Cape Cod Child Development hits close to home with "Rock of Ages"
By: Corinne Cameron
Life has been absolutely non-stop crazy for me, where I have not been able to write a blog post in ages. Things are no different right now, but there is a show, “Rock of Ages” coming up this weekend at the Tilden Arts Center that made me wake up an hour early so I could tell you about it. It’s that important!
Now you are sitting here thinking, Ok, theatre is entertaining and all, but important? Yes, important. The production has one goal, to serve as a fundraiser for a non-profit agency called Cape Cod Child Development. From May 12-13th the actors will perform 3 shows to raise money for CCCDP as well as the Cape Conservatory, who is receiving 10% of the proceeds to go towards student scholarships. I’ll tell you more about it further down but let me start by saying that I am not affiliated with the organization in any way other than being a former client on behalf of my 5 year old son, Remy.
Remy was born prematurely at 36 weeks and had a rough start to life, spending a total of 25 days in the NICU and Special care nursery off cape, before he was well enough to come home. Because of this he automatically qualified for services through CCCDP but little did we know, just how much we would need them and the impact the organization would have on us. Remy started off with some fairly minor stiffness on the right side of his body, a side effect of all the medications pumped into his delicate little body, and we utilized home based physical therapy services through their Early Intervention (EI) program. As he developed, he not only met his milestones, most were way ahead of the typical schedule. Then at about a year old, my husband and I, with our case manager, noticed that he wasn’t as vocal as we would have liked, so we monitored it for a bit. By the time he was 16 months, we decided to have a speech evaluation completed and the rest is history.
To make a long story, short, we had the pleasure of having CCCDP in our home multiple times a week to help Remy with his significant speech delays until he “aged out” at 3 years old and transitioned over to the public school system. In addition to having our case manager, we had a speech therapist, as well as a child development specialist working with not only Remy, but my husband and myself. What impressed me most was not only the service that they were providing, but their willingness to work within our personal ideals and boundaries. It was the definition of “child centered” and ‘individualized”.It was a sad day when we had our last EI appointment but also exciting to think of the future. Remy falls on the autism spectrum, with his receptive and expressive language being his largest stumbling block, but he is doing outstanding! The fact that it took what seemed like forever to hear my sweet boys voice say “mama’, it is even sweeter to now have him say, without prompting “Mama, I love you so much”. I can honestly say that it if wasn’t for CCCDP, I would still be waiting for “Mama”, as Early Intervention is key!
Early Intervention is actually the tip of the ‘iceberg” for Cape Cod Child Development as they have several programs to serve the Capes most vulnerable residents of all socioeconomic levels.They have the FUN (Family United Network) Program which has groups such as Music & Movement, Wildlife Playgroups, Children’s playgroups where they can explore fairytales, folk tales and original stories, Little Scientists and much more! They have Family Child Care, Preschool & Headstart Programs, and a Teen Parent Program. Since a good portion of clients fall at or below the poverty line, this non-profit organization relies on donations and grants to ensure they can serve any family that needs their service.
So what is so special about this production of “Rock of Ages” when we have an incredible amount of community theatre on Cape Cod? Well not only have some of the best talent on Cape been assembled, they have billed it as “Broadway meets Cape Cod” as they not only have 4 professional actors/vocalists joining the cast in lead roles, they have various production members that work in the business, working to make sure this show shines. I will mention that they have labeled the production PG-14, so this is an “Adult Night out to support our little ones”
So call your babysitter, grab your significant other or group of friends, go to www.CCCDP.org/children/events and reserve your tickets for one of the 3 shows and get transported back in time to re-live (Yikes! I am showing my age…..or live for the first time), your 1980’s rockstar dreams!
If you go:
Cape Cod Child Development Presents:
“Rock of Ages” by Chris D’Arienzo and arrangements by Ethan Popp
Featuring National Tour & Broadway Musical Artists
May 12th-13th, 2017
Tilden Arts Center, Cape Cod Community College
Corinne Cameron, an only child originally hailing from Long Island, New York but spent vacations and holidays at her families second home in Brewster since she was 3 weeks old. She was fortunate enough to be able to settle on the Cape full time in the Summer of 2000. A couple of years after marrying her husband Robert, her father suffered a life changing brain bleed leading to combining households with her parents, so she could care for him during the day. This led to purchasing a home in East Falmouth where they have been since May of 2014.
Professionally, Corinne was a social worker before becoming disabled from full time employment after a April 2007 car accident, however her most cherished “job” came to fruition on 11/11/11 when she gave birth to her rainbow baby, Remy. Remy was her personal miracle after suffering 10 miscarriages beforehand, a topic she is passionate about exposing as countless couples (1 in 4 pregnancies) every year suffer the same fate in silence. Along with raising Remy, who falls on the autistic spectrum, Corinne is a Director within the community theatre scene here on the Cape, as well as at Mashpee Middle High School since 2010. She also sits as Vice President on the Board of Directors at the Woods Hole Theater Company and runs an online support group of over 4000 patients, like her, who suffer from Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. In her spare time she enjoys various crafts, cake & cookie decorating, watching movies and playing board games with her family and most importantly attending bible studies and events at her church.
