Farewell to Parks & Rec Summer Theatre and Internships, Hello to THE MUSIC MAN

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on July 10, 2015

Yesterday the twenty-plus Parks & Rec Summer Theatre participants — Travis Antoine, Finley Booth, Makaela Britt, Mackenzie Byard, Bella Cargill, Arrionna Cheatham, Ava DoVanne, Trista Eppes, Destiney Fitzgerald, Kaylee Fowler, Kacie Greene, Arianna Grey, Emma Hachler, Caydee Harris, Madison Higgins, Grace Hurt, Rafael Kenney, Gabriel Lomax, Rebecca Morrison, Dalton Myer, Jasmine Palmer, Jaylen Palmer, Emma Petrie, Alyssa Phillips, Eva Robbins, Nicholas Spivey, Taylor Wyatt, Ayanna Young and Mayanah Young — presented their “informance,” a culmination of what was learned during this summer’s six-week session. We call it “informance,” rather than “performance,” for “performance” puts too much pressure on the novice, and our goal is to inform parents of the students’ growth.

These young theatre aspirants danced “Shipoopi” from the upcoming musical Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, choreographed by my partner, Tom Thayer, and acted out stories by The Brothers Grimm: “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Rumpelstiltskin” and “The Golden Goose.”

Participants finished off their afternoon “informance” with improvs led by my best friend and favorite actress Leslie Greene. The Clarksville Parks & Recreation Department provided punch and cookies under the marquee for the cast and audience alike.

“Performer of the Year” awards were presented to Jesse Boyle, Addisyn Bryant, Allison Ferebee, Truman Jepson, Jacob Johnson, Sidney McCarty, Lauren Mund, Madeline O’Connor, Tanner Sigears, Georgia Smith, Austin Stewart, Jewel Stewart and Amy Wyer.

This morning, for a very few and very private performance for cast members’ families and friends, this summer’s interns will present on the great manicured lawn of High Meadow a cutting of Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring the quadrangular love triangle of Lysander, Hermia, Demetrius and Helena. Supported in this Shakespearean comedy are the characters of Theseus, Hippolyta and Oberon, along with, of course, the mischievous and always troublesome Puck.

My braced and bespectacled gentleman with the beautiful and gracious wife, who hosted last summer’s Shakespeare fete and subsequent picnic, again host this presentation of another cutting of Dream. Last year’s presentation featured the Mechanicals or Rustics, as they are sometimes called, along with the quarrel of Oberon and Titania, king and queen of the woodland sprites, with Puck again adding to the fun and chaos. Next year I’m hoping to try my hand at another pastoral piece of Shakespeare, As You Like It.

Meredith Willson’s The Music Man is in rehearsal. The company of players — John Adkison, Ryan Bowie, Joshua Christensen, Brian Graziani, Leslie Greene, James Hansen, Lawrence Lesher, Mary Malaney, Matt Miazgowicz, Jackie Ostick, Elizabeth Worley and Tommy Winters — comes from all over the country. Locals Jesse Boyle, Landen Daniel, Ava DoVanne, Allison Ferebee, Arianna Grey, Grace Hurt, Truman Jepson, Jacob Johnson, Sidney McCarty, James McNiel, Madeline O’Connor, Chip Perretta, Emma Petrie, Tanner Sigears, Austin Stewart, Debra Stewart, Jewel Stewart and Skylar Sullivan add their own personal expertise to this iconic piece of nostalgic American musical theatre, which opens at 8:00pm next Friday, July 17, to a pay-what-you-can preview (with a minimum of $5 per ticket).

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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