A Humble Review -” A Bright Particular Star” -By Ron Reed on Stage at the Rosebud Theatre Alberta
By Steph Forster
You are joining me at 3900 feet above Canada at the moment..currently I believe I am flying over Manitoba & am on my way to Montreal from Alberta. While I was in Alberta I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of “A Bright Particular Star” on Friday March 25th at the Rosebud Theatre in the legendary town of Rosebud Alberta.The play is written by The Pacific Theatre Vancouver’s Executive Director/Everything Guy Mr Ron Reed.
There is a lot I could say but I want to get personal & share with you what this production did for me/how it spoke to me…. a fellow Artist.
Lets start with the basics…….
The staff and volunteers of Rosebud Theatre are on their game…kind, gracious, informative & timely. I was greeted by Bob with a full tour of the newly renovated buildings & a full history as well as an in depth description of the Artistic Design/Architecture of the buildings. Across the Street from the Nostalgic Dining Hall I proceeded to investigate the inside of the Rosebud Oprah House’s Theatre. The stage/set was eloquently displayed with thick rich colours & fine details. I was sitting in the second row from the stage & was able to see all the very intricate thought that went into every area of this production, especially the hand made time period costumes. The play itself is witty & even has Mark Twain play a role ……well an actor playing Mark Twain that is…oh how I love Mark Twain.
The story is about young actors trying to find their way in the world with societal/religious pressures weighing on them, which is something that I can relate to far too well. I mentioned I would get personal so here we go……
As an artist I often wonder where my line is…how far to go. I often weigh out scenarios that play/dance in my mind before allowing them to escape to the eyes & ears of society. What I mean is that I have to make sure what content I am putting out isn’t going to sting me in a few years or, even worse, cause some one else to stumble. I need to weigh what is my opinion VS what is right, just & true….I am far from a people pleaser. A few months ago a young Pastor (who will remain unnamed) was speaking to me about his perception of the responsibility he and other Pastoral leaders have in regards to sending a clear message and also withholding ones “personal/individual” opinion to avoid spiritual pollution when speaking to audiences/congregations etc… At first I had a big problem with this comment/statement.. I stood there and thought “what a fake, I feel bad for this guy he doesn’t get to be transparent and speak his mind.” I also felt a bit twisted and frustrated inside & my heart felt like it was burning……what was this burning??? It was GOD burning in my heart peeling away the blinders on my eyes…the Pastor left & I suddenly I was hit with the revelation that what I say impacts others…. So you are sitting here reading this going, “that was a revelation for you? Where have you been?” Well I guess it never hit me before in a way that I understood…. & I was wrong & mr Pastor was right…go figure .
Now lets go back to Ron’s play. …he has a way of writing his feelings, thoughts, opinions, and internal battles without psychologically positioning you, Its genius. Ron is truly gifted & has perfected the art of theatrically telling his internal dramas. When you watch the play it is like his heart is displayed before you, AND YOU SEE IT dancing, twirling, angry, sad, romantic, old fashioned, rouge & clever. You can tell he ( Ron the PlayWrite ) is all of the characters & it adds to the fun. Perhaps I am bias as I personally know Ron, but I feel anyone who is in tune with their emotions would also have the same perception on this piece of art. At one point in the play the lead actress is forced to make the decision to EITHER follow her heart or sell out & marry a wealthy attractive young man of societal influence. There is an argument between the young couple & at one point I found myself siding with the affluent, wealthy, young man as he stated why it was logical for the lead actress (his finance) to drop her art, compromise her calling & submit to him. I am old fashioned myself in regards to male + female relationships & gender roles which is not a popular perspective to have as a young lady these days, but here it is. I believe that women should submit to their husbands & that we are weaker in many ways than men. I believe we can be leaders, CEO’s, politicians, etc… but I believe we, AS WOMEN, are truly loosing something of great value when we go through life without the leadership & protection of a strong man in our lives. I have been faced with deciding to follow my heart or to follow love a few times. Yes, THERE HAVE BEEN broken engagements & promises because I cant seem to shut down this massive fire that burns INSIDE & drives me to my art. I have had a few pity parties alone in my art studio, whining to God about how I will never get married because I can’t contain this fire that drives me & needs to get out. THIS FIRE that attracts wonderful men & lovers but always seems to overbear any love I could EVER give or receive. White picket fences and minivans give me the creeps & would be the death of me, I fear. With all this said I am about to make a completely egotistical, arrogant remark. I believe God had Ron Reed Write this play just for me so that I could travel to the town of Rosebud to get confirmation that I indeed have made the right decisions in my own love life . In the play I cant tell you what the lead actress decides ( did she sell out or stay true to her self?) because I would ruin it for you…but I know that for me this play as I mentioned confirmed that I have indeed made the right decisions & will not become a sell out for any one except Jesus. I strongly recommend venturing to Rosebud, it is such an interesting Artistic hub neatly tucked away in the lumpy foothills of Alberta fully equipped with B & B’s for your romantic get away .
Steph Forster Signing off from 3900 feet above Manitoba.