A few years ago I answered a Facebook survey about acting and one of the questions was, “Have you ever had a role written especially for you?” I answered “No”, of course, thinking that was something that would never happen to me in my community theater career. But, as life has a way of bringing surprises, it has happened.
My friend, Rhonda Roberts, member of my critique group and a regular contributor to Highlights for Children magazine, won Second Place Award in the Center on the Square one-act play contest last May. The award brought with it an invitation to have her play, No, Not Really, be a part of the theater’s Dessert Double Feature, a production of two one-act plays with a dessert bar.
It was then that Rhonda told me, “All the time I was writing this, I was thinking of you … how you would say a particular line.” Then she asked me to play the part of Alice, an aging mom who is showing signs of confusion and instability. When confronted, Alice tries to cover her mistakes by changing the subject, making a smart quip, or telling a long story.
This play is funny, but with some poignant moments. I love this role because it gives me room to stretch. I’m afraid that as I have aged I have been type-cast as a feisty old lady. I have loved the roles that gave me an opportunity to be more (The Dining Room, Lost in Yonkers, The Women).
Rhonda did a great job on this script bringing out the feelings on both sides of the issue. She is playing the part of Alice’s daughter, Katelyn. Acting opposite a good friend can either cement or destroy a relationship. As to how that is working out, in the words of my character, Alice, “Everything is just fine, thank you very much.”
Three more performances next weekend, July 26, 27, 28. For ticket information visit the theater website www.centeronthesquare.org