New School Year Brings New Opportunities in the Theatre

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on August 14, 2015

School has just begun, and the anticipation for the year ahead is palpable.

Some, like my two favorite seniors Sidney McCarty and Truman Jepson, are looking forward to the climax and culmination of years of study and hard work.

Others, entering new schools, greeting new teachers, meeting new classmates and studying new subjects, approach the end of summer with a kind of trepidation, a bit wary as to what the school year will bring. Let me put their minds at ease: there is always the Roxy, not only for field trips but also for the Saturday School of the Arts, which begins Saturday, September 12, at 9:00am.

Last spring’s session of the School of the Arts ended with The Aristocats. Next year’s will culminate with Shrek. In between we have had the interns performing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream while looking forward to next summer’s Shakespeare, As You Like It, again performed al fresco on the great lawn of the beautiful and stately High Meadow.

This fall’s session will focus on monologues, useful for Governor’s School, college auditions or forensic competitions. We will also be working on two-character scenes. All of this will end in an “informance” come mid-December.

Opportunities abound for these young people to appear on the Roxy Regional Theatre’s mainstage as well — The Secret Garden and A Christmas Carol, to name only a couple.

Field trips serve several purposes, one being an opportunity for first-timers to experience this unique art form called live theatre. My personal aim, however, is always that one of our productions will inspire a young theatregoer to read or read further what they have just seen performed on stage. Reading the full text of one of our curriculum productions can and often does turn a young mind on to further reading.

I know that reading Oliver Twist, Les Miserables and To Kill A Mockingbird helped make my performances in those adaptations just that much better, and what pleasure I took in seeing our leading lady in Little Women reading the Louisa May Alcott before attempting to bring the character from the page to the stage. I am currently re-reading Oliver Twist to be ready to bring Fagin to life this September.

For field trip groups, this fall we are presenting Go, Dog. Go! (the “See Spot Run” of today’s pre-K through 2nd grade), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (for 6th grade through high school), The Secret Garden and, of course, A Christmas Carol. Little Red Riding Hood & Friends, The Mountaintop (telling the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the night before his tragic end), The Cat in the Hat (for Dr. Seuss’ birthday), Booth Tarkington’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Magnificent Ambersons and Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew will follow in the spring.

The Music Man, playing tonight and tomorrow at 8:00pm, enters its final stretch next week with performances next Wednesday and Thursday at 7:00pm and next Friday and Saturday at 8:00pm.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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