D is for Drama

Mr. Bumble and me playing Widow Corney in Oliver

For the past several months, my life has been full of drama. Thankfully, the drama has not been of the emotional variety (well, not much of it has been – life always has some drama), it’s been drama of the theater variety. Rose, my daughter, and I have been involved in four different theater productions since the beginning of the year. We haven’t been that involved in theater for quite some time so it’s been a big deal for us to have this much drama in our lives as of late.

To kick off 2015, Rose started rehearsals for a big song and dance show at her high school –  Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival. Though there’s not acting in this show in the conventional sense of needing to memorize lines from a play, the show involved a lot of song memorization and character work. There are over 100 kids are in the show and it’s a huge commitment – but it’s loads of fun, too. Come show time, Rose was at school from 7:45 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. – school started the day, of course, then the kids had an early dinner right after school and went into hair and makeup and then showtime! Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival is a super popular show and all six shows sold out quickly. Rose had a great experience doing the show and plans to try out it again.

While Rose was in Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival rehearsals, I was helping out behind the scenes with the Northfield Arts Guild production of the drama, August: Osage County as the show’s assistant producer. Though I didn’t have to be at rehearsals all the time, I worked to help promote the show and helped director Julianna Skluzacek (known for her work with The Merlin Players) with whatever she needed from helping to find props to creating promotional videos. August: Osage County is a gritty, gutsy funny, drama and our NAG actors and actresses did an excellent job bringing the show to life on stage.

It’s been something like three years since I’ve been on stage (my last show was Meshuggah Nuns with The Merlin Players)  but I’d really had my eye on trying out for the musical Oliver! that the NAG was putting on so I decided to try out for it. I was super pleased to get the role of Widow Corney, a role I’ve had my eyes on ever since I saw Oliver in London in 1996. We started rehearsals for Oliver! before August wrapped up so, for a couple of weeks, I was working on two shows at the same time. I really enjoyed working with Rachel Haider, the show’s director, and also had fun working with the musical directors, Liz Shepley and Phil Biedenbender. All of my scenes were with Mr. Bumble, played by Dave Flynn. It was a great pleasure working with him!

The show was full of kids ranging in ages from 10 to 18 and a cast of wonderful adults as well – with a cast of 30 plus, we had some lively rehearsals! We sold out every show – we had nine over three weekends. Our last show was just a few days ago on May 2nd and though I miss the fun of being in a show, it’s also nice to get back to my regular life again.

That said, I’m not sure my life is that regular these days because Rose is in another show and she opens this evening! Rose enjoyed working with the theater kids in RRR so much that she decided to try out for her school’s spring play – As You Like It directed by Shari Setchell (Shari was the fabulous choreographer for RRR). Rose is playing a “chica of the woods” (I believe she’s technically a lady in Duke Frederick’s court). I know she’s going to be dressed like a hippie and will sing songs – but that’s about all I know about her part. I’m looking forward to seeing her on stage tonight!

Interested in seeing As You Like It? Here’s the info: “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare, will be performed at the Northfield High School on May 7th 8th and 9th at 7:30pm. Tickets available at the Activities Office or at the door and are $6 adults, $4 students.

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