Wednesday, 16 September 2015 16:26

Rosebud actor talks faith and the arts

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Growing up, children are typically raised within their parents’ belief systems. Values, religion, even superstitions all exemplify beliefs passed down through generations.

 

What happens though as a young adult develops their own beliefs and passions in life? Caught between family, tradition and personal dreams, which surfaces as stronger, more important?
A new actor to Rosebud, John Innes, who has come to the valley to star in Mass Appeal, has lived such a situation.
As a man of faith, he struggled to choose a life of theatre which was shunned by his family and church.
“Coming out of a conservative, evangelical family, church and culture, I continue to experience my passion for theatre as a deep desire to move from living in black and white to living in Technicolor,”explains Innes. “As mundane as it may sound, the seeds of that passion were planted, by God, when, at seven years old, I went to see my first movie, Pinocchio. It was in Technicolor and the colours fascinated me. I never felt I ‘gave up’ anything to become an actor but, even as a child I was aware of my desire to deepen my relationship, my friendship, with Jesus as trumping my need to adhere to a particular institution, church or dogma.
“As a young actor, my most influential mentor kept repeating a line of Polina’s from Winter’s Tale, ‘It is required you do awake your faith’. For him, faith and art are the same. For me, the rehearsal hall has become my church.”
“That’s part of what makes Rosebud so endearing and comforting to be part of. Through my career I’ve worked with many organizations, but not many embrace both theatre and faith. To be in place that encourages both of these passions — it’s so welcoming."
There is a similar theme in Mass Appeal, in which this is Innes’ second production. Years ago he played young headstrong Mark Dolson and now he transitions to the popular parish priest, Father Farley.
When Farley is challenged by seminarian student Dolson, conflicting perspectives collide and the priest ends up mentoring the student. What will each learn and have to give up to attain personal peace?
To see Innes on stage as Father Farley in Rosebud Theatre’s fall production, Mass Appeal, book tickets online at rosebudtheatre.com or by phoning the Box Office at 1-800-267-7553. Shows run Wednesday to Saturday from Sept. 18 to Oct. 24. Matinée and evening shows are available with a delicious buffet meal before the show. Additionally on Sept. 26, after the matinee, Pastor Phil Wright, Father Kevin Lynch and Sister Gerry Hagel will join Artistic Director, Morris Ertman, on stage for a panel discussion about how people deal with change in the church.

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