PLEASE BE SURE TO SCHEDULE A TIME TO CHECK OUT THE UPCOMING THEATER PRODUCTION THAT IS SURE TO DELIGHT CHILDREN AND ADULTS!
The True Adventures of Snow White & Prince Charming
Written & Directed by Lisa Jo Rudy
Feb 15, 20, 21, & 27 at 1:00pm
Fed 17, 19, & 26 at 7pm
Tickets $15; Children under 12: $10
The Woods Hole Community Hall, 68 Water St, Woods Hole, MA
Mention Cape Cod Moms referred you!
By: Corinne Cameron
“We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else” ~ Tom Stoppard
What do you do you do when life is so jam packed and your plate is over flowing everywhere? Well you sit down and write a blog entry of course! This one will be shorter then the norm, as you if you follow me you know how long winded I am, and it’s a bit self serving. Before I get to my main point, I’ll fill you in on what I have been doing as of late.
In between producing and choreographing a show at Mashpee High School that opens in less than 2 weeks, getting ready for my own auditions, taking care of my dad and Remy, packing to move and trying to find a new house to buy, I have been meeting with various people from local community theater programs in order to do some profiles on them. Soon I plan to give some great places and activities for your children to do for the up coming summer. There are so many summer programs and productions that will be an awesome experience for them and very different then the normal day camp.
Children’s activities and sports are great teaching moments, not only build up physical or practical skills, but also building independence, self esteem and confidence. Children that participate in theater from a young age get a huge advantage with these skills. School Theater productions are historically known as a catch all, at times, for welcoming kids that may not feel they fit in any where else. Ok, that is not to say that these same programs can’t be filled with drama both on and off stage but they are welcoming nonetheless. However, getting them involved when they are young can build those self confidence skills early so theater is an activity they enjoy and excel at and not only used so they have a place to feel wanted. It makes it so they can feel comfortable trying other activities too and be right in the mix with all the other kids.
Here on the Cape we are so lucky to have such a booming community theater life! “Community Theater” has different meanings depending on where you live and also different levels of professionalism. Here on the Cape (and surrounding areas) its top notch. The various venues work very hard to bring great talent to the stage so you don’t have to leave the area to see incredible productions. Ok, I am trying to segue to my main point!
We have a newer community theater in East Wareham (technically), called Buzzards Bay Productions, a mere 10 minutes from the Bourne Bridge. They have been building up there program over the past couple of years and finally have a production where kids would be appropriate. As a side note, which I will have more details in a future blog, they will be having a summer program just for children this summer!
Tomorrow, March 2, 2014 starts auditions for “The Pajama Game” and children 5 and up are welcome to audition. Only a small handful of kids will be offered ensemble roles as part of two large musical and dance scenes. Teens that audition have the opportunity to be offered a child role or potentially with the adults as a factory worker. Dancers and tumblers are highly sought after for this production for those scenes. So….. If you have a dancer or a gymnast in your house that’s looking for another outlet in order to show their talents, have them come on down!
Also, for the more experienced dancers there are a few featured dance roles available. Ok, I know I focused on the kiddos but….. Have you ever thought of getting on stage yourself? Were you in your high school play but life got in the way and you miss the awesome community and freedom that comes with being under the lights showing off your talent? I am a firm believer that parents need to have creative outlets for many reasons but most importantly as to have some time away for some fun but also it’s great role modeling for the kids to see Mom and Dad pursuing a passion.
So with that I will leave you with this: If you want more information you can go to www.buzzardsplayproductions.com or the Facebook event page for auditions at https://www.facebook.com/events/224839211030346/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming .
By: Corinne Cameron & Rob Minshall
I am very happy to now be writing “Show Reviews” for local, family-friendly, community theater productions as part of my blog. It is only fitting that my first review for Cape Cod Mommies would be for the Woods Hole Theater Company’s production of “Alice in Wonderland”, written by Lewis Carroll and adapted by local playwright Holly Erin McCarthy. Why is it fitting you ask? Well my debut blog entry was a piece on the Show’s director, Lisa Jo Rudy, and her vision of the show and what she wanted to accomplish.
The energy in the Woods Hole Community Hall was palpable on the Show’s opening night with last minute costumes flying by and eager parents waiting to see all the hard work of their little ones about to come to fruition. I sat there in the full house with my co-reviewing partner my husband Rob (We used to be the theatre reviewers for the Barnstable and Falmouth Patch), my 15 year old-step children Samantha and William and my 2 year-old Remy! My goal was to get their opinion in order to encompass the wide range of ages of my family, including how Remy reacted to his first play as an audience member. So, needless to say, this experience could have been delightful or a disaster, having nothing to do with the production itself, as you never know how a 2 year-old is going to react to, well..anything!
