World Premiere Play in Mt. Pleasant – Empty Nest by Curt Swarm

EMPTY NEST- BY CURT SWARM

No fooling.  A world premier play is going to be performed in Mt. Pleasant and I have a bit part in it.  It’s from a C.S. Lewis short story, “The Man Born Blind,” that wasn’t discovered until after Lewis’ death.  The script is the brain child of Alyn D’Blay, entitled, “Born Blind.”  It is co-directed by Pierre Gerrard and Mt. Pleasant’s own, Allan Allsup. 

            Pierre Gerrard studied theater in Iowa, Oklahoma and Michigan.  He has directed 10 plays and was technical director for eight others.  Allan Allsup began his theater life at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant under the tutelage of David File, who is a consultant to this production.  Allsup, who has also been a professional soccer player, and coach, has directed 19 plays.  He is thrilled to be directing the world premier of “Born Blind” in Mt. Pleasant. 

            Actually, they will be putting on three plays: “Child-Man,” “Born Blind,” and “Ragman.”  So there will be three short plays.  Therefore the entire production is cleverly entitled, “Three 2 See.”  All three productions are heavy in metaphor, allegory and symbolism—most notably, light.

            “Child-Man” is a cutting from the book “A Symphony in Sand,” by Calvin Miller who has written over 40 books.  Sections of his writings have been performed in colleges, community theaters, Christian theaters and churches for over thirty years.

            “Ragman” was written by Walter Wangerin, Jr.  He has published over 30 books, including novels, poetry and children’s books.  “Ragman” has been performed in hundreds of colleges, youth groups, camps, and church-based groups throughout the United States.

            “Three 2 See” is a benefit for the New Life House women’s shelter, which will be celebrating its 5-year anniversary in August.  Performances will be on July 15, 16 and 17 at 7:00 pm at the Heatilator Performing Arts Center, 307 E. Monroe St., Mt. Pleasant.  Admission is free on July 15 for First Responders and Emergency Workers.  Free-will donations will be accepted.  The admission for all others is $10 at the ticket booth.  There will be local art for sale, proceeds of which go to New Life House.  You will also be able to meet the actors, directors and stage hands. 

            I have not acted in over 20 years, although, to paraphrase Shakespeare, “We are all actors on the stage of life.”  And, being an ex-drunk, I was pretty good at acting at one time: pretending I knew what I did the night before, where my car was, and that I knew what those indecipherable checks in my checkbook were. 

            To aid myself in memorizing lines, I rushed out and bought that memory booster (extra-strength) for old people that is popularly advertised.  I bought a bottle for Ginnie also, although she can’t remember whether she takes it or not. 

            Of course, we all know, or should know, that memorizing lines is only a tiny fraction of what it takes to be a good actor.  It’s reeling off those lines as if they’re not memorized, or letting them flow naturally, i.e., acting, that’s important.  Gulp.

            Ginnie has been helping me with the script.  She has a rolling pin in one hand and a chocolate pie in the other.  The rolling pin is for when I flub, which is often.  The chocolate pie is for when I do good.  (I haven’t gained any weight, and there are goose eggs on my head, so you know the kind of success I have been having.)

            Hopefully, the memory supplement will kick in before play date.  I’m counting on it.  For a person who forgets what he walked across the room for, you can see what kind of challenge I have.

            So, if you want to see the world premier of a C.S. Lewis story, contribute to a good cause, and watch me make a fool of myself, come to “Three 2 See.”  Theater is the only art form that contains all the other arts.  “A play isn’t the end product of an idea—the idea is the end product of a play.”  Tom Stoppard 

            Update on Anna Banana the chicken: she returned on Connie Nolin’s birthday!  Anna Banana was skittish and has been in and out.  Connie is feeding her and thinks Anna Banana has a nest somewhere.  She even let Connie hold her, and “talked” to Connie, trying to tell her where she’d been. 

Have a good story?  Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, find him on Facebook, email him at curtswarm@yahoo.com, or visit his website at www.empty-nest-words-photos-and-frames.com.

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