Bard's tale benefits 'shining star'
Austin Channell, 16, of Powell (background, left) rehearses his swordplay with Jesse Smith, 18, of Columbus as the pair rehearses for "Romeo and Juliet" on Monday, Oct. 1, at the Carriage Place Recreation Center. The performance, set Oct. 12-14, is a fundraiser for troupe member Steve Yoho, who was injured in an accident. Buy This Photo
The upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet by the Grandview and Carriage Place recreation community theater group will be a special one.
A portion of the proceeds from the performances will be donated to help offset medical expenses incurred by Columbus resident Steve Yoho, a past cast member who was seriously injured in a July automobile accident.
Yoho suffered a broken neck and other injuries in the accident, which occurred on West North Broadway near Riverside Methodist Hospital.
"Steve had been a member of the cast for our production of Man of La Mancha and we had just started rehearsals for Three Musketeers," said Grandview Recreation Supervisor Marta Durban.
"Steve is a very positive young man, very bright," Durban said. "He was such a great cast member, always very helpful and willing to do whatever was needed."
Yoho had made a return to acting with Man of La Mancha in June after participating in the Carriage Place theater program as a youngster, said director John Heisel.
"I've known Steve since he was about 7 or 8 years old," Heisel said. "He's a shining star."
The theater group was eager to come to Yoho's assistance after his accident and donated a portion of the proceeds from The Three Musketeers presented in July for his benefit, he said.
The production of Romeo and Juliet was an unscheduled production organized as another benefit for Yoho, Heisel said.
"I want to put on a production of Hamlet with Steve in the leading role," he said. "He's already starting to learn the lines. That will be his big comeback from what he's going through."
The cast of Romeo and Juliet includes a number of Capital University musical-theater students, Durban said.
"We couldn't be doing this show without the people from Capital," she said.
Cast member Daniel Patrick Smail, a resident of the Upper Arlington area, is a friend of Yoho's.
"He's just an amazing guy and an amazing actor," Smail said. "He's got such a wonderful and supportive family.
"This performance is going to mean a lot more to us than just putting on a classic play," he said. "It has special meaning to be able to help somebody who's gone through such a terrible and dangerous accident. It's all worth it to help Steve."
Romeo and Juliet will be performed at 7 p.m. Oct. 12-13 and 2 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Columbus Performing Arts Center, 549 Franklin Ave.
Tickets are $5 at the door, "although if people would like to give more, we'll be happy to take it," Durban said.
A special performance also will be given Oct. 8 at Westminster Thurber.