We had a full day in Rosebud yesterday. It was the first rehearsal for Jake and the Kid: Prairie Seasons and the first read of the play - that moment when virtually the whole community in Rosebud gathers in anticipation to hear the next show. I haven’t had such a good laugh in a long time. And then I was on the edge of tears, because W.O. Mitchell has the most remarkable celebratory voice for the humor and the simple understated pathos of life. The story is simply wonderful.
Nathan Schmidt, whose rendering of Daddy Sherry in W. O. Mitchell’s The Kite some years ago is playing Jake, while Mike Thiessen, who is still on stage playing a very funny Mark Twain in A Bright Particular Star, plays Old Man Gattenby. It was worth the drive to Rosebud yesterday just to hear these guys argue. It brought the house down! Karl Sine, who directed the riotous and out of control We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay last spring, is directing the show, and his passion for the celebration of the story is infectious. We’re on to a great summer offering!
And it’s just two weeks until A Bright Particular Star ends its run. I love this play. I love our people in it. I love the heart of a story that’s all about a young woman catching her life and lifting off with it. It’s inspiring and full of light. And the audience hangs on it like it’s a movie - metering out passion and love frame by frame. Of course, it’s not a movie, it’s a play, so its emotional ride is even more immediate. These are flesh and blood people in front of us! They actually feel what they say. And that's the magic of it. They live it, and in this story, they live the way they live in real life - this company of bright and particular actors with the courage to hang on to the dream of it all onstage and off!
I do love the theatre! What a life!