Summer Happenings at the Roxy

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on May 24, 2013

“Happenin’ at the Hollemans” was more than a success. So many longtime and loyal supporters chipped in toward next season’s expenses.

The week before, I had gone to Clif Sites to have my eyes checked and thought, “Well, while I’m here, and since the set and poster for our production of The Great Gatsby feature oculist Dr. T.J. Eckleburg with large looming eyes and glasses …” I thought Gatsby would be a perfect match, so I asked and Clif agreed. He and his wife, Melissa, along with Sites Vision Clinic, will be our sponsors for the Fitzgerald classic, the first curriculum-based production for our 31st season.

I have always felt and followed that feeling that any adaptation should be no less than 99.99 percent of the book. I strive for this in my own adaptations. And unlike films, which more often than not put their own spin on it, we don’t here at the Roxy. I know it is essential that all required reading should be as true as possible to the author’s intent.

As much as the tented spectacle in the Hollemans’ backyard was pleasing to all of the senses, I was most moved by being invited by John Mark to see his massive train layout — tracks, tunnels and mountains — all in the process of growing, much like the boy himself. The room was palpable with a father’s love for his son.

It seems summer will never come, and then it seems as if it will never end. Yet, fall follows so quickly that the holidays seem to cascade like cards, one against the other, only differentiated by colors: yellow, brown, orange, green, red and then grey.

That dark grey cloud, like the one over Hamlet’s head, hangs over mine each day when we have a school field trip scheduled, based on the fear that snow will cancel a performance and take from us another opportunity to engage, enliven and enlighten young minds who have been packed on yellow buses, ready to be thrilled by seeing live actors. A quick turn, and field trips end.

And then it’s the Saturday School of the Arts’ final presentation, which this year is Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. (playing Mondays through Fridays at 6pm and Saturdays at 2pm and 6pm, through June 1).

Spring uncoils and ends all classes and, for a few short weeks, Saturdays are empty and free. Days are also quiet, and I would say lonely, except that by June 10 chaos begins and in it I have doubts about one more time.

But seeing all those young and eager faces gives me a new lease on life, yet again. I am enthralled that parents seek an outlet for their children’s untapped energy and untrained talents. I always live in fear, fear that I will not be able to engage the thirteen interns from 9am until 1pm, when they are joined by 70-plus Parks and Rec-ers. By 3pm, I feel a nap coming on.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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