Rosarito Theater Guild Brings New Play

“Shirley Valentine” starts Sept. 22

A real treat awaits you at the Rosarito Theatre Guild in just a few days. The RTG put on this play, “Shirley Valentine”, written in 1986 by Willie Russell, about eight years ago, and there has been a quiet groundswell for a reprise ever since. So finally the groundswell succeeded and it’s here!

But this time there is a wonderfully added incentive to attend and gift yourself a grand time. The proceeds of the play will go to benefit two very worthy causes, the Baja Scholarship Fund, and Cruz Roja Primo Tapia. So besides benefiting these excellent causes, what will you enjoy about this play? Well, it directly speaks to many of us who have gone through an abrupt change in our ho-hum trudging existence. Shirley Valentine is a bored housewife from Liverpool in northern England who has settled into a marriage rut, having few real friends and never achieving her childhood dreams. Suddenly, in a move way out of character, she decides to take up the opportunity to go on a vacation to Greece. When she arrives in Greece she is immediately abandoned by her good friend and flamboyant traveling companion, Jane, who takes off to have a romantic interlude with somebody she met in transit. Shirley is at a loss, but making the best of a distressing situation, she finally opens up, and her whole life changes from that moment. It goes from boring to, shall we say, “stimulating”. You’ll love it.

Shirley and all the other characters (12 in total, including 4 male characters) are portrayed by the veteran actress of the Rosarito boards, Amy Chankin, in this one-woman romp. Amy is the most versatile actress that the Rosarito Theatre Guild has ever had the great good fortune to feature. This will be the 19th time that Amy has taken the stage here in Rosarito. She has played many challenging parts with great skill, most memorably her realization of Maria Callas in “Master Class”.  That part was grueling because there were very few lines for any other actors and Maria Callas carried the more than two-hour play speaking 95% of the lines.

The role of Shirley Valentine is an even more difficult challenge for an actress because she must keep the audience enthralled for the entire play, and make twelve different characters believable with only three costume changes. Amy does this almost entirely with voice modulations. She is perhaps the only local actress who could memorize so many lines and carry off so many different characters. She has the skills to do this so well because even before she came to Rosarito she loved having parts in stage plays. When she lived in San Miguel de Allende, she was hired as a professional stage actress for 3 years and incidentally had a role in an independent film production.

Amy had a long, successful career in international business consulting and when she retired she had to apply her great store of energy somewhere, so she turned to stage and screen. When she moved to Rosarito she sought out the same opportunities. Amy is totally involved with acting and loves every minute of it. She says “It’s what I do. I am lousy at golf and tennis, but I love to act. Acting is an actor’s and a director’s medium, just as film is an editor’s medium.”

Speaking of directors, this play is directed by Craig Schaefer. Craig has long been involved in stage and screen endeavors.  He was born in San Gabriel, Californa in 1953, and began acting in the 80’s.  He had a role in “Stripes” with Bill Murray as a soldier in 1981.  Also in 1981 he had a leading role as Oisin in “Faeries” with Hans Conreid and Morgan Brittany.  In Rocky IV, 1985, with Sylvester Stallone, he played a reporter.  Craig has seventeen credits in Filmography as an actor.  As well as an actor, Craig is a director, writer and producer. He directed the documentary “Man of Deeds” in TV and was the director for made-for-TV movies  “H.M.S. Pinafore”, “The Mikado” and “Pirates of Penzance”.  We are very lucky to have such a versatile performer to enhance the talents of Amy Chankin.

There will be a welcoming cocktail to help you find your seat, as well as wine and hors-d’oeuvres at intermission to entice you to patronize this performance.  The action takes place at 7:00 P.M. on Friday, September 22nd, and there will be two matinees at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th.   You can get your tickets by visiting The Rosarito Theatre Guild at www.Rosaritotheatre.org or by calling 664-631-3320.

Thomas Emanuel

Author: Thomas Emanuel

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