Everything Old is New Again at the Roxy Regional Theatre

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

This is a sentiment which I hold dear, dear as the holiday itself. I’m moved by the kindness of so many who help support and aid with time, energy and funds those among us who are unable to help themselves — especially those who do good for good’s sake or, rather, for the sake of God.

The theatre is dark, taking a much-needed sabbatical after so hectic a fall and early winter.

Dickens’ London is not packed away this year, as it has been in the past. No, this year it becomes part of our regular stock of flats waiting to be repainted for other productions of other plays at other times in the future.

I considered that set unique and superb. The Old English Dickensian street which has served us so well for a dozen years or more began its life as the painted backdrop for the Dayton, Tennessee, of Inherit the Wind.

But when the gas prices soared and the school budget for transportation was exhausted mid-year, we packed up the Carol for touring to schools. First, however, we had Amber Wallace (lovingly referred to as Team Xerox, who has pulled much fat out of the fire for us in the past), come in and, as I say, “Christmas-ize” it, putting snow on rooftops, green wreaths in windows and big bows on everything not nailed down.

I recently watched as my late friend Mary Harpel’s dress from The Noble Heart danced through Fezziwig’s warehouse in A Christmas Carol, worn by Georgia Smith, and a gown made for Joylene Taylor as Anna in The King and I sashayed by on all the young girls who played Little Miss.

Tables from Les Miserables, which had been stools in Miss Saigon, became the proud furniture for Fred and Mary’s home. How many more times in how many more ways will they grace the Roxy stage?

Muslin pajamas made for Children of Eden, and later dyed for inmates in Les Miserables, became attire for orphans in Oliver and then for “Ignorance” and “Want” in A Christmas Carol. As the Ghost of Christmas Present says, “This boy is ignorance. This girl is want. Beware of them both, and all of their degree. But, beware of the boy [ignorance] most.”

Maids’ dresses which had seen as costumes for possessed girls of Salem in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, became those of nuns and novices for The Sound of Music. Pinafores added from Tom Sawyer became Victorian maids for The Secret Garden.

There is no waste at the Roxy Regional Theatre. Not that we don’t want everything new, but in reshaping and redesigning and reusing, we have money for other more important things — like the mortgage.

May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white!

Or as Tiny Tim observed, “God bless us, everyone!”

[John McDonald]

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