Friday, March 11, 2011

To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday


Click on program cover and cast list to enlarge.

Since two of our children participate in community theater groups Tom and I enjoy lots of live theater.

I saw To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday last Sunday. Since Tom and I have been busy with videotaping for the park district and I have been painting watercolors this is the first opportunity I have had to tell you about this play. There are two more performances, one tonight and one tomorrow evening.

It is a drama that requires a strong lead actor for  the professor who has been in deep morning since the death of his wife in an accident two years earlier. Mike Rousculp was up to the task. The rest of the cast were strong in their support roles.

The play also requires a director with deep insight into people since much of the success of the play depends on the subtle gestures and reactions of the cast. Jackie Chamberlin did a great job of directing. She helped the cast bring the characters to life.

The play takes place outside a house on a beach. The stage floor was covered with sand. Because of this, gestures such as doodling in the sand and and shaking sand from beach towels were wonderfully believable.

I may be prejudiced about the sand though I like to think that I am not. When our daughter, Sonja, asked our son, Ray, to design the set, he specified real sand. Sonja, Ray, and Eric, (grandson)and Jackie Chamberlin were members of the construction and painting crew along with ten others.

Community theater plays are  the culmination of hours and hours of work by dedicated people whose rewards are not money.  Instead the rewards are the smiles and tears and applause of the audience. Most people who enjoy being part of community theater find themselves wearing many hats. Until my children became active in community theater I had no idea how many people are required to put on a play. Every one of these people contribute to the final result.


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