Sunday, February 12, 2012

Excellent Community Theatre

Quote of the Day:  Atticus is the same at home as he is at the office. Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. It's a line I remember from the first time I read the book. It says so much about Atticus' character. I also like, "You got the walkabouts, Jem?" Made me chuckle. And, "Stand up, Miss Jean Louise. Your daddy's passing by." When Atticus exits the courtroom and Scout is sitting in the "colored" balcony. That one's from the book. I didn't hear it in the play.

Scout and Atticus
photos by Steve Kohls of The Brainerd Dispatch

Scout and Calpurnia

Central Lakes Community College had a marvelous production of To Kill a Mockingbird which opened this weekend. I went on Saturday night with a friend. It's done at the college, but also includes community members. The young lady who played Scout was outstanding. Two other boys are in it, and they were terrific. The actors all played their parts so realistically. I was emotionally involved with the play from the start. I felt fear, anger, sadness, and I cringed at the racial slurs and ached for the injustice. This play is heavy on the male roles, and the director Dennis Lamberton found excellent actors to fill them. The man who played Atticus hadn't done anything in theatre in over 30 years. I would have never guessed. His performance moved me to tears.

They have performances this week, Wed. through Sun. Click here for ticket info.

Then, on Sunday, my son Bobby and I drove over to Alexandria for their community theatre production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I had done some acting on that stage when I lived in that area. I knew the director, Ann Hermes, and several of the actors, including my friend Pete Woit. Again, the performance was outstanding. What an incredible group of men that Ann found to fill these roles. I find this story to be terrifying. While some of the actions of the patients are humorous, it has heavy themes and strong language. The evil nurse has all the power. Her mission is to control, not heal. All the actors played their parts to the fullest. I was amazed at the three main characters, Nurse Ratched, McMurphy, and the Chief, and how believable they were.

They will be performing Feb. 17-19, in Alexandria. Click here for tickets info.

Often when I watch plays, I look for roles that I would want to play. I didn't see anything for me in either of these plays. They were heavy on male roles, like I said, and nothing for a woman my age. That's a common problem in many classic plays. I wrote a play that I would want to see and act in. It's about women, ages ranging from 18 to 65. I couldn't help but think about our show and how these women are already playing their parts so realistically that we aren't always sure if they're responding to a line as their character or themselves.

Live performances really make you think. They draw you into the story and you feel like you're part of the show as townsfolks, jury, patients, or coffee shop patrons.

Go. Create. Inspire!

Journaling Prompt:  When have you gotten lost in an artform?

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