Rogue Playhouse News
September 29, 2021
Halloween radio plays
Well, this was to have been last week’s column, which somehow didn’t make it into print. But now I can tell you about upcoming events. A quick pull together of interested parties, and in a one-hour Friday night meeting, a plan was put in motion to bring another triple-header radio play series to The Rogue Playhouse stage for two weekends – Halloween weekend and the following.
Auditions tonight, Thursday and Friday
At 6:00 p.m. Please come see what this is all about. Rehearsals will start right away, Monday, October 4, to allow 4 weeks of prep time before opening Friday, October 29 for a two weekend run. Remember, performers have their scripts with them on stage in black binders, so memorization is not the worry it can be in a regular play.
Y’all come, ya hear
The rehearsals allow for character development, costume, makeup and set preparation, and making sure the sound effects people are on board since those are typically done live on stage along with the actors. It’s great fun for actors and audience, and a chance for newbies to try their wings if they’ve been skirting around the notion of taking the leap.
Ellensburg Theater wants you
We’ll want several males and females for roles as well as sound effects people, lights and sound tech, box office/concessions volunteers, lobby décor, and we’ll be on our way to presenting to you, the community, a wonderful evening or matinee of old time entertainment.
In the director’s chair
Director Val MacGillivary, has stepped up to this challenge, and ETC is thrilled to have her back in the director’s chair. Newcomer volunteers Frank and Julie enjoyed sitting in on this whirlwind hour of putting together an event. We may have a new volunteer helping gather sponsors for that charity, which is Ellensburg Theater.
We hope you’ll come by tonight or one of the next two nights to get in on this radio show. Just get yourself here, and we’ll take care of the rest. For further information please leave a message at ETC 541-247-4382.
The following was the column destined for last week. Kinda like the Life of Pi. Pie ala mode. I was 17, working at Eddie Savre’s Coffee Shop back in Lake Wobegon. As I rounded the corner of the counter taking the customer his warm pie ala mode, I wondered why they were laughing at me. I looked down, and to my dismay the ala mode had not made the turn. Such is life.
Change is good
This rings in my head like a clanging bell. Change is not my favorite thing. I don’t particularly like change. This is a time of continuing change. Theater is naturally about change, it seems. By its very nature. Carefully choreographed for the stage, yet never the same with each live performance unfolding anew moment to moment. When Joel and Rebecca left our area and sold the Reporter, I was feeling their loss and wrote something I couldn’t bring myself to share with them at the time. Now I have a sense of this kind of change again, and the difficulty passing through this time of unknown.
How this all began
Matt, the owner of the Reporter now, has been so very supportive of Theater and a bit of a mentor for me as well, encouraging me to write. I long to do interviews again of patrons and actors. Rebecca and Joel actually got me started doing the interviews in the column, after they got me started writing a column in the first place. Advised me to interview one person only in any column. In fact they were among my very first interviews ever (I think patrons Ron and LaVonne Morrell were my very first).
That’s where I first learned how personal the process is. As I’m listening to the individual’s stories, fascinated by how intriguing they are, all of a sudden there’ll be a pause, and I’ll hear a voice say, oh no, ah, don’t put that in the column, OK? And I’m thinking darn, but that’s the best part. And the most personal. But I know how it is with each person sharing with me some of their deepest parts and most endearing memories, and trusting me to hear their story. Then the realization, they’re not ready to share that with the world. I am so honored at the sharing. And honored at their trust in me in the first place. And ultimately trusting that I include only those parts they’re willing to have the world read into their lives.
Some people have passed away, and I could now fill in the rest of their story, but I’ve lost the scribbled notes with parts I wasn’t permitted to use. And probably could no longer make sense of anyway, to retrieve the emotions they made me feel, or the remembrance of how I would have put the words together.
You mean personal stuff?
Others, very few, have declined altogether. I still remember one man who stood at the bottom of the lobby stairwell as I asked him if I could interview him. You mean like personal stuff about me? He said. Why yes, I replied. No thank you. I was disappointed, but not terribly surprised. I know how private some people are. Everyone has a story. Many stories. And we get to know each other better through these remembrances and experiences we share.
It has meant so much to me to be allowed into these worlds in order to present their stories to the reader. Like a photographer evoking feelings with his images. Or the artist, leaving you wondering what the feeling or intent was behind his art. The playwright laying out a performance of his vision in words and dialect. The director bringing this vision to life on the stage through the actors, allowing the audience to reflect and react. The conveyance of this intent. Not wanting our work or our words to be misconstrued, misunderstood, but to be felt deeply. It comes from the heart, not just the head.
Mentors in the written realm
So the interview. I love doing it. I love sharing it. Maybe I’ll be calling you. My early mentors in this written realm, Joel and Rebecca, evoked powerful emotion in me. Then they moved on. Here’s the bon voyage, my letting go, I wrote to their farewell, but was unable to share – then.
To the Buddha in my path
“Coming out of my shell has been a life’s journey for me. The guides I’ve encountered along the way have sometimes seemed like obstacles, sometimes friends, but always teachers, that teaching obscured by the veil of daily transits – the incoming tide of excitement or the exhaling breath of release. The body says thank you. The spirit says I release you. The mind says Oh, so that’s it.
Where do I go from here…without you in my pathway? (I even named Spike BudaPest, the Buddha in my path, in honor of this epiphany.) Never obstacle, my heart’s friend and always teacher. Meaning, I am the only obstacle to my learning. You were in my pathway, my friend, part of my journey. I have learned so much from you. I’m not ready for you to go away. But the Universe says it’s time and must be. So I say, thank you, I release you, I get it. But I shall miss you.”
Change wrought by Covid
So change may be good, but the things in our lives that Covid has changed, the obstacles it has presented, without benefit of the person who can guide us, teach us, just this incessant, destructive force - where does it end? It’s depressing to see things grind to a halt. People afraid to come out, to experience live performance, whether on stage or from the audience.
Dance Isadorable performance, postponed
One more thing takes a hit. The Isadorable Dance performance, postponed ‘til things come around. Hopes of a play, or fundraiser concert, or holiday performance – on hold. Theater in Limbo with Covid concerns. For how long? I can’t tell you about upcoming events today. Hopefully next time.
He hasn’t gone away yet. Down to carrots, which are not his favorite. Mine neither. The last of our bird feed, given for remembrance of him. But he’s distracted. Stares off into the distance. A scent, a sound, something in the air seems to be calling to him. We expect at any time that this is the last time. ‘Til next spring or summer when he returns? We hope so.
See you at Theatre!