Penfold Theatre’s Extraordinary Chamber Musical: Ordinary Days

Penfold Theatre Company, Round Rock, Texas, Your Local Color.Com, Ordinary DaysPenfold Theatre’s newest is going to be a real treat for those who are fortunate enough to catch a performance. Ordinary Days will be showing from March 20th through April 6th at the Off Center in Austin, and it is a musical that will feed your need for a true romantic, young-love story.

I can just remember what it was like to be young and brimming with hope. I can also remember the confidence of youth slowly losing ground to self-doubt as I encountered road blocks and personal failures. Who doesn’t? I think this is something with which we could all relate. [Read more…]

Round Rock’s Penfold Theatre Brings Us It’s A Wonderful Life – With A Twist

Penfold Theatre Round Rock, TexasThere is not a Christmas that goes by that I don’t watch Frank Capra’s classic holiday heart-warmer, It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey will always be one of my favorite characters. Released right after the end of World War II and filmed in black and white, it is a timeless story that reminds us what our true gifts really are – life and family. I just love it.

Like most everyone else my age, I have watched that movie countless times over the years. Capra caught lightning in a bottle in that effort which is something rarely done with a camera.  It never gets old. Somewhere we have a DVD of it in our movie library. I really should take it out and watch it more often than just at the holidays. It is such a tonic, and so good for the soul. [Read more…]

Round Rock’s Penfold Theatre’s Next Production – RED

Shipwrecked (1)What is art? I can’t really tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it. Haven’t heard that before have you? I know, cliché, cliché, cliché, but it was a reaction I learned to trust over time. For me, it became not so much the piece the artist created, but the strong emotional response I got when the piece first landed on my eyes. Weird, right? Let me give you an example. I have walked through lots of galleries, art fairs, studios and so forth, and I’ve seen a lot of impressive work, but  every once in a great while, I see something that makes me stop and keeps me from moving on. In those rare moments I find myself really enjoying the piece in front of me. It’s a strange feeling I can only describe as “my little happy.”

This happened at a flea market I was wondering through while on a trip to visit my brother and his family while he was stationed in the Navy at Pearl Harbor. It imageswas almost time to close the market, and at one of the last booths I came to there was this young guy selling pottery. He had done all of the work himself. The only pieces he had left were bowls. They were as dark as the lava rocks that cover so much of the island, and there was nothing really special about them at all. Still, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the bowls. I loved the way they felt in my hand, the way the sunlight reflected off their surface – everything. I bought one little bowl about the size of a cereal bowl for five dollars. I still can’t tell you why it felt so good to be the owner of that bowl. That bowl still sits by my bead, and every time I look at it I get the same emotional reaction – every single time. I guess that’s my definition of art.

Shipwrecked (5)I got the same emotional response to a Penfold Theatre reading of RED I attended at Round Rock’s Art Space on Main Street. I didn’t really know what to expect, but for me it was one of those happy accidents where chance and planning intersect and the payoff is sweet. Ryan Crowder, Producing Artistic Director at Penfold, and one of the actors in this 90 minute long, two-man play, once again indulged me with a brief interview that is a part of the video attached to this post. [Read more…]

Round Rock’s Penfold Theatre Presents Shipwrecked: An Entertainment

Shipwrecked (1)Thinking back when I was a kid, I remember my first adventure story and how thrilling Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was. I loved Captain Nemo’s submarine and all of the fancy gadgets on board. But it was the adventure that was the biggest draw. Going somewhere nobody else had ever been was the goal. Because of that story, I became addicted to fantasy adventure movies and books like Treasure Island, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Robinson Crusoe, Moby Dick, Kidnapped, Robinson Crusoe on Mars (It’s for real. Google it. It was an amazing movie for a five year old boy), Swiss Family Robinson, The Lost World and on and on.

I couldn’t get enough of that kind of entertainment and I knew that one day I would explore Shipwrecked (5)the great unknown. That dream proved fleeting. When I found out there really were no more unexplored desert islands and that the center of the earth was really a blob of molten iron and nickel, I almost gave up on life. Was I going to spend the rest of my life mowing yards in Waco? What was left to do, I asked myself.

Julie Linnard and Robert L. Berry

Julie Linnard and Robert L. Berry

Well, there are still great books and movies to explore and as I grew up I found out that life can be a great adventure even if you never set foot out of your own home town. Getting married and starting a family became my most important high sea adventure. Raising kids was my trip up a tornado in a frame farm house. Teaching my son to use the toilet and not his diaper was my sea monster encounter. It has been a thrill a minute. Still, when life starts to get me down, I can still imagine myself as Tom Hanks, alone on a desert island with nobody to hassle me and my best friend is a soccer ball, but I digress. [Read more…]

A Marvelous Party – Round Rock’s Penfold Theatre

imagesWell times are tough but they’re never so tough that a good jolt of dinner theater can’t bring a skip to your step and a smile to your face. Here’s your chance to relax, lighten up and support our amazing local performing artists. Penfold Theatre’s 2013 – 14 season will be announced at A Marvelous Party on May 19th on the grounds of Kindred Oaks estates out in the Hill Country.  Tickets are available through May 13th.  A Marvelous Party is complied and directed by Susan Finnigan and Nathan Jerkins.

A great meal will be catered by Bowties 2 Bluejeans while guests are entertained by local “crooners” who have been a part of Penfold’s past productions. The event is a fund raiser for Penfold and all of the proceeds will go to support its upcoming season and to further support its “mission to bring professional theater performances and education programs to North Travis and Williamson Counties.” Those who follow this blog know that this is just what Your Local is all about.

Ryan Crowder

Ryan Crowder

I had the chance to spend some time with several of the people involved with the Penfold Theatre group. I dropped by a rehearsal held at the beautiful home of Susan Finnigan where I got the chance to peek in on the musical magic and interview Penfold’s Producing Artistic Director, Ryan Crowder. I was also able to listen to performances by Nathan Jerkins, Penfold’s Artistic Director, and Stephanie Delk, who is a stage manager and performer with Penfold Theatre. They were working on their songs for the A Marvelous Party performance, as was Ryan, and if you click on the video you will get to see and hear some of what you are in for at the May 19th fund raiser. The video also goes into some interesting detail about Penfold’s past, present and future.  [Read more…]