Chasing the dream of life on a stage.
That is what fuels the desire of thousands of young actors; to be in the spotlight that shines on so very few, to perfect a craft, to make the audience feel joy and heartbreak, to change their perception, to shine independently. Is it a frivolous journey? Do parents urge burgeoning youth to study something more “practical?” Is it a selfish endeavour?
The dream of a young person to take the stage and shine is what Rosebud Theatre is all about, and it is also the subject of its season opener, A Bright Particular Star.
Based on true events and featuring literary heavyweights, Ron Reed’s production tells the tale of Lilia MacDonald, the daughter of George MacDonald, author, poet and minister whose work has inspired many famous writers, most notably C.S. Lewis.
Full of passion and drive, the young actress shines in family-produced stage shows. Even when her audience includes the daunting figures of Mark Twain and Lewis Carroll.
Her passion craves more than family productions and she sets about making that happen. Forces of a repressive moral code and the reputation of the stage in Victorian times, not to mention the tangle of young love, play against her as she tries to find her place.
“I’ve been comparing the drama of such a choice to the drama of salmon swimming upstream,” said director Morris Ertman. “It takes tenacity, talent and heart to make it all the way. And this story asks the question about what “all the way” means. Is it bright light success, or the success that comes from voicing stories that one is passionate about?”
While at heart a simple story, the production demonstrates the complex setting and motivations of the characters in the confines of the stage without becoming muddled. Because of this, there is human insight found in each character. There are no villains motivated by rancour, simply the forces of love and social conviction. This makes the conflict more plausible and even more heartwrenching. It is simple to battle evil, but it is harder to stand up and find your place when it is contrary to those who love you.
Lilia’s place to stand is on the stage, and the ensemble at Rosebud Theatre again proves it is their place.