By Nick Soares ’21
On the weekend of February 14, the Woodberry Forest Drama Department produced the beloved American classic The Music Man for the first time ever. The musical was also the last production for director Ted Blain, who is retiring after this year.
Woodberry boys from all forms came out to participate in the show as well as many local girls and a number of faculty spouses to make a total of 35 cast members, one of the largest casts in recent Woodberry history. Lead roles were held down by senior Reed Taws (Professor Harold Hill), Andrea Payette from Orange County High School (Marian the Librarian), and a first-rate barbershop quartet led by junior Ellett Miller.
Mr. Brent Cirves, head of the Drama and Speech Department, gave some insight into Mr. Blain’s success and the occasion of his retirement.
“Mr. Blain is the consummate theater director,” Cirves said. “He chooses just the right shows for our community. He has a terrific sense of theatrical style, and no matter how tough a production is to mount—like The Music Man, which is notoriously difficult—Ted Blain always sticks his landings with flair. More than that, he knows how powerful theater can be not only as entertainment but as a moral teacher in a culture like Woodberry’s. He gets it. We’re going to really miss Mr. Blain. He cannot be replaced, only succeeded.”
Thank you, Mr. Blain, for The Music Man, for 38 years at Woodberry Forest, and for 38 unforgettable productions!