Actress Nicole Renee Johnson (Anne of Green Gables, Part 1, Fireside) joins other artists this month celebrating artistic director Chris Henry. Will you join them by saying "Happy Birthday" to Chris in the form of a charitable donation to Royal Family? LEARN MORE »
I had the honor of working with Christine Henry and Royal Family Productions on two productions this fall – Anne of Green Gables: Part 1, and Fireside. When I was initially approached to audition for Anne, I was shocked. So many theatres have had to shut down and the ones that are working are mainly doing so virtually. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity and I will be eternally grateful to Chris and Royal Family for these roles and productions. Chris was able to work everything out to make sure that anyone working on the show was safe and healthy, and that our audiences were also safe and comfortable during performances. While it was clear to me how many artists have been devoid of work this year, it didn’t cross my mind until Anne that patrons are yearning for art just the same.
Chris’s main goal was always to keep everyone safe and in doing so, we created a bond at South Road Farm in Fayette, Maine – not just with one another, but also with our supporters. Hearing their positive responses after Anne of Green Gables sparked us all to create a Halloween show and that’s how Fireside happened.
The magic that Chris created with Anne and Fireside has inspired and invigorated me. Everything going on in the world is affecting us each in different ways, but I think the one common response is how much we all desire human connection. Chris was able to spark connections safely and responsibly. Royal Family has become my second family and South Road Farm will always hold a special place in my heart. Christine Henry is the one to thank for keeping theatre alive for us when it felt like all hope was gone.
Thank you for all that you do Chris, and Happy Birthday!
Nicole Renee Johnson
Photos by Caroline May