“The final act is upon us’

April 9, 2014   ·   0 Comments

“The final act

is upon us’


Oh, “The Winter of Our Discontent.”  In light of the many store closings and unsold Theatre Orangeville tickets that Artistic Director David Nairn’s recent column in the Banner speaks of, perhaps the aforementioned ‘discontent’ would have been a more apropos theme to reference, as he predictably and foolishly cites the ‘natural discourse of the seasons’ as a true and only villain in this play called Life In Orangeville.

It’s fascinating how years of well-crafted theatrical and literary training can so eloquently employ (marketing and otherwise) literary devices to set up the town’s folk as protagonist, which could be such a welcomed honour, if not for the realization that all of this is likely a Shakespearean tragedy in the making.  Am I being too dramatic?  Well, we shouldn’t disappoint, considering how the stage has been set.

I wonder how we would weather John Steinbeck’s assessment of our town’s outlook.  I muse that David is surely familiar with a character of Steinbeck’s — who feigns entrapment within ‘morality’s wintery framework’ as the reason for his forced hand towards utter moral decay.

The character is first positioned to assert goodwill, but soon cries foul without basis – victim of his own doing, spreading blame – which is so vividly seen when contrasted amongst legitimate societal concerns.  That said, within our own engaging plot line, is there no greater ascension to climax, than when a play leads us to reveal the true nature of an antagonist.

David’s recent newspaper column, asking us to find it within our conscience to buy more theatre tickets and eat more restaurant food during the winter months, prompted me to take further pause, and reflect upon what I learned in Ms. White’s high-school English class:

“A horse, a horse, a kingdom for a horse.” — What are we expected to trade to save our town?  How much more skin are we to put into this game?  Just how bad does Theatre Orangeville have it?  I am actually concerned, if not confused.  And if in fact Theatre Orangeville is in an untenable position, what are we to do?  “Ah, distinctly (how we will) remember it was in the bleak December…”

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” — Of course this came to mind upon being prompted to spend my money.

I appreciate that David is willing to make heroes of us all, should we decide to play along and fund a panacea for the town’s great ills. But haven’t we had enough of the wickedly obtuse and condescending ‘Live Here, Buy Here’  rhetoric.  I then ponder: Upon which stage does David’s encouragement lie, when he cajoles us to enjoy ourselves, yet at such certain expense and peril — Is it ‘soldier’ or ‘justice’? (As Shakespeare so strikingly relates.)  Whatever the truth, justice and plurality shan’t cost us groundlings a pence, so say I!  So grant us all favour David, as favour — whether in yearning, and certainly yearly — has oft been granted to you.

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” — We all want better.  But with the inherent ‘ask’ that David presents to us, should we not wonder: “Can one desire too much of a good thing?”  I guess it depends “as (or how) you like it.”

Most of us prefer for such hard offerings (to be or) not to be put down our throats. (That isn’t a question.)  Or, for thus to not poke us from behind begging attention.  But fortunately for subscribers of the theatre, they rest assured, aft protected, in the cushions of their new seats.

In hoping that families in Orangeville will soon speak of things not so hard, I’m concerned we may travel along mustang roads where ultimately “they spake not a word”.  I imagine the economy’s blight may tame down, once we find shrewd footing amongst commons’ ground, allowing us to enjoy the stage for what it is, but ‘til then, we need the chorus of the people to be heard upon nigh.  Pray thee, as prey hither, for I fear that past certainty will play us for fools, should things degrade to the point where “the poorest of service is paid back with only thanks”.

Theatre Orangeville is this town’s great long-standing tradition, and let us hope it ne’er, ever, fades to black.  I confirm that sincerely.  Despite the ‘ask’, we can all appreciate the positive impact the theatre, and the Arts on whole, has had on our community and our youth. Yet, knowing that David is a decent sort, I’m perplexed into thinking there must be a co-conspirator in its wings, befitting of a great drama, prompting David to follow the flailings of some self-serving BIAs.

“All things are ready if our minds be so.” — Our town’s leadership groups oft refuse to address the hot and obvious: that we’ve adopted many of their herd — like elephants-in-the-room, once cute, now running long in the tooth freely up and down Broadway, henceforth asking of us for’ever more.  Time to recognize the truth, despite what little we shall get in return, so we may sooner be ready for better.  Isn’t this though, oh so taxing, hoping to not again be burned.

Whether jester or king, hear us cry fore; we shall be burdened no more — as to be understood in spite of forked tongue.  Our ills, ails and ales are not due to poor spending manners — we should be allowed this one won.  So then, enough of these subtle, if not muddled, insults we endure.  “So c’mon” David and friends.  Enough.

The final act is upon us, and I am reading with modern script in hand — it has an ‘ask’ of its own, if not be damned: “For truer be, let better leadership follow — that is all, should we, and you my friend, not wallow.”  And, scene.

Darrin Davidson

Orangeville, ON

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.