Performing View – New Royal Robbins Play

By Chris Murphy

The stage lights are beginning to light up again. A new season has been announced for the Gallo Center and they have reported some quick sell-outs. There is a new excitement on our local stages and venues as there are signs that we will change tiers for greater openings. During May, we will still be enjoying some theatrical streamcasts, some will be taking to the streets and tickets will be selling for live events. It will be exciting.

The Prospect Theatre project will be presenting a home-town hero re-imagination of the relationship between legendary climber Royal Robbins and Warren Harding. A staged reading of Ken White’s one act play Early Morning Light is being produced by the Prospect Theater Project. The focus of the story is the controversy between Royal Robbins and Warren Harding over bolting on El Capitan’s Dawn Wall. The two men were very different. They were not friends, but they respected and admired the other. Theirs was a friendly rivalry. Robbins and Harding had two very contrasting styles. In the way they approached life and approached the wall.

In a staged reading, the actors read from the script. The sets, costumes, and props are minimal. Jack Souza is directing the production. Joseph Hypes plays Royal Robbins, Matt Capron plays Warren Harding, and Jack Souza plays Doc Guitar. Mardi Brewer is the stage manager. Mark Oesau will videotape and edit the production. The final performance will be made available for streaming in May. Liz, Damon, and Tamara Robbins and Denise Crosby provided constructive and insightful notes, as well as assisting with the production. Down the road, we hope to collaborate with the State Theatre on a virtual seminar and talkback.

Live is back! Foreverland, Michael Jackson tribute is coming to the outdoor venue Lucca Winery on June 12. Tickets will go on sale for this and others on sale on or about May 15th so don’t snooze, as things will sell out quickly as we come back to life. Coming soon: East Bay Soul – June 17, Fleetwood Mask – August 15, Journey Revisited – September 18 For more info:

Look for exciting new events from Central West Ballet, Opera Modesto, and the Gallo Rep and our school drama programs as the local campuses open up. Exciting times.

Check this space over the next few months as the stages and the places come back to life and the performers return to the stages. for our amazing event calendar.

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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.