Sango Elementary Students Invest in the Arts, Earn Free HAPPILY EVER AFTER Performance

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on January 27, 2012

Nearly 1,000 young people laughed, giggled, squealed, hooted, hollered and applauded as five stalwart Roxy actors literally chewed the scenery and played make-believe for the entire student body of Sango Elementary School.

The Sango students earned a glorious, madcap performance of Happily Ever After, having invested in the new center for arts and education by filling not one, but two five-gallon water jugs with pennies. Their investment in the arts paid off. On Tuesday, January 17, we packed up the entire production — lock, stock and barrel — and took it on the road. Arriving at the Roxy at 6am, we packed dwarf cottages, candy houses and shoemaker’s shops into various modes of transportation begged, borrowed and owned by cast members and Roxy fans, and headed out to play like vaudeville, three performances in one day.

Kathy Lunceford, Sango Elementary’s music instructor, played master of ceremonies for us, making introductions for each performance. Laura Vaden’s gymnasium was so well-organized, well-stocked and well-maintained that it was a shame to disturb its tranquility. But disturb it we did with our impromptu stage assembled from two aluminum ladders, our cry of players and our traveling chaos.

Last year’s spring fete at Jimmy and Lena Orgain’s lovely home, “Mint Juleps and Gershwin at High Meadow,” was such a great success that plans are in the works to do another fundraiser for the new center for arts and education — “BBQ at the Baggetts” on Saturday, May 12. Herb and Sallie Baggett, who have been longtime supporters, have offered their home as a gathering place, featuring barbecue from Wayne Abrams’ award-winning Bubba’s Tennessee Smokers, along with the banjo-picking of Stuart Bonnington and friends. Wayne Abrams’ barbecue won the title of Grand Champion at last September’s Cookeville Cook-off.

On Saturday, January 28, and Saturday, February 4, following the 2pm matinee of Happily Ever After, Travis Kendrick’s dance troupe of the Roxy Regional School of the Arts class will give their dance “informance.” I’m so pleased that his troupe is not sequin-happy or stressed to performance level, but each is allowed to grow and improve with professional guidance to be a better, if not performance-perfect dancer, gaining more self-confidence and becoming self-assured, as well as improving their physical abilities. The dance “informance” is free and open to the public.

Morning yoga continues at the Roxy on Mondays through Saturdays from 8am until 9am. A second class on Saturdays from 9:15am until 10:30am is held at the third floor of Hodgepodge. I cannot say enough good things about how the yoga experience has enhanced my life. On Tuesday evenings from 6pm until 7pm, Brandon Meeks’ improvisation workshop continues through March 6. Both yoga and improv are $10 per class. All are invited and welcome to participate.

Happily Ever After continues through February 11 on Saturdays at 2pm. Paige King, owner of Hodgepodge and unofficial mayor of Franklin Street, is featured in this week’s rendition of The Vagina Monologues, playing Thursday at 7pm and Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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