In May 8-14 issue
By G.K. Gibson
Special to The Times Journal
Some of us get to spend quite a bit of time on the stage of life.
For many varied reasons, there are those who appear in fewer acts, their presence limited by a curtain that comes too soon.
Whether you are memorable depends on what you accomplish in the time allotted.
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I was set to these thoughts after learning of the sudden death of a young man in this community whom I had come to know through my participation in the Russell County Arts Council over the past four years.
Adam Redmon, who was just 25, passed away sometime early Saturday morning. He was found dead in his bedroom probably several hours later. At this writing, the reasons aren't yet known and it may be a bit before we know the cause. I am told many of his friends suspect something related to his heart.
Readers of the Times Journal may remember that he recently made his directorial debut at the Star Theater in Russell Springs. Just the previous weekend, the production of "Bridge To Terabithia" concluded a six-show run. An article about Adam's appreciation for the efforts of his cast appeared in the previous week's paper, along with a photo of him at the very top of the front page.
In addition to the recent play, he has appeared as an actor in quite a number of the local theater's productions. He always brought a presence that made him stand out.
• • •
I knew Adam only from the times we worked together with plays and the Arts Council.
He had a natural talent, and I observed a conscientious work ethic that was demonstrated by his always being on time for everything, and fully prepared (something in community theater, by the way, that isn't all that common).
I found Adam to be unfailingly pleasant, at all times.
When I directed plays at the Star, I asked for his participation in each of them, and I was pleased with the freshness he brought to his roles.
He immediately agreed to be one of the fluffy bunnies in The Velveteen Rabbit, donning a thick, hot costume with a headpiece fixed with floppy rabbit ears. How many people will do that for you?
I asked Adam to speak his lines in the Scottish accent that he could turn on at will, and it was hilarious. He was so naturally funny that he took it beyond, creating some silly dialogue that wasn't in the script, but so gosh-darn funny that we had to keep it. And his physical actions in that baggy bunny suit always brought down the house in laughter.
As one of the pirates in Peter Pan, Adam kick-started so many humorous moments with his inventions that the entire gang of adult Pirates wound up tickling as many funny bones as the antics of the Lost Boys.
In all the other plays in which he participated, he brought something extra that made his roles notable.
Ironically, in 2006 we performed together in the play Rest Assured in which we both wound up as ghosts who remained on the stage while other characters' lives continued on. The character he performed demonstrated to my character that the life you live creates how you will live on in memory.
In an excellent casting, Adam's role was the character beloved by family and friends and those that knew him.
• • •
He was also beginning to stand out in the role of teacher that he assumed as his real-life calling. Adam was working as a subsitute teacher in the local school system while waiting for a permanent position.
From what I understand, he was popular in the classes he taught. Substitute teachers often have a difficult time of being liked as well as the regular classroom instructor that the students are comfortable with, but I've seen and heard considerable evidence that kids in classes that he taught enjoyed him.
The educational system has lost a potentially valuable instructor who would certainly have guided young minds in positive ways.
Adam also was instrumental in organizing a group for aspiring writers within the Art Council organization. The Shadow Scribes he founded met weekly, discussing and practicing the art of written creation. Last year they had an event in which the group performed a short play authored by Adam.
He also championed and helped organize several rock music events for local teens and young people at the Star Theater annex, the Norfleet Gallery.
• • •
How many lives he affected was evident in the visitation for him Tuesday evening. Hundreds of people lined up to say goodbye at Bernard Funeral Home in Russell Springs. A signicant show of respect for someone of so few years.
• • •
It can be considered that Adam, through the many roles he assumed, lived many lives in his quick life. It is certain that he stood out, and will be remembered. Because much of his work involved schools and youngsters in his theater efforts, it is almost certain he will remain in living memory into the next century. Those who worked with him, or laughed with him in his humorous stage roles, or read and heard his writing, or attended the classes he taught are left with the absence of what could have come.
• • •
One of the axioms of the stage is "Always leave the audience wanting more."
Adam has.ABOVE: Adam Redmon, right, played a humorous rabbit in the Star Theater production of "The Velveteen Rabbit" in 2006.