Drama, a.k.a. The Encore Theater Company
Our 2017-18 season got off to a great start in October with "two plays for the price of one."
The Fifteen Minute Hamlet and The Bible in 30 Minutes … or Less were presented as “Two Shows, One Night” by the Encore Theater Company on October 19-21.
Work is now nearing completion for 28 Marchant Avenue, a play about the Kennedy family and the summers they spent in Hyannisport, MA. The spring performance is scheduled for March 15-17.
According to Theater Director Brian Rainville:
A cast and crew of 35 has been busy preparing to premiere a new play at Randolph Union - and the playwright is coming to visit. “28 Marchant Avenue: Six Summers at Hyannisport” examines the lives and secrets of the Kennedy family – including JFK’s developmentally disabled sister Rosemary.
The second of Joe and Rose Kennedy’s nine children, Rosemary was lobotomized in a desperate attempt to impose normalcy and protect the future prospects of her now famous siblings. Lukina Andreyev, a senior at Randolph Union, took a break from rehearsals to talk about her lead role, the play, and the enduring popularity of the Kennedy family.
“Rosemary’s story was obscured because these are hard issues,” Andreyev stated while seated comfortably in the first row of the high school’s auditorium. “But we’re in an age of unveiling. People are questioning image. There have been so many revelations about public figures. Americans are ready for this story to be told.”
When asked about the play’s central conflicts, Andreyev shared this insight:
“Rosemary was torn between wanting to be a Kennedy – and a individual. It was hard for her to accept the molding that the children went through, not just because of her disability, but because she had a strong personality. Rosemary fell victim to her father’s ambition. Joe Kennedy wanted his children to lead - he laid the foundation for a political dynasty by manipulating the stock market and investing in Hollywood. Three of his sons became senators, one rose to be president. This play is about what was sacrificed in pursuit of that power.”
Rainville also revealed how the work came to Randoph Union. “I found this script a year ago in New York City, when I was on sabbatical. It had just been published, and the story spoke to me. What happened to Rosemary Kennedy is a Greek tragedy – overreaching father destroying his child. The playwright, Steven Carl McCasland, offered a very fair contract – and asked if he could come up to see the show. That’s how the journey from page to stage began.”
“The universality of this story is striking,” Andreyev interjected. “Joe Kennedy taught his children it’s not who they were that mattered, but who people thought they were. The whole idea of image – cultivating and maintaining a public persona – a brand - is still with us today.”
“28 Marchant Avenue: Six Summers at Hyannisport” will be performed March 15-17. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and last approximately 1.5 hours. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students, with proceeds benefiting the drama program. All tickets are unreserved and available at the door. Homeade treats are available during intermission.
But that's not all...
Later in the spring (May 6), the Theater Company will travel to New York City to see Come From Away, a Broadway musical about the days following the tragic events of 9/11. Students will enjoy round-trip luxury transportation via Premiere Coach and a full service lunch in midtown Manhatten prior to the play. The trip is open to all RU students. For more information about the play, visit its website, www.comefromaway.com.
ETC Theater welcomed new members and bid goodbye to its seniors during the annual Induction and Recognition Night this past May. Although any student who maintains academic eligibility while honoring training rules is welcome to participate in the theater program, ETC is an honor society - in which a position must be earned.
The Theater program is extremely thankful for thoughtful gifts of vintage clothing, props, and furniture. Please keep the drama program in mind if you are closing a house or cleaning an attic!
Thank you to the greater Randolph community for continuing to value - and support - the theater arts!
The RU Music Boosters is an organization of parents, students, and RU staff who are committed to supporting music students at the middle school and high school levels. At our monthly meetings we enjoy hearing from the music director about what’s happening in the program, discussing the needs of thenstudents and the program, planning fundraisers, and brainstorming ways to boost and celebrate music in our schools.
The beginning of the school year will be an exciting time for us as we get to know two new music teachers. Jessica Clayton will be teaching music in the elementary schools as well as a new music exploratory at the 7th grade level, and Ray Cole will be the new music director for the middle and high school grades. We’ll be gathering our energy to support their ideas and initiatives, as well as carrying on with some traditions of our own.
We hope this year to organize at least two Community Coffeehouse events in the cafeteria (this will be the third year for this event) as well as raising money through a Thanksgiving bake sale at Shaws, concessions at concerts, and other activities throughout the year. We will continue to help subsidize private lessons for music students, as well as assisting with travel and food expenses for festivals, camp for drum majors, and special visiting artists. We’re also hoping to increase parent involvement in Music Boosters, as many of our long-serving members will be moving on soon.
It’s a great time to come join us. Our meeting dates and times are posted on the school event calendar. Historically we have met on the second Wednesday of each month, 5:30 in the Music Room, but that hasn’t been established yet for the coming year. So, keep an eye on the school calendar as well as RU Ghost Music (on Facebook). Or you can email Andy Mueller at email@example.com for more information.