Lewis and Clark.  Performances are Friday, April 8, at 8pm, and Saturday, April 9, at 2pm and 8pm.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

Previous post:

Next post: