RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Jack Sherman

Remember Roxy?

So there I was, trying to think of something to make a blog post about that was not whining about how I couldn’t make a blog post today or sharing pictures of monster movies, when I saw that a friend on Facebook had shared a memory from 2015, and I said, “Ah, Roxy.”

I’m being threatened by the guy with the ax, but don’t worry: I turn the tables on him.

This is a rehearsal shot from the play Roxy by Jack Sherman, that was presented by the Herkimer County Historical Society at Ilion Little Theatre in September of 2015.  It concerns a famous local murderess, who was tried in the Herkimer County Courthouse and hanged behind the 1834 Jail. I played the title role.  It was a large cast, and everybody had a chance to shine.  It was quite the theatrical experience for all involved (I believe I wrote a few blog posts about it).  Having downloaded the above photo for inclusion in today’s post, I typed “Roxy Ilion Little Theatre” into the Facebook search box to see what else I could find.

I didn’t really look like this, although I tried.

This is the poster.  The Historical Society also had little magnets of it made up.  I have one on my refrigerator now.

Isn’t he handsome?

This is my wonderful husband, Steven, who played four different roles.  Here he portrays Dr. Suiter, who rather fancied himself as a forensic expert and had a lot to do with getting Roxy hanged.  Thanks a lot, Steve!

That reward isn’t really being offered, so don’t go calling “America’s Most Wanted.”

A friend put this frame on a picture of me.  As far as I remember, no reward was offered for Roxy’s capture, and she wasn’t that hard to take in anyways.  If you want to know the real story of Roxalana Druse, I recommend James M. Greiner’s book, Last Woman Hanged.  I said I was not going to be in any more plays for a while.  Still, if anybody decided to stage a revival of Roxy… well, let’s just say I would take it under consideration.


Roxy Update

Rather than have Wuss-Out Wednesday, I shall provide a brief update on Roxy, the play being presented by the Herkimer County Historical Society at Ilion Little Theatre.  Full disclosure: as opening night gets closer this blog may become All Roxy All The Time.  For now we will content ourselves with an update.

For anyone who has missed my previous posts about the play, it is an original play, written by local author Jack Sherman, about a historical crime which happened right here in the Mohawk Valley.  In 1884 in the Town of Warren, Roxalana Druse killed her husband, Bill, with a gun and an ax.  She was later tried in the County Courthouse in Herkimer NY and hung in the 1834 Jail.

The story is set some 30 years after the murder.  Roxy’s son, George, all grown up now, is telling the story to his daughter, Florence.  It’s not like those old movies Steven likes to make fun of, where the whole thing is a big flashback.  Rather, the action switches back and forth between the past and present, with Florence asking questions and remarking on the events.  Sometimes within the past,  the action goes even further back; as a character testifies in court, the murder is re-enacted.

At our rehearsal last night things seemed to be going very well.  The transitions from present to past to re-enactment are getting smoother.  Characters are being developed.  It is beginning to feel like a play.

We have rehearsal again tonight and I fear I have not looked over my lines since yesterday.  I should perhaps hit publish and do that.  Roxy will be presented September 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20, at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, at Ilion Little Theatre, Remington Avenue, Ilion, NY. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students.  For more information call 315-866-6413.


But I’m NOT a Method Actress!

I’m afraid this blog may become All Roxy All The Time sooner than one might expect.  Opening night is one month from tomorrow.  Plenty of time, you say?  Perhaps.  But it is difficult to concentrate on other things, especially on nights when we have rehearsal.  And anyways, I thought of something new to talk about.

Roxy, for anybody just tuning in, is a play written by local author Jack Sherman about Roxalana Druse, who murdered her husband and was later hung for it at Herkimer County Jail.  The play is being presented by Herkimer County Historical Society at Ilion Little Theatre.  I play Roxy.

The historical society is going to great lengths to make the play authentic.  They have biographical information on many of the characters.  We have two costume designers who are striving to make the costumes true to the time period.  And then there is the set…

Since Roxalana Druse was famously the last woman hung in New York State (James Greiner wrote a book about her called Last Woman Hanged: Roxalana Druse; good book, read it), one might expect to see a gallows in a play on the subject.  So the historical society got a gallows.  In fact, they got some folks at BOCES to build them a gallows just like the one used on the real Roxy.

These gallows were pretty interesting in and of themselves.  They were called the Galloping Gallows, because they could be taken apart and moved.  Herkimer County rented them for the occasion.  Additionally, this was not a traditional gallows, where the condemned fell through a trap door.  Instead, a weight was dropped, jerking the body upward.  Who thinks of these things?

I have to confess, I am feeling just a little bit nervous about this contraption.  I think it is a bit more realistic than is strictly necessary.  How do I know the guy playing the sheriff won’t get a little carried away with his part on opening night?  Do you suppose I should insist upon a stunt double?