Living Room Theatre
Broadway productions are amongst the most fascinating and exhilarating of all the entertainment experiences.
The success of a Broadway production is illustrated in the innumerable amount of people aware of plays such as Cats, Miss Saigon, Annie and Hair, regardless of whether or not the magic of seeing the performance live was achieved.
What I miss as audience members of any production is the countless hours of rehearsals, the choreography to be mastered, or finding the right pitch for songs to be sung. There are no directors of the stage blessed with the luxury of shouting, "Cut! Take two," in the midst of a live production.
The cameras, if rolling at all, offer no means of editing. The stage performers have only one chance to get it right and the fact that they do night after night after night, is testimony to the endless hours of rehearsals aimed at audience satisfaction.
Ann Morrison, a veteran of the Broadway stage is no stranger to this exhausting, rewarding life. She's played Mary in 1981's original Broadway production of Merrily We Roll Along. Three years later she was in the original London Production of Peg, and in Los Angeles she enjoyed the resounding applause of the crowds responding to Anyone Can Whistle. Morrison captured the Theatre World Award and her prized voice can be found on many recordings.
Born April 9th, 1956 in Sioux City, Iowa, Annie currently spends her time bringing theatre into the living room, as in your living room if you so desire.
Annie herself, best sums up the creative work put into the Living Room Theatre: "My stories were created for people that I've been doing emotional healing for. They've also been battling with their own illnesses and syndromes."
Some of the examples of those Ann Morrison is helping include a little girl who is battling with Leukemia, a blood disease that has claimed too many lives. Another such performance focuses on children labeled with ADHD.
Linda Lovely Goes To Broadway is a story Annie wrote for a little girl whose dream is to be Lori in a Broadway production of Oklahoma. Sadly, she suffers from Downs Syndrome and is additionally battling Alzheimers. The Grand Knight is another beautiful story. developed for one who is dealing with HIV.
Children can provide a wonderful experience, capable of opening a time portal, transporting us back to the days of our own innocent childhood, when we knew nothing of the dangers or the demands of life. The eyes of children ignite with fascination and curiosity over the simplest of things.
Everything is like an open gift, shiny and brand new, but this is only true of healthy children feeding our expectations of bright futures to come. Not every child is so fortunate and the pain we experience loving and caring for those whose needs and desires differ not from their peers, is a painful experience, a hard experience driven by bonds of love. Seeing the laughter and the joy in their faces makes The Living Room Theatre a true work of art.
"These fairytales," Annie says. "I thought I wrote them for the children, but I think I might have designed them for the caregiver in us all."
From the stages of Broadway to the carpets of home, Ann Morrison is a performer giving us more than her all. She gives her heart and soul to those less fortunate than we, and in so doing, gives them reasons to believe in the same world so full of the hopes and dreams guiding us all.