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September 22, 2018

Spotlight on Young Actor – from Tom Sawyer to Shakespeare


FULTON, NY – 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 The Great Rope Play about a 12-year-old boy named Jonathan.

Jonathan (Griffin Marriner) receives important instruction from his father, James, (Matthew Soffietti) while his mother, Alice, (Alyssa Otoski) looks on in this rehearsal for The Great Rope Play.

Jonathan (Griffin Marriner) receives important instruction from his father, James, (Matthew Soffietti) while his mother, Alice, (Alyssa Otoski) looks on in this rehearsal for The Great Rope Play.

The true story is being rehearsed for one performance only at Fort Ontario on August 2 at 6 p.m. 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, August 15-17 and 22-24.

The 11-year-old sixth grade Lanigan student from Fulton has performed continuously since his stage debut in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer with CNY Arts Center two years ago.

Griffin Marriner, as Peter, rehearses a scene with Knate Mackenzie Roy, as Romeo, from CNY Arts Center’s next production Romeo and Juliet set to run August 15-17 and 22-24 at 357 State St., Fulton.

Griffin Marriner, as Peter, rehearses a scene with Knate Mackenzie Roy, as Romeo, from CNY Arts Center’s next production Romeo and Juliet set to run August 15-17 and 22-24 at 357 State St., Fulton.

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 in Oswego Players’ A Christmas Carol and is now filling his summer with these two productions rehearsing simultaneously.

Griffin leads an active life outside the theatre with scouting, a 2014 Spelling Bee finalist, 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.

Griffin Marriner most recently played Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka Jr, seen here (center) with Rueby Holsopple as Charlie (left) and Matt Oldenburg (right) as Willy Wonka Jr. Marriner tackles the lead in The Great Rope Play and Shakespeare this summer in Romeo and Juliet at CNY Arts Center.

Griffin Marriner most recently played Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka Jr, seen here (center) with Rueby Holsopple as Charlie (left) and Matt Oldenburg as Willy Wonka Jr. Marriner tackles the lead in The Great Rope Play and Shakespeare this summer in Romeo and Juliet at CNY Arts Center.

The Great Rope Play 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 the 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 at $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, visit www.hleewhitemarinemuseum.com, www.fortontario.com or www.CNYArtsCenter.com

For more information on Romeo and Juliet, visit www.CNYArtsCenter.com or call 592-3373.

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