Theater At the Ranch Relaunch Coming Soon

Deborah Dorman

Shortly before COVID-19 required shut-downs and social distancing, a theater club was beginning to form here at Robson Ranch. The goals were to produce, to begin with, a summer and a winter play, by and for the residents of the Ranch. Other activities such as trips to attend performances, and possible classes and training in theater craft, on and off stage, were also set to be provided. The group had a promising first organizational meeting, with more than 30 people showing interest—both experienced theater folk and those new to theater. Many projects were discussed, including musical revues, comedies, radio shows, and readings, as well as use of the Hermosa ballroom and the restaurant. Initial officers for the club met with Heather Hardesty, who was the former banquet manager, to discuss costs and use of space, and to look over the backstage area.

The group will have several challenges. No sets can be built to remain in place for any period of time due to other bookings for the ballroom, so sets will have to be very simple and portable, and must be stored backstage. Plays will have to be selected that require only adults, although good actors can certainly play a range from young adults to very old characters. Historical, period pieces would be difficult due to costuming, so most likely, more modern material needs to be chosen. These are all just creative challenges, and nothing the club can’t work around.

The club will start up again this summer—watch this space, NextDoor, and the Robson Ranch Facebook page for notices, and perhaps flyers in the sports facility. Understanding that there will be snowbirds involved, the club will aim for a first production in the winter, most likely early February, with casting in November and a break for the holidays. But prior to that, there will be planning and gatherings for play readings, just for fun, and possibly some training sessions. The club needs not just actors, but producers, directors, and assistant directors, as well as people to design lighting, costumes, props, sets and people to handle public relations, tickets, poster design, programs, and more. Theater is a wonderful activity that requires some long hours and commitment, a good sense of humor, attention to detail, and much creativity. It is a team effort that results in a gratifying performance for the cast, crew, and audience, providing an amazing sense of accomplishment.

Because the initial meeting was so long ago, please email [email protected] if you are interested in being a part of this club, and please provide your name, email, phone, address, and if you have any special experience or are interested in something specific. If you signed up previously, the club has your information, but perhaps it could use an update. Once there is a good email list, people can be notified of activities beginning this summer. If “all the world’s a stage,” Robson Ranch can have one, too!