Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Making memories in Ramseyer

Have you ever been in a place and wondered if the walls could talk what memories they would share?

For me, Ramseyer Auditorium is such a place. On a typical day it is a quiet, classic, dimly-lit place. In the weeks leading up to performance, it’s a place of much activity, music and laughter.

Some may remember this space just inside the College Hall east doors as Ramseyer Chapel. For others it is Ramseyer Theatre. Somewhere along the way it was renamed Ramseyer Auditorium. Several years ago it was renovated with the organ removed and new seats and lighting installed.

Just think of the many performances from this stage over the years…the comedies, dramas, tragedies, one-acts. Think of the audiences who were challenged to view life in a different way or perhaps given a respite from life’s challenges by these performances. Think of the many performers who stretched themselves to take on the roles of villains, heroes, senior citizens, children, dogs (as in Snoopy); those who stepped out of their comfort zone by just appearing on stage and others who experienced the first-time thrill of directing.

An actress I’m not. But my roommate was. This means I helped with several theatre productions. I appeared on stage twice – both times as part of a crowd. I may have had two lines in my entire collegiate theatre experience. Suffice it to say I did not find my calling in Ramseyer Theatre, but many good times were had while building set and serving as a stage hand.

Stepping into Ramseyer Auditorium this morning, the set has been transformed once again into a living room, complete with a “brick” exterior wall, a sofa, chair and a table decorated with glass figurines.

Ramseyer is ready for opening night of Tennessee Williams’ classic “The Glass Menagerie.” Tonight is the final dress rehearsal. While I don’t personally know of the memories created while building this set, reading through this script, blocking and rehearsing, I’m sure if the walls could talk, it would have stories to tell.

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