Rosemary Nesbitt was all about children.
She was a master storyteller, turned classic literature into plays for the stage and enchanted generations. Her legacy lives on in her play “The Great Rope,” about a 12-year-old boy named Jonathan.
The true story is being rehearsed for one performance only at Fort Ontario, at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2 in a joint venture between H. Lee White Marine Museum, Fort Ontario Historic Site, SUNY Oswego and CNY Arts Center.
Taking the lead as Jonathan is a young actor named Griffin Marriner, who caps his brief stage experiences with a foray to Shakespeare. Simultaneously rehearsing a small role in Romeo and Juliet at CNY Arts Center, the Shakespearean tragedy is set to open just two weeks after The Great Rope Play, Aug. 15-17 and 22-24.
The 11-year-old, sixth-grader at Lanigan Elementary in Fulton has performed continuously since his stage debut in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer with CNY Arts Center two years ago.
Griffin most recently appeared in Willy Wonka, Jr at CNY Arts Center, preceded by Charlotte’s Web, and Ben and the Magic Paintbrush. He also took a turn onstage at Oswego Players in A Christmas Carol and is now filling his summer with these two productions rehearsing simultaneously.
Griffin leads an active life outside the theatre as a 2014 Spelling Bee finalist and participating in scouting, soccer and family adventures supported by his dad and mom Vance and Jennifer Marriner.
Jen also serves as official photographer for The Great Rope play and many CNY Arts Center productions. Griffin’s older brother Grant often serves as spotlight operator for CNY Arts Center productions making it a true family affair.
The Great Rope is sponsored by the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, CNY Arts, NBT Bank, Wayne Drugs, Oswego Lions, Stewarts Shops, Elks Lodge #271 and Oswego Printing.
Tickets are available at river’s end bookstore, Man in the Moon Candies, Arts in the HeART Gallery in Fulton, H. Lee White Marine Museum and Fort Ontario Historic Site.
Tickets are $5 for adults, $2 for teens, and age 12 and under free. Audience is encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets for open seating.
For more information on Romeo and Juliet, visit CNYArtsCenter.com or call 592-3373.