Close your eyes during Dana Scott Galloway’s performance of Augustus the Sissy you will be drawn in by his gravelly Texas drawl and the rhythmic pattern of the words he speaks. It’s like listening to a book on tape or returning home after a long time away.
An escape from the fast pace of DC, Galloway takes his audience to the small town of Gloryland, Texas. He gives a third person account of Augustus, a talented young musician who desperately wishes to be a football player. The vivid Ingrid, Augustus’ music teacher, worries that hurt fingers will end Augustus’ days as a musician. Augustus knows what he wants, and despite her discouragement joins the team. He is dedicated. He is constantly on the bench. At first Augustus struggles to be accepted by his teammates – playing music makes him a sissy. But young people are adaptable and the boys begin to bond and learn to break out of the categories they are expected to stay in. In the end Augustus finally finds himself on the field, not as a great football player, but energized by the crowd and living out his dream.
“Watch out for your fingers and run fast!”
Director Lisa Hodsoll makes good use of the limited space at the small Argonaut venue. A trunk, some boxes, and a folding chair take up the stage space, and as the show begins Galloway goes through the boxes of old memorabilia that seem to inspire the telling of Augustus’ story. A quick glance at the program shows that Galloway has not only written Augustus the Sissy, but also designed the projections. David Hamilton composed the lovely piano underscoring that accompanies the show.
Of his many roles, Galloway takes on the role of storyteller most proudly. At times, his southern accent made it easy to miss some important details of the story and I found myself struggling to keep up. That being said, it is abundantly clear that this show is close to Galloway’s heart. He has a clear compassion and love for his characters and a strong determination to get his story out.
Augustus the Sissy is a nostalgic show that lets you slow down for a minute and appreciate the simplicity of childhood and small town life. It reminds you of what it’s like to dream, to grow.
Running Time: 50 Minutes.