TOWN OF LEE — This past weekend the Rome Community Theater (RCT), one of the cultural gems in our area, got a chance to not only show off but to promote our region to visitors from other parts of the state.
A three-day festival featuring top theater performances from across the state came to the RCT for the first time.
The 8911 Turin Road facility in Lee was selected last month to host the Theatre Association of New York State’s (TANYS) annual festival on Nov. 22-24, and also will host it in 2020.
About eight or nine productions that TANYS adjudicators select as the “best of the best” that they have seen were performed at RCT during the festival.
Lee resident John Parker, an RCT Board of Governors member, is chairman of the 2019 TANYS festival. Annually, about 70 or more community theaters sign up to be TANYS members plus some high school theater groups, said Parker, who also is a TANYS Board of Trustees member.
About 100 visitors were expected. In a Daily Sentinel story before the fest, Parker noted: “I think this is a great opportunity to bring some money into the Rome economy and allows RCT to show off our great facility” to other theater groups..
“I have a passion for this stuff,” Parker, who has been involved with RCT for over 20 years including both on-stage and off-stage, commented separately. Regarding the TANYS festival, he had wanted to “see us bring this thing to Rome....I want to bring it to fruition now that it’s here.”
Overall, “TANYS inspires excellence in theater communities,” Parker observed.
The theme of the festival at RCT was “TANYS is forever,” said Parker. He explained the phrase reflects the 60th anniversary of the festival; the association of diamonds with 60th anniversaries; and the James Bond film “Diamonds are Forever.”
TANYS has a website at tanys.org.