© 2024 WRVO Public Media
NPR News for Central New York
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'Art is for everyone': Redhouse Arts Center and Arc of Onondaga partner for 'Tuck Everlasting'

Redhouse Arts Center and Arc of Onondaga are performing Tuck Everlasting on June 1 and June 8 at 2 p.m.
Amelia Beamish
/
AB Photography / Redhouse Arts Center
Redhouse Arts Center and Arc of Onondaga are performing Tuck Everlasting on June 1 and June 8 at 2 p.m.

The Redhouse Arts Center and the Arc of Onondaga, which serves people with intellectual disabilities in central New York, are continuing their partnership together to bring theatre to all communities.

This is the 11th year Redhouse and Arc of Onondaga have worked together. There are more than 40 cast members in the production of Tuck Everlasting, telling the story of the Tuck family, the secret spring of eternal youth and a young girl's decision whether to live forever or let her life continue as planned.

Marguerite Mitchell, Redhouse's Director of Education, said Arc artists perform right alongside professional actors, Syracuse University students, and other local community theatre actors, and she said it gives them the chance to be the artists they already inherently are.

"A lot of times, arts is kind of put a little bit on a pedestal and people think that it's not for them," Mitchell said. "And here at Redhouse, we really believe that art is for everyone. And that is allowing actually everyone who is interested in performing and is a creative person and a creative soul, giving them the opportunity to get on stage and tell a story."

The program pairs Arc actors with community actors who serve as mentors throughout the process.

Thom Miller (left) and Ronald Palmatier (right) are working together on the Redhouse Arts Center production of Tuck Everlasting. Palmatier will be honored this year as the Arc of Onondaga person of the year.
Thom Miller (left) and Ronald Palmatier (right) are working together on the Redhouse Arts Center production of Tuck Everlasting. Palmatier will be honored this year as the Arc of Onondaga person of the year.

Arc actor Ronald Palmatier is working with Thom Miller, who teaches at the Syracuse University Department of Drama. Miller is playing the man in the yellow suit who is in pursuit of the fountain of youth, Palmatier said he's his partner-in-crime in blue. He said theatre has always kind of been his thing.

"My parents thought that I had talent, but they didn't know how much talent that I had because everybody is like, so proud of me," Palmatier said. "And I just love acting, singing and dancing. I really love it. I really love the theatre. I love it."

Palmatier said Miller has helped him with a couple tricky lines he has and Miller said Palmatier has guided him through things too — like when he was about to make the wrong entrance for a song.

Miller said as someone who's worked professionally for 25 years in the industry, this production has made him realize how many moments he sometimes takes for granted while working on a show.

"When new people come into the theatre who haven't really been there before," said Miller, "and let's say we're working on harmonies, like just two people singing different lines and how it comes together and it comes together and where we would normally be like, 'Okay, great, now let's move on.' People are like, 'Wow, it sounds so pretty.' And it's so great because it reminds me of how lucky we are to be able to live lives creatively in the arts."

Ronald Palmatier performs in Tuck Everlasting. He is being honored as the Arc of Onondaga person of the year.
Amelia Beamish
/
AB Photography / Redhouse Arts Center
Ronald Palmatier performs in Tuck Everlasting. He is being honored as the Arc of Onondaga person of the year.

Palmatier will also be recognized this year as the Arc of Onondaga person of the year.

"It's like a big honor for me because I never had anything like this happen to me before, because this is my first time ever receiving this kind of award," Palmatier said. "I wish my mom and dad were here. They would be so proud of me, just like everybody else is."

The gallery outside the theater is adorned with art made by Arc artists who are involved in the arts off-stage. Public performances of Tuck Everlasting are set for June 1 and June 8 at 2 p.m.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.