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A Vagabond's appeal: Hold your fire

May I say first that Robin was one of the great loves of my life and a dear, dear friend, and along with his father, responsible for much of my passion and 40-year career.


The day that he ended his life was one of the darkest days in many lives. ... including Paige's, Dale's and Scott's. It was a time of deep remorse and pain and shock.
Subsequent to Robin's death, I highly recommended that the Board strongly consider Paige for the job. I even wrote a long letter to that effect. I love her and believe in her and I still do. She is one of the dearest people in my life. However, that is not the direction the Board chose to go in. So be it....and we move on.
Mr. Marini came in without the FRP history in his blood and he fiercely entered the arena that we know as "The Rock". He made many changes and did EXACTLY what he promised the board he would do. What he promised the board he would do....needs repeating. Was he rash? Perhaps...but hindsight is all, isn't it?
I have come to know this man in a professional relationship, and see the humility and willingness to recognize that he may have moved too fast. I see his willingness now to try to make change and compromise and work with the community. I sense his growing understanding of a 60 year history that many of us have LIVED and he has only recently come to learn and deeply appreciate. What saddens me is the deep anger and expressions of almost hatred that he has had to endure and I might add, with grace.
I would like to think that we as a people who love Flat Rock Playhouse would try to see through this desperate time with compassion and an ability to give another chance, with VITAL changes in place, before we begin calling for his head on a platter. We are better than that. Those who could not go further with the playhouse for personal reasons, have left with that same grace and now either wait to see what the future holds or go on with their own lives. I have nothing but the greatest sympathy with their loss as well. Other Vagabonds have stayed in the arena and fight on. I find it unfair to characterize this as only wanting a job or even worse, suggesting that they also want Mr. Marini's head. They are fighting out of LOVE for the Rock, not personal hatred.
Personally,I am so grateful after 37 years , to be able to still walk the stage I love so dearly. I am grateful to still "speak" to Robbie and Robin before every performance. I loved the past with all my heart and soul, butI think it's the end of progress if you stand still and think only of what you've done in the past. I was taught that the way of progress is never fast nor easy and often painful. It is certainly full of pitfalls and mistakes. However one problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us. Let us exercise great patience and see what happens. I say wait for the press conference and hear the facts. I will be as well. And all the while, I wish to try and support, be faithful, and have understanding......
out of love and respect for a legacy that Robroy and Robin left. I cannot change the course of events.....but I can, with wide open eyes and heart, help to navigate the future by showing restraint and compassion for a man who is only now learning the great legacy he has inherited. I am only an actress, not a staff member. I have nothing but the greatest respect for Scott, Dale, dear Paige AND Vince. Let us wait and see, shall we?

Barbara Bradshaw, an actress at the Playhouse since 1976, lives in Delray Beach, Fla.