“Shared Beginnings” at the Robidoux Resident Theatre brings past and present into focus for all ages, May 13/14

by Nancy Piercy

The Robidoux Resident Theatre (RRT) provides a warm and welcoming environment for creative people of all ages. I discovered this wonderful place when I joined the 2nd Act Players class after I retired in 2018. Here, I met Cheryl Wood, the Coordinator/Director for 2nd Act: It’s Our Time (theater classes for adults 50-plus years old) and RRT Jr Players (a course for middle and high school students).

Last summer, Cheryl and I formed the RRT Writer’s Room with the goal of writing a script combining the talents of both 2nd Act and Jr Players. The “Shared Beginnings” script resulted from this collaboration and is now in production. Twenty-five actors, ages 12 to 83, are working together to bring this show to life. This dramedy addresses serious issues but has many comedic moments.

“Shared Beginnings” starts with a music montage transporting the audience back to 1968, recapping popular culture and the current events of the time. The curtain opens on a high school gym where graduates, played by the Jr Players, are picking up caps, gowns, and yearbooks and waiting for graduation practice. The audience is introduced to the characters who are excited but unsure about their futures. Keep in mind that the boys were facing the mandatory Vietnam draft. Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in April, and mass protests were raging against the war and for civil rights. The Act One cast of RRT Jr Players consists of Macormick Carlson, Josiah Cheney, Nicholas Davison, Kendall Heckman, Evelyn Holtzclaw, Ireland Johnson, Marley Meek, Natalie Smith, Brody Stanley, Ava Utlaut, and Amelia White.

Act Two opens with the 50th reunion of the class of 1968 with the 2nd Act: It’s Our Time cast playing their 1968 counterparts. Unfortunately, the audience sees that world conditions haven’t changed much in 50 years – our troops are now in Afghanistan, and civil rights protests continue across the nation. Renee Beggs, Ethel Catron, Janet Duke, Sue Klingensmith, Wendell Koerner, Loren Larkin, Cindy Majors, Susan Meyer, Kimberly Morris, Mike Pittman, Margaret Redmond, David Rich, and Lori Zillner make up the cast of 2nd Act Players.

Performances will be at the Ruby Theatre (part of the Robidoux Theatre), located at 615 S 10th Street, St. Joseph, Mo.

Date and times:

  • Friday, May 13 at 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, May 14 at 2:00 pm

Tickets are:

  • $10 for adults, $8 for students (12 – 18 yrs)
  • $6 for children (11 and under)

General seating tickets (no reserved seats) may be purchased at the door. For more information about tickets or about 2nd Act or RRT Jr Players classes, email cheryl.wood@rrtstjoe.org or call the RRT office at 816-232-1778. We hope you will come see the show. Perhaps some of you will consider joining our classes in the fall or come audition for RRT productions. 

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