Finishing off my Saturday, yesterday evening I headed down the road to Abbeville Opera House with a couple of friends to see a play, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily, directed by the professor of my acting class this semester, Michael Genevie. When we found our seats, I opened the program to see that one of Erskine’s own, Dr. Brad Christie (English and Theatre professor, now the Dean), was playing Dr. Watson! We enjoyed the suspense and humor, remembering our own experience last spring when Erskine put on a series of short Sherlock Holmes plays for dinner theatre. After the show, we walked just around the corner from the opera house to Main Street Coffee Co. for some sweet treats (I had a delicious cinnamon bun) and coffee before heading back to Erskine. It was the perfect end to round off a great Saturday.
I am a lover of the arts: music, theatre, fine arts, writing, dance. . . so even when I am not involved in these, I also enjoy partaking in them from the other side, as part of the audience. After all, what is a play, opera, ballet, poem, or sculpture without someone to enjoy it? The arts are popular at Erskine, but sometimes students forget that there are great opportunities in the surrounding communities to enjoy the arts as well.
Abbeville, a mere fifteen minutes away, is a small community that offers many such opportunities, especially through the Abbeville Opera House. Curiously enough, this historic building in the rural upstate is actually the state theatre of South Carolina! Every year they put on a full season with about a play a month, and other special shows between these. One of my good friends, Amber, was in the opening show of the season, The Sound of Music, so I drove over with a couple of friends for the last run of the show. We ended up sitting close to handful of more Erskine students who had the same idea.
It is always fun to see the original stage version of a musical, especially one as well-known as The Sound of Music, and that I have seen so many times in its movie version. There’s nothing like a live show, especially at a local theatre showcasing the talents of people in the community. After enjoying the play, we greeted Amber, who played Frau Schmidt, the family’s German housekeeper. Finally, after lots of hugs, congratulations, and animated discussions of the play, we ended the evening in typical Erskine fashion – a trip to IHOP for fun conversation and good breakfast food at 11:30 pm.