My good friend Mary Wright asked me to take on a part in one of the plays being developed by Touchstone Theater‘s Young Playwright’s Festival, an ongoing project to present original plays created by local school kids. The casts are a mix community actors and kids from Touchstone’s young actors programs. I was honored to be asked and thought that I needed a kick in the ass these days. It worked.

We’ve been doing rehearsals for several weeks, and Mary suggested I learn Over in the Meadow, a Raffi folk song (gasp…), adapt it for the show and use it for the opening introduction to the fauna of the meadow. I started the show, sitting on a stump with my Martin and introduced the fish and duck families and the tadpoles and their father mother. I also added various musical motifs during the play, including Here Come The Sun for the dawn in the meadow. I had a few curmudgeon lines as well.

I frankly was having a tough time getting through song and the lyrics, constantly screwing up various lines. In fact, I was running the lines as I was trying to fall asleep for the last two weeks, not that it helped. It takes doing it out loud, and in front of people to get things to sink in. Today, in the show, I finally nailed it. I am so proud of myself!!

Mayor of Bethlehem J. William Reynolds

It was good to be part of this large community project, to work with young and talented kids, as well as veteran community actors over the last few weeks, and especially during Saturday’s tech and dress rehearsal and the final performance on Sunday. Bethlehem’s Mayor J. William Reynolds also added his talents to the process and I’m glad that he’s an advocate for the Arts in Bethlehem, not just a Chamber of Commerce shill.

Mary Wright did a fantastic job, running the festival while directing our play. I did this all for her, and I’m glad she kicked my ass to do it. It was nice to be part of the Touchstone ensemble once again after 35 years. And I got to wear makeup!