See You at High Meadow!

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on May 2, 2011

“Come all ye lads and pretty young lasses
Gather ’round now, my good friends.
Come raise a glass and let’s be mellow;
Here’s to life, let joy begin!”
– George Mabry

“R,” red and glowing in bright neon, lit up the night sky over the crowds, cold and damp, at Rivers & Spires. The theatre appeared dark except for the Roxy’s red and glowing bright neon “R.”

Inside, Anne Winters presented her audition piece for Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s Phebe from As You Like It for the Saturday class, which gave support, criticism and positive feedback. Then the class rehearsed Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and stayed on for dance with Travis Kendrick.

I then saw the first run-through of The Civil War. It touched me deeply: the tragedy of the war and its ultimate outcome, presented with words, letters and songs which bring history to life.

I left this theatre to join an incredibly talented and fresh-faced crew at APSU. I found these young, talented hopefuls kind and generous. I was touched that one of them had placed a chair where previously I had sat on the floor. Or that a costume was brought to me by another student, and I didn’t have to retrieve it myself. And that my fellow scene partners forgave me every night when I left out, jumped over or stepped on their lines.

Dr. George Mabry, for opening night, had given us all a note, personalized, which read:

“I am a dreamer … I believe that dreams can become reality. Because dreams are considered by most ‘ephemeral,’ I know of no direct route a dream must travel or specific period of time it must ruminate in order to materialize. I only know that the last two-and-one-half-months of birthing, incubation and loving nurturing of the dream Ben and the Virtues by all the cast, production team and orchestra has provided me one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional life.” Mine, too, George. Mine, too.

Tomorrow my blood pressure will lower, and my spirits will be lifted in more ways than one, as I ascend the inviting and winding way to High Meadow, when cast, crew and Roxy devotees will join my braced and bespectacled gentleman and his gracious and beautiful wife for an afternoon soiree of “Mint Juleps and Gershwin.”

Jimmy and Lena Orgain are an unassuming couple. That’s the word Joel Pedigo coined when I said they were just an ordinary couple. “Unassuming,” Joel corrected me. And of course, he was right, for their unassuming quality is what brings George and Sharon Mabry to join in offering their support, along with the incomparable Anne Glass.

For those otherwise engaged on Saturday, you can still experience the gifted and talented players of The Civil War: An American Musical, for it continues its run until May 21 on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, with a 2pm matinee on Saturday, May 14.

See you at High Meadow!

[John McDonald]

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