Geoff Tarson and Nanette DeWester
FLOUR’S FOR YOU Geoff Tarson offers Nanette DeWester some baked goods during a rehearsal of the 9th annual alumni show, Mambo Italiano: A Roman Holiday.
Photo: J. Simon
My first reaction when I saw the rehearsal schedule for the alumni show was, “Don’t give me a big role.”  Actually, my first reaction was, “I need to back out of this.”  But Rhonda and Rick talked me back off the ledge.  They said I could be involved as much or as little as I could handle.  I said I could handle just a minor role.  But I agreed to return for the 2009 alumni show.  This would be the first one for me.  After working at Weathervane as an actor and director (and one year in a backstage capacity even I can’t define) in the 80’s and 90’s, I would be heading back to Whitefield. 

On Saturday, I drove five hours north and made my way to the new rehearsal space.  Well, not that new anymore.  But I hadn’t been there in a while.  I found a large group of performers—most of whom I knew.  And all of whom were friendly, supportive, funny, and only a little grayer than I remembered.  (Who am I to talk about graying anyway?)

Geoff Tarson
OFF THE LEDGE Geoff Tarson lives in Poughkeepsie, NY with his wife, Holly, and son, Peter. He is the artistic director of the Half Moon Theatre and will appear in its production of Seven Stories in March 2010. Photo: J. Simon
Despite the busy NYC rehearsal schedule that was too much for me, I saw that this was a hugely ambitious show.  And, as always, there’s never enough rehearsal—not even close.  I was happy not to have to learn too much, but jealous of some of the others who had more to do.  This was all strangely reminiscent of my first season in 1987.  The show all came together, as always.  And I had a blast.  But my real revelation came after the show.


Taking it all in,  I was amazed at how much the theatre had changed while staying the same.  All the board members I knew were gone.  As a matter of fact, there weren’t many familiar faces in the audience.  Very few people  recognized me.  And yet, I was thrilled to have just been part of something amazing.  Even though I was barely in the show.  In fact, maybe because I was barely in the show.  I was able to really see all the hard work, the trust, the commitment, the crib notes, the sweat, the petrified expressions, the quick costume changes… in short the love of doing live theatre in an impossibly short time frame. 

And it dawned on me… I never really left Weathervane.  What I had learned from my many years at the barn was still running through me and everyone else.  
Make a choice!      
Have fun!                          
Connect with all your partners onstage!                    
Just put yourself out there!  
And for God’s sake, keep going, no matter what!
I plan to keep going.  Up to New Hampshire for the alumni show. 
And next year, I’m going to ask for a bigger role.

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Vice President: Rien Schlecht
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Brandi Varnell
Michael Sheehan
Catherine Carter
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Weathervane Theatre Alumni 
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