HAPPILY EVER AFTER Entertains, Teaches Life Lessons Beginning This Saturday at 2pm

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on January 13, 2012

Thanks to Starlene Shackelford Sykes, who saw the potential and the importance of art and theatre and so began the partnership of the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department and the Roxy Regional Theatre. The tales from our current production, Happily Ever After, were workshopped during our summer Parks and Rec theatre program. Seventy-plus young people added their individual expertise and creativity to help breathe new life into these age-old stories: “The Bremen Town Musicians,” “The Elves and The Shoemaker,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “The Hare and The Hedgehog” and “Snow White.”

These are not the Disney versions, but the true folk tales which the Brothers Grimm annotated for the first time while visiting the rural areas of their home country, Germany. These stories entertain while imparting important life lessons:

• “Repay a kindness;”

• “Don’t boast about your accomplishments;”

• “Don’t talk with your mouth full;”

• “Don’t take candy from a stranger;”

• “Don’t open the door unless you know who’s outside.”

The importance of family life is stressed and, although text is everything to me, the tales frown on second marriages, especially giving stepmothers a bad reputation. The modern family is full of new fathers and new mothers, who very necessarily fill a void, notwithstanding the passing of a parent. So, we left out the “step,” nominating that title as “the new wife.” That is the only concession we made.

Now, five professional actors — Heather Anderson, Josh Bernaski, Travis Kendrick, Ashley Laverty and Brandon Meeks — will switch hats and change characters faster than you can say “The Brothers Grimm,” performing Happily Ever After for the first time in front of an audience at 2pm tomorrow (Saturday).

Beginning this coming Tuesday, January 17, professional company member Brandon Meeks will begin an adult improvisation workshop. Brandon comments, “We do it every day. We ‘ad lib,’ ‘play it by ear,’ and ‘make it up as we go along.’ Improvisation is present in every aspect of our lives, from the practical to performative, but we are rarely ever presented the opportunity to practice this coveted skill. Through a smorgasbord of games, exercises, and hands-on application, this eight-week class series will introduce and explore the basic principles of the art of improvisation. Whether you are an experienced performer looking to bring new life to your craft, want to show more spontaneity in your everyday interactions, or just want to have fun, this class has something for you.” This eight-week session will take place on Tuesday evenings from 6pm until 7pm. The cost is $10 per class, or $65 paid in advance for the entire session.

Saturday School for the Arts begins anew tomorrow with a new time, 9am, right after 8am yoga. Dance follows at a new time, too, 11am until 12:30pm. This session focuses on presenting Disney’s 101 Dalmatians Jr. this summer.

Melissa Schaffner, marketing director for Fort Campbell’s MWR program, joins the cast of The Vagina Monologues this Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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