THE SOUND OF MUSIC Says “So Long Farewell” This Week

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on August 26, 2011

I’ve hated a child. I hated a child for over a week. I saw the child as ruining a product which I considered perfectly perfect. And this child was ruining it for me. I’ve said, “No, don’t do that. No, be quiet. No, don’t touch that. No, don’t fidget.” “No” to this and “no” to that. “No, no, no.” I had exhausted myself from saying “no.” I’ve had hate in my heart for a child. A child.

I spoke to the child’s parents, and they shared that the child had a slight version of Asperger’s syndrome. I said, “I wish you had told me before …” But I knew that if they had, I would have eliminated the child from the get-go. I never felt this way before. I’ve not always liked the precocious nor the over-indulged … but it never manifested itself as hate.

Then one evening, suffering from a heavy heart of guilt, I had an epiphany. What if it were polio from which the child suffered? I changed my mind and forgave myself. I started to find some good and replaced the negative with any positive I could find. “Yes, that’s right. Yes, you did well. Yes, you kept your head up. Yes, you were nice and loud. Yes, yes, yes.”

And, like a chapter right out of Norman Vincent Peale, it worked. The child holds his head up, talks to me about things, many things, and I am so grateful that the child does not think of me as the “no” man.

I’ve touted for years the importance of children in bringing about this new center for arts and education and how those children grow, become better students, get to know themselves more and begin to take responsibility under this theatre’s roof. And now I must add myself, too.

My three young, energetic and multi-talented thespians in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) have brought to mind three boys from my teen years: David Cutliff, Mike Zanone and Ross Gilson. They were all from different high schools, but somehow they had banded together and befriended me. Why, I’m not sure, but I was pleased to be D’Artagnan to their Three Musketeers. David Cutliff was the local football hero, like Hugh Poland. Mike Zanone was a brilliant scholar, like Haedyn King, who became a doctor. Ross Gilson was clever, witty and fun, like Andrew Hulse.

I was reminded of them with each rehearsal of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), which plays two final performances: tonight (Friday) and Saturday at 6pm in theotherspace. Tickets are $10.

The Sound of Music ends its incredible run tonight (Friday) and Saturday at 8pm.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

Previous post:

Next post: