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Life in the theater knows no age

I had a wonderful experience in theater last year that was born out of taking a nonfiction writing class at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. I am forever striking gold in all the wrong places — beware who you sit next to.

One classmate was an actor. Balding. My hair is thinning too — a theater match for sure. He was curious about my mentions of my acting past and asked whether I was interested in going to an audition. It had been a dozen years since I last set foot on the stage.

I got the script and was intrigued. The character was 35 on the page. I am twice that age, but I am an actress. Full of magic.

The play was called “Into The Breeches,” by George Brant. Directed by Todd Neilson put, it was put on by Collaborative Theatre Project in Medford.

The production started during the COVID-19 summer of 2021. Rehearsal check-in meant temperature checks at the door, proof of vaccine, and social distancing. Masks were mandatory. What a time to do a play. But … in theater, the show must go on.

Another bit of magic for me was that all the characters had Shakespeare monologues and scenes. My character had several Shakespeare monologues and a sword fight. In junior high, I tried out for the part of Portia in “The Merchant of Venice” — “The quality of mercy is not strained." That set me on a Shakespeare love course. Once it’s in you it never leaves. I did my undergrad in drama at UC Santa Barbara.

While I was in the throes of rehearsal, I needed more assurance that I would do well, get it right, remember my lines. I bought a 50-pound chunk of rose quartz crystal that sits on my coffee table. You know about the power of gems, don’t you? Rose quartz, a stone of love.

As our rehearsals grew tighter, for dress rehearsal we got to remove our masks (proof of our second vaccine was provided). Pfizer and Moderna in the house!

Many of the young actors had day jobs, waitressing and office work. I am still awed by their energy. A special part of performing is family and friends in attendance. One of the many rewards of theater more lasting than a statue or plaque are the attendance of family and friends.

A life in the theater knows no age.

Carolyn R. Scott lives in Ashland.

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