As the house light lowered, the show started out on a humorous note with the sweet sounding voices of children singing the first verse of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star before it turned into an “Alice” rendition (I’ll leave it at that as not to ruin it). McCarthy’s clever writing and humor was a treat in that all ages were able to understand and enjoy not just the song but the entire story as a whole.
Director Lisa Jo Rudy stuck to her vision that she spoke about in my original blog post (can be found here) in casting many children, some of which are kids that might not have gotten a chance to be in principle roles elsewhere. In a side conversation with Ms. Rudy, she explained that some cast members and instrumentalists were on the autistic spectrum or had other challenges, but to be honest, I couldn’t tell who they were. The whole cast of 30-plus kids and only 3 adults, stayed very focused while on stage, something that is a rare treat when working with little ones.
The action opened with the “medium” Alice played by Angelina Dvorak going through her tutor lessons before embarking on her trip down the rabbit hole. The clever use of set pieces, designed by Peter D. Cook and Bryan Wilde and the use of 3 actresses playing “Alice” let the audience see the different size proportions right before their eyes. The classic part of the story was honored by having Alice Drink the “Drink Me” vial or Eat the “Eat Me” sweet, she appeared to shrink into the “small” Alice , played by Nora Denietolis or grow to the “giant” Alice played by Hope Blanchard.
I will mention that opening night jitters may have gotten the best of Dvorak and Blanchard as they both rushed through their lines making it a bit hard to understand, however, both their facial expressions and stage presence let them shine in their small roles. The majority of the show was performed by the “Small” Alice and 11 year-old Nora Denietolis shined on stage and carried the show with the professionalism of a seasoned actor. Her energy was infectious and stage presence commanding not allowing the audience to be able to take their eyes off of her.. In a good way!
The one exception to the last statement was when sisters (in real life) Lily and Chloe Rapoza, playing Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, took over the stage. Their comic timing and facial expressions were superb, all while having to manipulate their cumbersome costume. It was almost disappointing when they left the stage knowing they wouldn’t be returning as Alice made her way to see the Queen of Hearts.
Other actors of note were Ursula Junker who played the door-mouse. She always remained in her character and was a hoot to look at with her sleepy demeanor. One thing I would highly suggest, especially if you are bringing little ones to see it, is to get there early for good seating. The space is small with only floor seating, and general admission to boot, so little ones and even adults will miss some of the action because of sight lines. I mention this here because my Samantha commented that Junker had some great moments with her physical acting when at the tea party and that she was able to see from her advantage point, while I, who was sitting next to her, couldn’t see Junker at all due to the low placement of the table. On the flip side, I was able to see Isabella Youmans, another standout as the March Hare, who was sitting at a different part of the tea party table where the rest of my family could not.
If you are familiar with Alice in Wonderland, you know that there are always unique items sprinkled through Alice’s journey. Prop Designer, Bryan Wilde, did a fabulous job with those touches utilizing large tea cups and flamingos used as croquet mallets. In addition to outstanding the props, the costuming of this show is a huge undertaking and Costumer Aimee Rozum definitely succeeded in her task. The costumes and props take you into “another world” and each character that comes on stage raises the bar from the last, culminating in the expertly dressed “Queen of Hearts” played by Kit Palmer and “King of Hearts” played by Abe Lineaweaver.
Overall, this was quite an enjoyable show that is a great activity for the whole family to relish in the entertainment. It’s also a great opportunity for your budding young thespian to witness that child actors can carry a show, sometimes better then their fellow adult cast members. The running time is just over an hour and was perfect even for my little Remy to behave for the entire performance cuddled in his Dad’s arms.
If you want to go there, are only 4 performances left on February 18th & 20th at 7:00pm, February 22nd at 4:00pm and February 23rd at 2:00pm. Get your tickets asap by calling the box office at (508) 540-6525. The Woods Hole Theater Company is located at the Woods Hole Community Hall, 68 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543.
By: Corinne Cameron
I am always interested in how people organize their lives. I figure most households are similar in that there are never enough hours in the day and there is always “something” that doesn’t get accomplished. And of course there are the different types of priorities and their importance really depends on the person they are benefiting, correct?
It isn’t until you sit down and either take the time to mentally put together all that is on your plate, journal it or have a blog you need to write, when you realize that that “plate” keeps growing. When it goes from a dessert plate to a bread then small dinner and finally large dinner plate, you realize that no matter the size, eventually the table is going to get filled too. As parents, we are always challenged with putting things in order of priority because, like it or not, a “day” only consists of 24 hours and some of those precious hours need to be devoted to sleep.
It's actually rather interesting to think, as the rhythm of your day unfolds, that something that was, for example, #3 on your priority list can so easily get pushed further and further down as other more “important” things arise and take its place. The way we personally rank our priorities is due to many things: the way we grew up, morals, health, outlook on life etc... Even in this new world of social media where we now know way more about the day to day of our “friends” lives than ever before, it doesn’t mean people post everything. I find sometimes that we, as women, tend to judge others for those decisions without knowing the complicated individual filter each person has. If I could with this post impress any one thing on other mothers (or fathers) out there, it would be that 'your priority list is your own and don’t let anyone make you feel different.'
