Rochester Reads / From page to stage
RCTC presents ‘Candy Freak’
By Tom Weber
Bob Sanborn has turned the entire theater department at Rochester Community & Technical College into a bunch of candy freaks.
Sanborn has written and is directing RCTC’s production of this year’s Rochester Reads book, "Candy Freak," which opens Feb. 19.
"Every year, the college takes on the responsibility of adapting a script of the Rochester Reads book," he said. And since Sanborn, an English instructor at the college, is taking over for theater director Jerry Casper, who is on sabbatical this semester, the responsibility fell to him. It has turned out to be a sweet gig.
The 2009 Rochester Reads book, written by Steve Almond, looks at America’s obsession with sweets. The book has not previously been adapted for the stage, so Sanborn was on his own when he started working on the script last summer.
"I was able to contact Steve and he looked at some of the early drafts and told me what he thought," Sanborn said. "He was very encouraging, and that took a load off my shoulders."
Rather than follow the book exactly, Sanborn decided to present the material in the form of a TV game show. "The contestants will vie for the title of the nation’s biggest candy freak," he said.
The show includes music composed by Sanborn and RCTC physics instructor Brad Milbrandt.
Nearly everyone in the cast is an RCTC student or alum. They, and their director, might keep tinkering with the script right up until opening night. "Why not?" Sanborn said. "It’s our stuff. I say we keep changing it for the better."
After being presented opening weekend on campus, the show will move Feb. 28 through March 1 to the new lobby performance space at Rochester Civic Theatre.
• RCT gives performers some space — Page XX.
If you go
What: "Candy Freak" by Rochester Community & Technical College theater department.
When: 8 p.m. Feb. 19-21 at Charles Hill Theatre on campus; then 8 p.m. Feb. 28 and 3 p.m. March 1 at Rochester Civic Theatre, 20 Civic Center Drive S.E.