Tenth Annual ‘V’ MONOLOGUES Opens at the Roxy This Friday at 8pm!

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on January 6, 2012

Mary Nell Wooten, who has a voice like fine merlot poured over sandpaper, had a brilliant idea with her “1000 x 1000” campaign. That fundraising tactic brought in a great deal of cash, pledges and promises.

Another brilliant idea of hers, “Pennies for Plays,” worked in abundance. We engaged not only schools (Barksdale, Burt, Byrns Darden, East Montgomery, Glenellen, Hazelwood, Montgomery Central, Norman Smith, Sango and Woodlawn Elementary), but children — children who put loose change in four-gallon water jugs and filled them not only once, but sometimes twice with pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and even dollars. If there was a downside, it was carting them from the schools to the bank, but the $2,540 raised more than made it worthwhile, not just in monetary value, but in the value to the children who invested and now take ownership in the success of the new center for arts and education.

Ryan Bowie said after each performance of A Christmas Carol, “We have outgrown this space.” Truer words were never spoken, for we certainly have done just that. I know of no other venue whose rehearsal space, scene shop, storage area and stage are all confined to one 20′ x 25′ playing area. We have made magic and created escapes from reality with everything from jungles to shabby London streets, from Amsterdam attics to the battlements of Elsinore, and from Prospero’s Island to a Route 66 diner.

My late dear friend Mary Harpel said that it’s harder to hide things here than to put up the scenery. And she was oh so right. In the new space, all will be possible: rehearsals; acting classes; performances in two venues; touring productions; recitals; concerts; and ballet, opera, dance and voice classes; with other offerings waiting in the wings for proper homes.

One Tuesday evening, we had moved Susan Bryant’s yoga class to DAC so we could decoupage the Around the World in 80 Days set, trying to be as quiet as mice while adult acting classes were happening. When Amber Wallace paints drops, she must work in the wee hours of the morning, so when rehearsals begin, we can fly out the still-wet drops and mop up with rags on our hands and knees the excess paint. With age, fourteen-hour days are no longer feasible, so cutting back to re-group is not meant as a slight, but rather a necessity, remembering what the theatre’s first purpose must be.

Friday marks the tenth anniversary of the Roxy’s annual presentation of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, once thought of as controversial, but now seen as what Ms. Ensler wanted her work to convey: the efforts to stop abuse against women and to bring to the fore important women’s issues. This Friday and Saturday at 8pm in theotherspace, The Vagina Monologues features Heather Anderson, Ashley Laverty and Adriane Wiley-Hatfield. The show continues through February 4, playing Thursdays at 7pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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