So I ask, how do you choose to organize yourself? Do you write lists? How do you determine what goes on the list? Is it just the major things or do you put every last thing down like “folding the laundry”. Do you have the same routine everyday for the normal things? I realize that my organization is very unstructured. Maybe that is my problem; if I actually wrote things down and had a sense of order, maybe I wouldn’t over schedule myself, wait until the last minute to accomplish things or downright forget to do things like cleaning out the little one's ears at bath time.
On the other hand, as a director, I am very structured. I write out lists to make sure everything gets done. I create timelines to ease my stress level and I am usually prepared way in advance for things like auditions, rehearsals, blocking, choreography etc.. So why can’t I do this for my life in general? Well, maybe it’s because life with a toddler is an ever-changing adventure? Who knew something so small could throw a huge monkey wrench in your day in a blink of an eye!
Even though I don’t write things down and forever feel unorganized in daily life, we do have a nice rhythm of our day and certain small routines that always happen. They tend to make life a lot easier such as always putting Remy’s shoes and socks on right before we are ready to leave the house, while he is sitting on “the shoe bench” (which is actually a wooden storage piece for our throw blankets). It works great! Saying “Remy go to the shoe bench to get ready” signals him to run over and sit cutely waiting on the bench with his infectious smile and giggle due to the excitement of our impending outing. We also have great routines for nap, bath and bedtime that make each “activity” go off without a hitch. Ok why did I feel the need to put “activity” in quotes? Well I guess sleeping is an activity, just a low energy one and my bizarre nature felt the need to separate the word in some way..but, I digress….
Moving on...I recently learned that despite the best of intentions of getting things done and moving things up on my mental list of importance, life can always throw a curveball. These curveballs can be small or large, but change life in some way. My family has kind of had many good sized curveballs thrown out there as of late which has made life a lot more..umm… let's say 'complicated' for lack of better term. Without detailing everything as it would take many pages to do so, I'll give a brief glimpse of what has changed my normal priority list which I will try to write in a short paragraph. Ok try to read this like one of those fast commercials that are done in improper English...
Dad doesn’t feel well, collapses, gets taken to the ER. Has his second brain bleed and is in Mass General for a while, then 2 rehabs, then home in time for Turkey Day. Mom, my hubby and I need to learn to care for him as he is now paralyzed on his right side and you really can't understand 70% of what he says. Aides, therapists and nurses in and out of their house, has another stroke and back in hospital, then a week of rehab, gets sprung for a day for Christmas and then discharged for New Year's. Only child, me, takes on caring for him 3 days a week while trying to reschedule Remy’s school and early intervention appointments. Hubby’s car on the fritz and down to one car and need to get him to and from work every day. Mom herniated a disk so Hubby, Remy and I pack up and move in for 5 days to care for them both. Keeping their house clean as it's on the market (anyone want a nice three bedroom in Brewster??) while searching for a new house for us all to live.. Holidays, dental appointments (I'll write in my next post that I'm actually toothless right now and awaiting new teeth) MRI’s (for my own complicated medical picture), re-evals for Remy's early intervention due to delayed speech, quality time with the twins and the stomach plague hits both hubby and me for 4 days! Arggh!!
Phew.. Ok do I really need to explain more why I haven’t written in a while? Needless to say, life has changed a bit and is continually going to change until we all move and settle. It's both stressful and also exciting at the same time! I grew up with my grandmother in my home and it was great. I really love that Remy will have access to my parents on a daily basis.
Oh yeah, what I failed to mention, until now, is that I was also charged with directing the entertainment for a fundraiser at Buzzards Play Productions for the theatre department. I plan to write a whole piece on this unique and awesome live venue in the future. Anyhow… between all that was going on, I lost my pianist for the night and in typical Corinne fashion was lucky to find one with a week left to go. I had two rehearsals scheduled for this past week and guess what? Yeah, one of them was on Blizzard Tuesday (the only day the pianist could come) so apparently mother nature didn’t want it to happen. Luckily the pianist (who has never done musical theatre) was able to come for 2 hours on our Thursday rehearsal. We didn’t get through all the music, including one piece that the two actors didn’t know! So they (the pianist and the actors) learned it an hour before the performance.
Ok shameless gushing coming…. One of those actors was my talented husband. The show went off without a hitch. As I watched everyone perform the different numbers I was in awe.. It started off with a “flash mob style” of doing “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent. Rent was the first musical done at the venue so some of the cast came and joined the recent cast of The Rocky Horror Show to sing the song and it was beautiful! We did some numbers from “Rocky” including my hubby’s solo of “I’m Going Home”. I was standing off to the side of the stage holding a very tired Remy. He goes up, towering over the mic with his 6’6” frame and decides not to use it… he opens his mouth and the house was silent. The only possible thing that could have potentially been heard other than his beautiful voice was me getting choked up and starting to cry a bit.
