Marsha Kennedy is the writer/director of “The Elizabeth Chronicles,” which the Stratford Players perform at 2 p.m. on two Sundays, Feb. 9 and 16, at the Caine Learning Center, 54385 Pinecrest Ave. The production follows five Elizabeths through the trials and tribulations of relationships spanning 110 years. The staged reading explores a hex leveled at the first Elizabeth by a jilted spinster in 1904 which can only be lifted by true love, a perfect theme for a Valentine’s Day celebration.
Kennedy, who started writing short stories by age 7, attended University of California, Los Angeles, and was trained in all manner of film production and writing. “I was with one of the UCLA professors in a group that he was mentoring for about three years so we really delved into story writing, conflict, characters — the whole thing. All of that carries over into any kind of writing you do, really. That was a really good base for me,” Kennedy said. She also attended classes at the American Film Institute.
After a stint with mega-corporation IBM, Kennedy realized that writing was critical to her happiness, “I reached that point where the need to write was so great in me that I decided I had to do something about it,” she said. “It’s like jumping off a cliff,” Kennedy said of leaving her corporate job. “I was terrified, but I decided that I was going to make this happen, and my life worked out so that I was able to do that. It astonished me,” she said.
As with many who ultimately make Idyllwild their home, the Hill holds a strong attraction for folk who thrive best communing with nature and celebrating the arts, and Kennedy was no exception. “I was always looking for the ultimate place to move to and this was it. I had been up a few times over the years but then I realized that this had so much of the criteria that I wanted; it’s a small town, it has a town center, there are lots of arts groups and people who are interested in the arts. I love that kind of environment,” she said. Kennedy moved to Idyllwild a year and a half ago. “I love my life; I love living here. It’s like all of the pieces that I was ever working on just came together when I moved here. It’s so lovely,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy founded The Stratford Players that quickly attracted area talent. “So many of the actors have found us one way or another, and I am so grateful because we do have wonderful actors,” Kennedy said. “The actors in Stratford are people who really have a passion for acting; they have a passion for theater and they want everything to go well.”
Professional, prepared and committed is how Kennedy describes the troupe. She attributes Stratford’s success to the mutual respect among everyone involved in the production and the desire to give a really wonderful performance for the audience. “I think of every production as creating a theater family for that production,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy created “The Elizabeth Chronicles” in large part because of her fascination with relationships. “I think that men and women are designed in two different factories and neither one gets the operating manual on the other,” she laughed. “I also know a lot of people who have been divorced two and three times; when I hear some people’s relationship history it sounds like, ‘Oh my gosh, there must be a hex on these people because they have such a tough time.’ That’s how it evolved. I wanted to explore, ‘What if there really was a hex?’”
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.stratfordplayers.com.
Category: On The Town