I have been the musical director of many Yorkshire musicals throughout my 32 years in York. I started immediately upon arriving with “They’re Playing Our Song.” It featured Sue Roush and Bill Teten and was produced in the Chances “R” beer garden. At the time I couldn’t foresee a move to the Legion Club, some bigger shows in the YHS theatre, and some smaller shows in the new Playhouse facility. Regardless the venue, my ongoing involvement has left me with a treasure trove of memories - most regarding family. Both my own real family, and the unique temporary ones formed when a musical is cast and produced.
Humor me on a brief stroll down memory lane. I have had the honor and privilege of working with some incredible performers throughout my various shows. I have served as musical director for: “They’re Playing Our Song”, “L’il Abner”, “Grease”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “The Taffetas”, and “Nunsense II’. If you’ve been around a while you may remember, or have memories of being in, helping with, or seeing these shows.
I remember being proud of each show, often for different reasons, and after a summer of “giving up my free time” it always seemed totally worth it. That’s because of the temporary families that form often long-lasting relationships. Coming together to do something greater than any one of us could do alone is rewarding. Long after the set is struck and the performances have ceased, the memories made become a rich emotional reservoir for me.
I think that’s one of the magical things about community theatre. It brings together people from various walks of life and unites them in a common love, a common vision, and for a time, adds artistic purpose to our lives. This upcoming summer is no exception.
I have had the joy of working with each of my family members on stage, but this summer I am excited to be musical director and work with my son, Mitchell, who will direct the show. I’ve directed several times with my talented wife Sue, but I am thrilled to have this experience with my grown-up son. I respect his artistic ability, and am excited that another Roush and Roush show is headed for the Playhouse stage. If I know anything at this point, I know that two impassioned directors will cast a group of people and agree to take them on a fulfilling journey - for the cast, crew, directors, and for the reason we do it all - our audience.
I love the unique challenges community theatre brings, and York is fortunate to have people dedicated to feeding the artistic citizenry on an ongoing basis. Please consider auditioning! You could be just the person to help make a magical summer possible. Find a way to get involved in helping bring art to our wonderful community. I anticipate making many more wonderful memories to add to my collective. I have the following as a mantra: Make great art with great people in a great way. That’s exactly what I plan to do this upcoming summer. Come make some memories of your own.
Written by Dr. Clark Roush
Cover Photo Credit: Bob DeHart Photography