It wasn’t just his voice that did it (although it was warranted), it was everything that I have just been writing about coming to a head. Even with all the trials and tribulations of life and major curveballs, there was time to just sit back and relax for a moment and beam with pride on behalf of the talent that assembled to support not only the arts but the venue in real need of a financial boost.
What is you escape activity? If you don’t have one, consider theatre… it will give more back to you then I could ever express on paper!
OK, nap time is over so off I go, go, go!
By: Corinne Cameron
You would think that as much as needs to be accomplished on any given day that I would prioritize my tasks
accordingly, right? Yeah that doesn't seem to happen, as evidenced by the hour and quarter I just spent
meticulously figuring out the exact nutritional information for my son's oatmeal mix as if I was about to report
my findings to a Weight Watchers meeting. I was actually nervous! What if it was too many points or that I was making a seemingly good meal worse with all my “additives”?
Then, with a head shake in order to physically empty it out, I realized that: 1) He is two and doesn't have to
watch his weight, 2) All my “additives” were healthy additions and 3) Where in the world did the Weight
Watchers thought come from? I'm not in the program nor is anyone in my household. I dabbled once about 10 years ago, but when it became my own personal game of “how few points can Corinne eat today” I realized it wasn't for me, as I don't think that was the program creator's “point” (no pun intended).
If you read my first post, you'll see what I wrote about digressing...well insert the same sentiment here. I
digressed so much in this blog post that I had to go and change the entire subject matter! Like right now with what I was writing, I had a few paragraphs about priorities and organization, asking questions about how you,
the reader, handle these things and such. I ended up realizing that I had wanted to formally introduce my little
miracle, Remy. The segue into talking about him was actually quite smooth and appropriate but youʼll have to
take my word on it since with a swift “Command X” it was cut out of this post and plunked into the next one,
albeit needing to be re-worked a bit.
So now needing a new lead into gushing about my toddler, Iʼll start with the following: In my immediate family,
which comprises of: my husband, Rob; my 2 year old; and my boy/girl 15 year old twin step children, William
and Samantha and myself, of course, we are passionate about all things theatre. Rob and Samantha both
fully enjoy acting on the community theatre (and on the high school stage for Samantha) stages on the Cape,
both enjoying their fair share of success and lead roles. William has also participated in the past but rather
watch the productions than perform; however, he is turning into a nice little critic! My background involves a
brief stint in the professional acting world and a resume full of acting, stage managing and directing in
community theatre, here on Cape Cod. Collectively, we have learned, from both personal “hands on”
experience as well as observing others' personal drama throughout many productions, that there is a delicate balance between life and theatre. Being in production has a way of sweeping you up, completely enveloping you and if you're not careful, it can overtake you and cause some questionable decision making. I offer this warning more to parents of teens because I remember being in shows back then (a looong time ago) and totally living in a fantasy world and needing to be shocked into reality when it was over. It was a tough adjustment at times, especially as you go through the pains of puberty, and it usually had heart break with some boy associated with it too.
Iʼm going to take a moment to say something important here. Theatre brings so much joy and has more
positives then I can even think. So I encourage people who have never been on stage or adults that haven't
graced it (the stage) since high school, to go out and give it a try. HOWEVER, please do so fully knowing the
time and energy commitment involved and with the support of your partner, if you have one, and even your
kids. I would hate for someone to find a new passion and their family be resentful for the time away from
them. That's why shows with children in them are so great! It is something you can participate in as a family,
even if not everyone is on stage as there are plenty of behind the scene duties available. Also, if you're having difficulties in your relationship, getting involved in a theatre production may not be the activity you want to start, in order to take some time and space to think about things...Let's leave it at that.
The reason I am writing about the commitment is to give some explanation for the following story. Some may
shake their head reading some of it and question our decision-making, but I wouldn't change a thing if I
could go back and do it all over again. With that…..
Meet my two year old, Remy. He was born on 11/11/11, 4 weeks early. I know everyone says their child is a miracle, because they all are, but he was a miracle in that he beat all the odds for existence. After 8 miscarriages and 3 years of complete infertility during my first marriage, he was not only conceived but done so while I was on the Depo shot! I hadn't been with my current husband that long and we had talked about the struggles I had had and our plans to try conceiving the following year. Well he had other plans!
Despite the birth control, which was used for regulation purposes, Remy and our journey began. As each week passed with hcg levels going up and strong heart beats seen and then heard on the different ultrasounds, we were in complete awe of this incredible blessing. Now I, unfortunately had one of my miscarriages at 11 weeks, so I worked really hard not to get my hopes up until we got to that magic “Week 13”. Which is irony isnʼt it? In any other context the number 13 would be dreaded. I mean they purposely skip numbering the 13th floor in tall buildings, when all it's doing is screwing with the psyche of the people on the 14th floor.
