33.8 °F
December 03, 2016
River Reporter Facebook pageTRR TwitterRSS Search

Oh joy! Oh rapture!

Ten-year-old Logan Haley (L) from Slate Hill, NY and pal Brian Ford, 11, of Westtown. NY brought their sheet music along, prepared to sing!

May 26, 2011

Since I own a television, there was no escaping the imminent possibility of what some folks claimed might happen on May 21, 2011. According to the onslaught of information, we were in for quite a ride. Words like “judgment,” “evil” and “sin” kept popping up; therefore I was a bit hesitant to dismiss it out of hand, and made my plans accordingly.

Just in case, I made reservations at the Liberty Free Theatre (LFT, www.libertyfreetheatre.org) for Thursday, well in advance of the impending end of the world, to catch Eugene O’Neill’s “Hughie.” According to mythologist Joseph Campbell, “We’re so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value—the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it’s all about.”

Since experiencing good theatre makes me feel alive, I checked Wikipedia, which says: “Eugene Gladstone O’Neill (16 October 1888 – 27 November 1953) was an American playwright, and Nobel laureate in literature. His plays were among the first to introduce into American drama techniques of realism and were among the first to include speeches in American vernacular and involve characters on the fringes of society, where they struggle to maintain their hopes and aspirations, but ultimately slide into disillusionment and despair.”

Director Chet Carlin had a firm grasp on that concept, as did actors Michael Frizalone and James Heisel. As always, the LFT offers up a coffee klatch (of sorts) after each performance and I was struck by the many different interpretations of O’Neill’s astonishing use of the language and what his intent may have been in writing “Hughie.” I will not be sharing my theory here, but would encourage all to go and experience it, sans my take on the production (other than to share that I loved it). The theatre has extended the play’s run to June 5, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Pre-Rapture, I spent some personal time outside playing with Dharma (the wonder dog) and reveling in the joy that is life in the Catskills, inspired by the words of Scottish poet George Byron: “There is pleasure in the pathless woods, there is rapture in the lonely shore, there is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar; I love not Man the less, but Nature more.”