Christmas-in-the-park director rekindles love for theater with 'A Christmas Carol'

Larry Rose, guest director Theatre Victoria Christmas in the Park
  • If You Go:

    What: Christmas in the Park, a partnership production by Theatre Victoria and Lifepointe Fellowship

    Saturday: 1 p.m. DeLeon Plaza; bring lawn chairs

    Dec. 11- 1 p.m. at Victoria Mall; 4 p.m. Hiller House

    Dec. 19 ...

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  • If You Go:

    What: Christmas in the Park, a partnership production by Theatre Victoria and Lifepointe Fellowship

    Saturday: 1 p.m. DeLeon Plaza; bring lawn chairs

    Dec. 11- 1 p.m. at Victoria Mall; 4 p.m. Hiller House

    Dec. 19 - 10 a.m. at Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts during the Lifepointe Fellowship's service.

    Charge: Free

For the past three decades, Larry Rose has dedicated himself to his wife and four children, as well as to a career in the business world.

Owner of DrillGreen Petroleum Products in Victoria, Rose graduated from Dallas Baptist University in 1980, spent several years in education and then began his business career.

But, it was his stage talent that paved the way from his blue-collar neighborhood in Fort Worth to a college degree.

"After graduating from O.D. Wyatt High School, I was taking a speech class and my professor asked me to read from a part in a play that was already in production, which I thought was strange, but I went in and read three to four lines before he recast the show and put me in the lead, much to the chagrin of the guy they'd already cast," said Rose before rehearsals for Christmas-In-the-Park one recent afternoon.

The next thing Rose knew, he was on a full scholarship at Dallas Baptist University.

"Since I was on scholarship, I had to audition for every show and designed sets. And since there were never enough men trying out, I usually had a part and did technical work on each show," he recalled.

He was also designed sets for Dallas' Theatre Three, a prominent and long-surviving non-profit theater, known for its cutting edge productions and its popularity among Dallas theater-goers.

Admitting that he loves musical theater, even to this day, Rose modestly reports he sings so poorly, he probably wouldn't get many parts now.

So, when his daughter, Loria, was cast in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," last summer at Theatre Victoria, Rose struck up a friendship with theater producing artistic director Charles Moster, who later asked him to be guest director for Moster's adaptation of "The Christmas Carol" as part of Moster's vision for Christmas-In-the-Park, which will play at DeLeon Plaza, Victoria Mall, Hiller House and for Sunday services at Lifepointe Fellowship, which meets at the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts.

Lifepointe Fellowship, which also co-sponsors the production, is providing music, band and chorus. Music will be provided before and after the production. A Christmas carol sing-along for chorus, cast and audience will also be held.

Rose's wife, Leah, has volunteered to be stage manager for the show, which will be free of charge and open to the public.

Rose said Moster assured him directing would be "like riding a bike."

"I've been having a wonderful time. We have great talent - 50 people auditioned - and the whole experience has been great."

He said directing this holiday classic has been fulfilling, "mainly because its message reminds us to put others first. It also reminds us about how truly blessed we are and that it's never too late to change," he said. "It's a story of hope, but it's also a story people can easily apply to their lives."

Alice Adams is president of Alice Adams Communications in Houston and Austin. She serves as a consultant, co-author, author and editor for numerous projects. She lives in Austin. Contact her at Rtadams2@aol.com.