Anyway, the second trimester came and went without too much incident and then BAM, welcome the third
trimester. I should mention that my past fertility issues were not the only reason my pregnancy was high
risk. I was “advanced maternal age” at 35 years old (I guess the whole “35 is the new 25” doesnʼt apply in
gynecology), have Lupus and also suffered disabling injuries from a bad car wreck in 2007. So the doctors
were always on their guard with me and, self-fulfilling prophecy or not, I ended up with pre-eclampsia and
was put on restricted activity.
Oh wait!! Did I fail to mention that I was in the middle of directing a production of Guys and Dolls at the
time? Yeah, it took me a bit to wrap my head around the fact that I, a director that is very hands-on,
showing actors physically what I want, had to do this while restricted. And as these things go, eventually
ended up on full bed-rest as my blood pressure and my belly grew. After arguing with my doctors, we came to a happy medium. I could go to rehearsals as long as I didnʼt move while there and any other time stayed on strict bed rest. Enter my incredible husband, who after securing a big comfy chair on wheels that also lounged backwards, would bring me into the building, settle me in my new chair with my legs propped up and would wheel me anywhere I needed (usually the bathroom) to go. The experience actually taught me a lot. I
needed to learn how to explain things instead of physically showing them. In other words it made me think on
my feet rather than being on them. Theatre tends to do that, you end up learning things that can be useful
in many factions of life while also growing as a director, actor or whatever other discipline you are
undertaking. My husband always says, and I fully agree with it, that if he ever stops learning and growing as an actor then it would be time to give it up.
Well I made it through...almost. The show opened and had a very successful opening weekend. The
reviews were quite positive and I was so proud of Rob whom I couldnʼt take my eyes off each night as he
portrayed the suave, Sky Masterson. Anyway, on Thursday the 10th I had my last ultra sound appointment
with my maternal fetal medicine specialist. Everything looked great, however she said “Well now we will
look for reasons to take him out as when things go down-hill they go down fast”. Little did I know how the
next 24hours would turn out..again with that self-fulfilling prophecy thing.
After a long night with little sleep as my blood pressure was through the roof, I awoke to a great article in the
CC Times talking about the show. The bulk of the article was about directing in my third trimester and she
ironically summed it up saying that we all hoped that the baby would wait until the show closed to make his
opening appearance. I got dressed and headed out the door to the OBʼs office, sending my husband to
work and assuring him all would be all right.
Ok, I knew it was the day, but I'm an actor and did a real good job at calming him, plus he needed to be on
stage that night at 8pm to start off our second weekend of performances. From the office I was sent over to
maternity at the hospital for some monitoring, texting my husband frequently with no news, as they kept
saying “Let's wait and see”. He made it until about noon when he called saying he was going to get packed
up as he wasn't being productive (he was in Woods Hole) and drive to get the twins from their mother's
house in Yarmouth and await news as to what was going to happen.
Well at 2:30 everything sprung into action. Nurses came in and out, poking me and asking questions. When
I expressed my concern about my husband not arriving yet, they assured me not to worry as we had to wait
for the surgical team which could take a bit. Two minutes later (of course) the surgical team and the anesthesiologist came popping in saying “Ready to go” and I yelled a resounding “No”! Then, after breaking many speed limits, my husband and step kids came running into the room at about 3pm. Nurses
threw a surgical gown at him and at 3:24pm, Veterans Day or 11/11/11, our miracle arrived.
Unfortunately, as is common with Caucasian boys in their 36th week, he had breathing complications soon
after birth. Because I had a spinal for my C-section, I obviously couldnʼt move, so I was not able to be in the
special care nursery with my precious Remy as they gave him oxygen. Rob and the older kids took turns
coming back into my room with photos and video of his first hours of life.
Now is where that balance thing comes in… It was time for Rob and Samantha (who was also in the show)
to leave for the theatre. The pediatrician assured them and me that Remy would be fine and to have a good
show. I chuckled as, after all I went through to get the production off the ground, there wasnʼt much that
would make me cancel a performance. Well, not 20 minutes after they left, the doctor came back in and
gave me the horrible news that Remy needed to go to Tufts Medical Center in Boston because of his lung
function. He again assured me that this was common and that he would be fine but needed extra support.
I had to battle whether to tell my husband or not. Here he had to entertain a hundred plus theatre patrons, singing and dancing, but he deserved to know what was happening with our little boy. To make a long story short, he as the incredible performer that he is , got up on stage and submerged himself into the world of gambling and gangsters. Right after the show he returned to stay with me at the hospital as it would take until the following day for me to be transferred up to our son.
Remy had a 25 day struggle in the NICU at Tufts and special care nursery at Jordan but came home on
December 7th, his due date. Since then he has grown and flourished and is a perfectly healthy 2 year old
boy. Since his birth I have directed 3 more shows and starred as an actor in one while his dad has starred in
5 shows! Remy has also made appearances in 2 shows to date! Theatre is a special part of my family's life
and I hope that it will be an integral part in Remyʼs life as he grows up in it.
If you have any questions about how to find a theatre or production for you or your children please donʼt hesitate to comment, find me on Face Book or email me at email@example.com. If you enjoyed this post please “like” it on FB so I know you want to hear more!
By: Corinne Cameron
I expected to start this blog post, my first “official” one for Cape Cod Mommies, all competent sounding. For example saying; “I recently sat down with Lisa Jo Rudy, director of the upcoming production of Alice and Wonderland at The Woods Hole Theatre Company and we had and incredible and lively conversation about the production but also children’s theatre itself. That sounds good right? Well that didn’t exactly happen. Why you ask? Well its easy and can be described in only one word! Motherhood.
Heck, I didn’t even have time to do a phone interview, let alone sit down in a cozy coffee shop, not having time constraints or others cares to side track the conversation. What I was able to do was to cobble together a bunch of questions in an email in between making dinner, stepping on a lego (you would have thought I was dying it hurt so badly), texting a colleague to say that I am not going to make the meeting that started 5 minutes before I sent the text, telling my husband to relax and that its a good thing that our son is playing with his yogurt, smearing it over his belly as its a learning opportunity and easily wiped up. Of course the above list just created more things that had to be accomplished after dinner, which I still needed to finish cooking, because now a bath was in order (and its not a normal bath day), we had to clean up more toys as in my frustration I threw the lego in its bucket, grumbling and not paying attention I tripped over a different bucket spilling things everywhere and because I flaked on the Gala planning meeting, I now needed to type up all that I had gotten accomplished for it in order to email it to the other committee members so they know I
actually did something.
But I digress, which happens a lot. I figure if I could stay on track in general I could get a lot more accomplished during the day, but then I wouldn’t be “me”. Anyway..Back on track! Thankfully Lisa Jo Rudy is a great writer (she does it for a living) and was more than happy to answer my questions and also expanded on them giving me lots of great information to share with everyone. The following are the questions I asked and her responses. From the looks of it this is going to be an incredible experience for our youth.
Corinne: What made you want to direct a children's show?
Lisa: Actually, I didn't want to direct a CHILDREN'S show: my interest is in multigenerational shows that include and feature children. Why? Well, first of all, I actively enjoy working with children, particularly children who are relatively new to theater, or for whom theater is an unusual opportunity to shine. A lot of kids have a tough time in school, but are real standouts in theater -- whether onstage or backstage. I have also seen that including people of all ages in a show means that people of all ages get to know one another -- not as "so and so's kid," or "so and so's mom," but as real people with whom they share a lifelong interest in a shared community. It's also important, I think, that multigenerational shows require EVERYONE, whatever their age, to accept the SAME level of responsibility for the success of the production. This isn't a "fun little activity for the kids," but rather a community theatre production with a professional mindset. in which kids have the same rights and responsibilities as anyone else. A child who rises to the challenge of theater is rising to the SAME challenge as the teens and adults around him or her. Also: I always wanted to BE a kid onstage, so this is a chance for my younger self to finally get that opportunity!
Corinne: What type of children are you looking for or what are some characteristics potential “auditioners” should have?
Lisa: First, what's NOT important: kids don't necessarily need a lot of onstage experience, or a strong background in performing. They don't need high grades, and they don't need to be popular, athletic, or even good looking. They also don't need to be the BEST actor, singer, or dancer around. What they DO need are:
For Alice, we will be casting children ages 6 and up (including teens and adults). We hope to find kids with all the abilities above, as well as some kids with good skills in singing, playing instruments, and tumbling. We are also very open to kids who are interested in helping with set construction, costumes, and props -- and we are hoping to find some teens who enjoy helping younger kids get into costume and be ready to go on stage. We will not be accepting children under the age of 6 for this show.
Corinne: Why do you think children's theatre is important and how do you feel theatre in general can benefit a child?
Lisa: Theater is one of the world's oldest arts, and a child who gets involved with theater has a lifetime of enjoyment, friendship, learning, and excitement ahead of him or her. Community theater offers kids what I think may be a unique opportunity to take a real, responsible role in a project that includes people of all ages, that is significant to the entire community, and in which their hard work matters just as much as any adult's. That goes not only for kids on stage but also for kids backstage. Theater people are also different, in many ways, from "typical" people in the community. They tend to value different things -- imagination instead of athletic ability; artistic finesse instead of popularity; hands-on skills instead of grade scores. For many kids, theater is the one place where their greatest skills are not only valued but also nurtured -- and that experience won't end just because your child grows up. In fact, it can continue throughout their lives and on into old age!
Corinne: What is unique about your production?
Lisa: This will be the first family show in Woods Hole for decades! Our plan is to do some unusual things depending upon who turns out for auditions: ideally, we hope to have a group of vocalists (singers), a few instrumentalists, multiple Alice's and White Rabbits (we'll explain when we see auditioners). If we get good tumblers who are small enough, they will become live hedgehogs in the Red Queen's croquet match. We have learned that keeping kids backstage for long periods is no fun for anyone, so everyone will be helping out with moving set pieces, etc., throughout the show. We also plan to turn the Woods Hole Community Hall
into Wonderland! Also, depending upon whether we are able to get the right folks involved, we'd love to run a few "Mad Tea Parties" for audiences before or after productions.
Corinne: What can a potential cast member expect out of the experience and will it get in the way of school and other activities?
Lisa: See above for what you'll get out of the experience! Re: getting in the way: yes, theater gets in the
way. There will be evening rehearsals, and late rehearsals the week before the show. You may have to say "no" to other activities, especially toward the middle of February. BUT -- most if not all of the performances will be during Winter Break in February, so that should make things a little easier.
Corinne: What can PARENTS get out of being part of a multigenerational production?
Lisa: Whether onstage or backstage, parents involved with a multigenerational show can get some pretty amazing benefits. Community: some parents make very good friends through theater. A whole new passion: many dedicated theater people got interested through their kids, and kept going long after their kids got bored. Family togetherness away from the screen: working together on a theatrical production is an amazing way to bond! Better knowledge of your community: if you've never been involved with theater on the Cape, you can't do better than to get involved with and through your kids. Of course, your first experience may lead to years of late night rehearsals, cast parties, auditions in towns that are an hour away... but if you go that route, you'll never look back.
Wow! Well if that didn’t make you sit up and take notice to get involved, I don’t know what would! I should mention that I did have a great follow up conversation with Lisa after I received her answers. If I could say one thing about her, it is her sheer desire to make theatre accessible to both children and adults by focusing on and using their strengths to the productions advantage.
If you are interested in auditioning here are the details:
When: December 12, 2013 at 5:30pm and December 14,
2013 at Noon. (If you come on the 12th be pre pared to potentially come back on the 14th for a call-back.)
Where: The Woods Hole Theatre Company, housed at the Woods Hole Community Hall
Who: Actors, Vocalists, Instrumentalists ages 6+, including teens and adults.
Preparation: If you are interested in being a vocalist or play and instrument (not required) please prepare and bring a Christmas carol or childhood tune to perform. Also looking for persons who can do somersaults, back bends etc.., speak with a British accent and speak in silly voices,
Questions? Feel free to contact the Director Lisa Jo Rudy at 508-540-7293 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, good bye for now… My son just dumped over the complete set of train tracks and legos for fun, so you know what Ill be doing for the next hour.
By: Corinne Cameron
Hello, fellow mommies! My name is Corinne Cameron and I have a beautiful (aren’t they all) son named Remy, who turned 2 years old on 11/11. Yup he is an 11/11/11 baby and was truly our little miracle. After 8 miscarriages followed by a three year period of complete infertility with my ex husband, life changed for the much better. I met my current husband and soulmate Robert. He was supportive of my fertility struggles and was willing to go the distance with me. That distance wasn’t too far as Remy was destined for this world and was conceived dare I say... easily!
Along with being a SAHM to Remy, I also am a director at local community theatres and for Mashpee High School's Blue Falcon Theatre group. I most recently directed a production of “The Rocky Horror Show” and now that the show is over, I have a little break to be able to write. I have been on stage acting since I was a child and had a brief professional career in my late teens and early 20's. I unfortunately had a vocal cord injury (yes it's a real thing but I'll spare you the details) which, even after rehab, it ended up my voice couldn't put up with the rigors of professional musical theatre. Luckily, I landed in a place where there is thriving community theatre and stage opportunities around many corners.
I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of some amazing productions at many of the Cape's, and surrounding area's, community theatres. I have been on stage as an ensemble member in many productions and also have taken the helm as the female lead in others. I also have had the joys of behind the scenes work as a Stage Manager for many local productions at various venues. Thankfully, all my experiences both on and off stage have led me to being able to direct. I'd never had the overwhelming
desire to direct growing up or while doing professional theatre, but rather found a incredible passion for it in the past several years.
When you are on stage, you are able to take a character and mold and shape it into yours' and the director's vision. It's a fun and fulfilling process if you do it correctly. But Directing.. Wow.. you get to have a hand in molding each character that is up on stage, from the leads down to the very important ensemble members. To sit back and watch the final product, seeing all your touches and such is an invigorating feeling. I love directing and teaching children. To have a hand in molding them as young actors is quite rewarding and one can feed off of their enthusiasm and dedication easily.
My goal is to not only write from time to time on children’s theatre around the Cape, but also to add in my experiences in parenting as I try to juggle the community theatre world and Motherhood. It is definitely a juggling act with many balls in the air at the same time, especially since my husband is frequently on the stage himself.
If you have any questions about children’s theatre on the Cape and surrounding areas, feel free to email me at email@example.com and I will do my best to guide you in the right direction!
Cape Cod Moms